The Christmas period is an exciting time; visiting Christmas markets, decorations, drinks, food, family and parties, not to mention the gifts! December is always an excuse for many people to indulge and let loose.
However, many people do not stop and think about the effects that Christmas has on their mental and physical health, and how it can affect others.
Consider the amount of food you will consume over the holidays.
Many people organise to attend work Christmas parties, family gatherings and many people have the Christmas period off from work, leading to an increase of meeting up with friends and family. All of these generally involve eating and drinking.
Christmas is traditionally a time for overindulgence which will have a negative effect on your body and put pressure on you to outweigh the damage in January.
Overeating can cause symptoms of bloating, tiredness, nausea, dehydration, digestive issues and restlessness (which may affect your sleeping). Not to mention the permanent health issues this can lead to.
On average, a person can gain up to 6lb of weight over the Christmas period.
To help, you could consider:
- Planning ahead – researching the menus beforehand will allow you to make informed, healthier choices and not choose by impulse.
- Have a healthy snack before heading out so you won’t over order from the menu.
- Opt for lower in fat food options which will enable you to still have fun and limit the effect on your body.
- Increase or introduce exercise into your routine. This can help offset some of the damage drink and alcohol will do.
- Don’t overdo it on Christmas Day – on average we consumer over 6,000 calories on one day alone, over 3 times the daily recommended amount.
Consider the amount of alcohol you will consume over the holidays.
An excessive amount of alcohol is usually consumed over the Christmas period and, to no one’s surprise, can have a huge detrimental effect to both our physical and mental health.
The obvious effects to your body whilst drinking alcohol are:
- To your brain and nervous system – alcohol affects the part of your brain associated with judgement and decision making, causing you to be more reckless and uninhibited.
- Excessive alcohol will also affect your reaction times and your coordination which can increase the chance of an accident.
- A high level of alcohol has a depressant effect on both your mind and body, which makes you drowsy.
- Upset to your digestion, leading to symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and indigestion.
To limit the effects of Alcohol you could consider:
- Drink plenty of water. Alcohol dehydrates your body and this makes you feel terrible the next morning. Drinking water between drinks can help.
- Eat before you drink. Not only will this ensure you don’t embarrass yourself, but drinking on an empty stomach can be dangerous for your health.
- Keep to one type of alcoholic drink – mixing your drinks can make you sick and have a damaging effect on your health.
- Pace yourself – one drink at a time. Avoid drinking in rounds and topping up drinks, as it becomes difficult to keep track of how much you’ve had to drink.
- Opt for lighter options – there are plenty of lower alcohol alternatives available to help you reduce alcohol intake and help pace yourself.
- Keep active – Exercise can help reduce the feelings of depression that is often associated with excessive drinking, and can help keep your body and mind healthy in-between celebrating.
And it’s not only yourselves that alcohol can have an effect on.
Nurses working in A&E and minor injury units can expect busy shifts over the festive season, with up to 70% of attendances being alcohol related.
According to NHS Choices, more than 80,000 people a year need hospital treatment for Christmas-related injuries such as falls, cuts and burns.
The police also report that there are one-third more incidents of domestic assault on Christmas Day than the daily average, as pressures lead to conflict and then violence. These situations are generally fuelled by alcohol.
We experience an increase of 37% in Divorce matters after the Christmas period as a result of rising stress and pressure over the holidays, of which alcohol could make worse.
Excessive drinking and over eating over the Christmas period can have major effects on your health and home life, and those with busy schedules in December should plan ahead and prepare to limit the effects.
Anyone who is seeking Family Law advice can contact our new enquiry team and find out how we can help by calling 0114 204 4616 or emailing [email protected]
If you would like to keep up to date with the news from Howells Solicitors, receive exclusive offers and free legal advice, sign to our mailing list here.