1. Don’t try and do everything. If you are responsible for cooking and hosting the Christmas Day activities, then don’t take it all upon yourself. Why not ask other family members to bring different parts of the meal, such as snacks, salads or desserts – don’t be afraid to ask for help. You could even rope in the kids to help out. Make sure you have some time for YOU, even if it's just allowing yourself to watch one special TV show that you really want to see.
2. Don’t sit down all day. We know every Christmas special under the sun will be showing on the TV, but you don’t need to plonk yourself on the sofa all day! Encourage the whole family to get out for a walk at some point – ideally, after dinner to aid digestion.
3. Keep colds at bay. Colds are rife at Christmas, partly because many of us travel around the country, exposing ourselves – and others – to different cold viruses. Minimize your risks by maintaining a healthy immune system (eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and not smoking will help), so you are more able to fight off any viruses.
4. Everything in moderation. Christmas seems to be all about excess – but there is not much enjoyment in feeling the size of a padded Santa suit or as stuffed as the festive turkey! The best advice is moderation – apply it to everything you eat and drink. Drink moderate amounts of alcohol and try to alternate soft drinks or water with alcoholic ones. As for food, have a bit of what you fancy but try not to stuff your face if you can help it!
5. Rehydrate. If you have overdone it on the alcohol, then it is important to get yourself back on an even keel. Even if you have been good, taking our advice consuming non-alcoholic drinks in between – the chances are you could still be feeling pretty rough. Don’t just sit there feeling ill – get up and drink plenty of water to help your liver recover and eventually remove the hangover.
6. Get active the morning after. A brisk walk, light jog or swim will help work off those extra roast potatoes and all those second helpings you may have had. Getting active will also help you feel normal again, dispel any festive cabin fever and help repair some of the damage you have done to yourself.
7. Sleep. Sleeping is the time when our bodies recover from the excesses of life. Drinking and eating too much can severely affect our sleep patterns, as can the frequent late nights that are a regular occurrence during the festive period. Over Christmas and New Year, many people are sleep-starved leaving them not fit for much after a few late nights, let alone being the life and soul of the party. Therefore, make sure you get some quality sleep – even if it is just a few hours.
8. Don’t over-inflate your expectations. Don’t expect to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas as it’s near likely to fall short of your expectations. The most important thing is for you and your family to have fun. That does not mean landing yourself in debt for the next 12 months by buying expensive gifts – just spending a bit of time together can be the best present. Remember, if something does not go quite to plan, it really is not the end of the world.