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How to survive the festive season of Christmas (in strange times)

by Laura Palmer

‘tis the season to be: jolly glad to have got through 2020? The festive season is closing in after one of the most extraordinary years anyone can remember. Christmas parties and big, extended family gatherings may be cancelled, but we hope you’re still able to celebrate with those that matter to you.

A Covid-19 Christmas will be different to a ‘normal’ one in many ways. However, we suspect the usual stresses this time of year can bring will still be there. Our gift to you is some health tips and vitamin patch suggestions that will keep you feeling well and at your best – all important for ensuring your Christmas runs smoothly. We’d also recommend reading this excellent blog by Dr Rangan Chatterjee before the big day, with some great ideas on how to reduce seasonal stress.

1. Hangover free Christmas drinks

Who can resist a glass of champagne while cooking Christmas lunch? While the official advice is we shouldn’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week, after the pressures of 2020, we all need a very merry Christmas… the key is to be prepared.

Try to eat something substantial before drinking. Alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water to prevent dehydration – the main culprit behind those killer hangovers. Another tip is to use smaller glasses to drink from and avoid free pouring spirits – always dangerous! If possible, spread your drinking out, to give your body a chance to recuperate. Pledge not to drink on certain days and stick to it. Get creative with the mocktails so you have an appealing alcohol-free alternative at hand.

Patch power:

Our secret to dodging that ‘morning after’ feeling is hangover patches. An excellent preventative if you are planning on having a few drinks. Remember to slap one of our Hangover Plus Patches on before you have any alcohol. Then drink a large glass of water before bed. While you sleep, the blend of milk thistle extract, ginger root, alpha lipoic acid and pantetheine will do their thing, supporting your liver and detox pathways and lessening your hangover. Cheers!

2. Next day detox:

If you do have one too many, try and get some extra sleep and rehydrate with lots of water.  If you can face food, eggs are a great call. They are rich in cysteine, an amino acid your body uses to make the antioxidant glutathione (which helps your body breakdown toxins). Bananas will top up lost electrolytes, such as potassium. Another good choice would be tomatoes, because they contain compounds that protect against liver injury.

You should also check out our range of Detox Vitamin Patches. They are full of the vitamins and minerals you may be lacking if you’re run down, or have eaten or drunk too much over Christmas. The patch works by boosting the body’s natural detox pathways and will help to keep you feeling healthy. It will also prevent toxin related illnesses and even keep the signs of premature aging at bay – a Christmas must-have for sure.

3. Food for thought

It’s not just extra booze that can play havoc with our lifestyles at this time of year. What’s on the menu at Christmas isn’t always healthy. So it’s no surprise many of us will gain 1kg (roughly 2lbs) over the festive period.

Being too restrictive with your diet in December is no fun, but there are some techniques to ensure you don’t overindulge. Try dividing your plate and fill one half with whatever you fancy and the other with dark green leafy vegetables. The greens will fill you up, have a low-calorie content and provide a chemical signal to your body that ensures your immune system functions fully – green goodness at it’s best.

Healthy festive favourites:

There are some Christmas treats you can load up on: Brussel sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and fibre, while nuts are packed with potassium, iron, zinc, B vitamins, folate and vitamin E (as well as being full of heart friendly monounsaturated fats). You can feel free to enjoy dried figs and dates too, they  provide potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium.

4. Bridge the vitamin gap

If you haven’t been able to stick to a sensible diet, our multivitamin patches are an excellent way to plug the gap until the New Year. We’d recommend the Multivitamin Plus Patch. It contains many of the vitamins and minerals you might be missing out on if you’ve embraced the mince pie and roast potato diet!

A splurge at Christmas could be your last hurrah before knuckling down to a more sensible nutrition regime next year. If this is top of your resolution list, consulting a nutritionist could help you plan a diet that suits your health needs.  We’d highly recommend a chat with Katherine Caris-Harris, who is highly skilled in managing everything from IBS, to hormonal issues through nutrition.


5. The gift of Vitamin D

Top of our Christmas list is vitamin D! Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, our skin produces vitamin D in response to sunlight. However in the UK in winter, it’s impossible to get the Vitamin D you need from going outside. Even in summer months we need our trunks (not just face and limbs) exposed for at least 10 minutes at midday. So we’ve got no chance at the moment when we’re bundled up.

Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth, because it regulates calcium and phosphorus in the body. It also plays a key role in the functioning of the immune system and taking vitamin D can reduce your risk of catching the flu and how severely you’ll get it. There’s recently been a lot of press around how regular supplementation may also lessen the impact of Covid-19.

Supplement the superior way:

Our Vitamin D Patch is a great way to boost your levels and superior to traditional oral vitamin supplements, because all the good stuff gets into your body via your skin. Dermal delivery is a more efficient method of vitamin absorption because it bypasses the stomach and liver. So more nutrient compounds enter your bloodstream and an increased amount is available for your body to use where it needs it.

6. Winter walks

Heading outside right now won’t increase your vitamin D levels, but that’s not to say there’s not a whole range of other benefits to be had. Research has shown that the photosensitive cells in the eye directly affect the brain’s hypothalamus. The hypothalamus controls our biological clock and regulates the nervous and hormonal systems. This means that exposing your eyes to sunlight will improve your mood, help you sleep better, up your energy levels and even increase mental sharpness and cognition.

Getting outdoors is also an easy method of maintaining some kind of exercise routine throughout the Christmas break. There’s nothing like a brisk winter walk. Just an hour-long stroll will burn between 300 and 400 calories, depending on your pace, the perfect way to counterbalance those extra Christmas calories.