It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – quite literally EVERYWHERE you go. It’s a beautiful time of year. It’s a time for spending with family, friends and loved ones, eating the most wonderful food and watching traditional films. But it’s also a time of year when the largest number of germs are circulating, and you have to watch your health.

SO many people look forward to the holiday season months in advance, and then end up ill on the sofa throughout the festivities. The unfortunate truth is that Winter is the time when bugs and germs circulate more than ever, and when we finally relax and let our guards down at Christmas, that’s when they hit us the most.

Today, we’re going to explore how you can stay healthy over the holiday period, and avoid missing out on the Yuletide.

Take Time Out for Self-Care

It doesn’t matter whether your version of self-care is seeing a playa vista therapist, or going for a long walk in the fresh air. Just make sure that whatever it is, you take time out to do it.

The fact of the matter is, no matter how lovely Christmas and all of its socialising is, it’s a LOT to handle – especially if you’re not used to it. It might be the season for goodwill and giving, but remember that you have to look after yourself too.

We’re all rushed off our feet. We’re working harder than ever as the year draws to a close, rushing around buying gifts for those we love the most and planning our social calendars to make sure we don’t miss anyone this December. Stress, however, is bad for the body and will make you more susceptible to catching the flu – so take time to look after yourself, and to destress thoroughly.

Some great ways of destressing include having a long hot lavender bath – as it’s proven to have a profound effect on anxiety – having an early night, practicing mindfulness, going to the gym, reading a book, or even speaking with a friend or therapist about what it is that’s stressing you the most. After all, a problem shared, is a problem halved.

Consume Anti-Oxidants, Vitamins and Minerals

Now, no one is saying go out to your nearest store and buy all manner of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals in tablet form. Although these can be found in multi-vitamins which cause no harm, the best way of ingesting them is without a doubt, through food and drink.

For example, did you know that ginger, lemon, garlic and onion have antibacterial qualities? Something as small as drinking a ginger and lemon tea on a morning, or incorporating garlic and ginger into your dinner on an evening could be the difference between you coming down with the flu, and your body finding the strength to fight against it.

Likewise, vitamin C is a great way of keeping the bodies strength up – which we’re sure you’ll know, oranges are packed with. Fruits and vegetables are a great way of filling your body with nutrients, so stock up for December!

Stay Hydrated

We know, at Christmas time it can be extremely tempting to drink port, brandy, bubbly and little else – but you must stay hydrated to keep your system running healthily – and what better way to do that, than by drinking plenty of water?

After all our bodies are made up of what, 70% water? With that in mind, it’s no wonder that they function better when our bodies are filled with it!

This time of year is renowned not only for being one rife with germs in the air, but also where people are tired and lacking motivation. A lot of people turn to caffeine as the answer to their problems, when really, they should be focussing on staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water, and you’ll reap the benefits.

Exercise Your Right to say No

Last of all but certainly not least, exercise your right to say no to things you don’t want to do.

We know, it’s a lot of pressure to be social over the festive season, but if you don’t want to go, and are feeling a little tired or run down and need some self-care, then simply say no. You don’t have to feel bad or make excuses. Friends and family will understand that it’s a stressful time of year, and you need time to wind down.

After all, if you can’t “catch up” any other time of the year, are they really worth getting tired for?