From Melbourne to Darwin and from Perth to Brisbane, any way you slice it, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.
After several months of COVID-19 lockdown, this holiday season will have plenty of excitement from visiting family and friends, a barrage of dinners and drinks, lots of travelling, camping and much more.
But Christmas can also be anything but merry: there’s the possibility of overindulgence, stress from preparation and planning, loneliness, sad memories and other common holiday pitfalls that can lead to many health issues.
Our doctors from GPs on Curzon have outlined 5 common holiday pitfalls that can be avoided and effectively managed to keep you and your loved ones healthy during Christmas.
Overindulging in food
Overindulging in food and drinks is the mother of all bad holiday habits, but it also goes hand in hand with holiday festivities.
Big dinners and lunches often overload you, potentially leading to indigestion, stomach ache and bloating.
There can be other serious health concerns with binge eating. You can gain a lot of weight during a short period of time (like for instance) during the Christmas season.
The best way to deal with this and still enjoy your food is by eating often but in smaller portions. Your ideal dinner during holidays can include plenty of salads and vegetables, lean protein like chicken, turkey or fish and avoiding an excess of drinks and fried foods.
This guide on Festive Season Survival Tip can help you plan a healthier Christmas dinnerÂ this year.
Binge drinking during holidays is very common. Especially with a summer Christmas, the excitement and fun with drinks play a big role in Australia.
However, consuming too much alcohol during a short period of time comes with many health issues. It can have both short and long term effects on your health.
The human liver is capable of metabolizing one standard drink in 1 hr, anything beyond that, our system becomes saturated and leaves us intoxicated. Binge drinking can lead to health issues like liver fibrosis, alcohol addiction, stroke and irregular heartbeats.
The easiest way out is knowing your alcohol limits. Avoid driving after alcohol consumption and drink plenty of water before and after alcohol consumption.
With several family and work commitments, social engagement, preparation and planning, the holiday period can be stressful.
Unchecked stress can lead to increased risk to depression and anxiety, sleeping disorders, loss of appetite, mood swings and poor concentration.
The best way to remain at the top of your mental health is to plan and prepare for everything beforehand, take rest, get some physical exercise and get some good sleep. Remember – you can say “no” some events as well!
With the hustle and bustle during the holiday, season accidents are common due to negligence.
The number of road accidents and household accidents are higher during Christmas. According to the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Infrastructure and Cities, December is the worst month of the year in Australia for road trauma since 1989.
Be careful on handling household equipment, avoid doing things that you’re not trained to do, read safety manuals thoroughly, seek assistance from friends and family when using a new device and above all don’t drink and drive.
In case of an accident, contact emergency services immediately.
Increased heart-attack risks
During Christmas, the risk for a heart attack is higher due to a combination of factors like stress, lack of sleep, overeating and drinking. A publication from the University of Melbourne says that there is an increased risk of heart-related deaths over the Christmas period.
The best way to reduce your risk is to check on your food and alcohol intake, manage stress and remain physically active.
In case you notice any symptoms, inform your doctors immediately.
Stay healthy this Christmas with GPs on Curzon
If you would like to speak to or see our doctors with any health concerns then get in touch. Our practice will be closed the Public Holidays only (25th to the 28th of December inclusive and from the 1st to 2nd of January).