Skip to main content

Keep your family healthy this Christmas

Keep your family healthy this Christmas
Click to enlarge

Don’t let the Christmas season de-rail your healthy habits

The Christmas season can be tough on anyone who relies on a routine to manage a health condition. Spend a little time planning so you can keep up the health regime that works best for you.


This Christmas, we are still operating under pandemic conditions. One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from covid-19 and illness generally is regular, thorough handwashing. So make sure your family and guests can wash their hands as often as they feel the need. Ensure that soap and clean towels are freely available, and hand sanitiser, too.

Good ventilation

Of course it’s safer to meet out of doors, but mid-winter conditions won’t always allow that. You may need to change your room around to give people enough space to be comfortable and to ensure that no-one is sitting in a draft. Warn your guests to layer up so that they are warm enough, and provide blankets to those that need them.

Tidy habits

You are probably completely familiar with your own space so you know to step over a curling rug or a trailing cable. But your guests might not be. And furthermore, some of them might be more frail than you, and a trip or fall could be devastating to an older guest. So go through your house and check for trip hazards. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has a handy home safety checklist that might help.

Sometimes you can correct a curling rug by wetting it. Or consider turning it so the curling side is not on a heavily-walked area of the room. You could also weight it down with a piece of furniture.

Tape down cables, move them or unplug the piece of equipment when it’s not in use.

If a piece of furniture or bulky sporting equipment (hello surfboard) is making your space awkward, why not put it into self-storage until your guests have gone home. You can insure your stored goods for a week or a few days if you use Store and Insure – get a quick quote today to find out how cheap it can be to insure your stored goods.

Regular exercise

A good exercise habit does so much to stabilise your mood and reduce stress, but you might find yourself unwilling to go out, particularly if the weather is bad and your usual class is cancelled. Or you might not have space at home to do your normal exercise routine.

It’s well worth trying to get active each day during the festive period, even if it’s just a brisk walk to get your heart going. Rather than driving to the shops to pick up milk and a paper, walk. Or schedule in active family games and physical activities like ice skating or a bike ride.

Healthy eating

For many people healthy eating falls a bit by the wayside at Christmas. But other people do not have the luxury of a day off from the diet. If you are trying to lose weight or eating a restricted diet for health reasons, think about how you will approach that. For example, some people find it easier to say no to all sweet treats; others will want to eat just a few. If you’re staying away from home, you may need to help your host out by bringing some foods you can enjoy freely, or by advising on adapting recipes.

Support network

A good support network makes all the difference to people struggling with addiction and other health issues. But Christmas closures can restrict access to help and advice, and stressors like family visits, a change of routine and high expectations can put extra pressure on you. Think about how you will get support if your regular meetings or consultations are not taking place. Can you access peer-to-peer support online? Is there a phone line you can use?

You might need to adapt your usual self-help tactics to a changed routine, too, so think about what your Christmas week might look like and plan accordingly.

Are your meds ready for Christmas?

Check that you have enough of your usual medications to cover the Christmas period. And stock up on basic painkillers, common remedies such as antacids and cold treatments and first aid items. There are two bank holidays in quick succession, and it’s easy to lose track of time in the days between Christmas and New Year. Find out when your nearest pharmacy is open, too, so that you don’t get caught out.

Keep your family healthy and happy over Christmas and start the new year in the best possible way.