Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

Christmas collides with summer and the extra long school holiday. Everything seems stamped urgent. There’s so little time to get geared up to cram everything into the car and hit the road.

Even if you’re chilling out at home, a little preparation goes a long way to take the stress out of this frantic time of year. Breathe for a minute, the ocean or bush air will still be as fresh when you get there. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a happy healthy summer, wherever you choose to be.

Enjoy more, stress less

The festive season should be the ultimate chill out time. However, for many people it is often the most stressful time of the year. Here are some ways to stay within budget and in good cheer:

Shop so you don’t drop

Limit gifts to children only or organise a Kris Kringle. Go to the markets and buy homemade jams, chutneys and pickles.

Share the love

Concentrate on the free pleasures of Christmas – making memories and having fun with the family. Make gingerbread men and shortbread.

Make it fun not perfect

Don’t go over the top and get obsessed over doing it all.

Take some tech-free time

(That’s almost unheard of these days!)

Don’t over pack your schedule

Be sure to keep some ‘you time’ on the holiday agenda. Treat yourself to a massage or simply a quiet walk. Don’t over-schedule your time and take on more than you can manage.

Eat breakfast before your coffee hit

Caffeine on an empty stomach can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can make you irritable. Fit in exercise Going for a run or hitting the gym can make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours. Walking has a calming effect on your brain, decreases anxiety and improves sleep.

If you have kids

Take turns with your partner doing kid-duty. Make your own decorations and let the kids be creative.

Summer essentials checklist

  • Has last summer’s sunscreen lost its protection? (Check the use-by date)
  • Have all of your family members got enough medication to last the holiday period?
  • Are the kids’ sunnies actually up to UV protection standards? (Check with your Optometrist)
  • Do you have a water bottle for every family member?
  • Who has the coolest hat or cap in the family? (You all need one)
  • Do you have a home, car and backpack first aid kit?
  • Have you a note of any critical allergies and family blood types in the first aid kit?
  • Check your torch batteries and pack a few extras.
  • Pack band-aids, disinfecting wipes, antibiotic cream, insect repellent and a sting treatment.
  • Pack ear drops in case of Swimmer’s Ear. (Discuss with your pharmacist)
  • Instant ice packs or gel packs are also handy