health

6 tips to help you get through the silly season in one piece.

Check out these tips to stay happy and healthy this silly season.

Hey you. Yeah, you.

We need to talk about your Merry Christmas being that little bit too merry.

Because – let’s face it – there is literally no other time of year where Aussies get so crazy with the alcohol. As soon it hits the first of December, it immediately becomes socially acceptable to:

– Introduce alcohol to every social outing, whether it be a casual lunch with friends or a playdate at the park (yeah, this actually happened last weekend to a mum I know),

– Crack open a drink before it’s even 10am – and consume a great deal of them before the sun sets, especially if the cricket is on,

– Get wasted at work drinks and try to make out with Josh from Marketing (Christmas party, anyone?) and

– Drink to excess most nights of the week – because it’s Christmas and you’re treating yourself.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Medibank 24/7 Health Advice Line. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

I’m not saying that nobody should drink over Christmas time (have you met me?! Pass me a champers already). But I am saying that even for the most reasonable of drinkers, any consideration of alcohol intake tends to go out the window when it gets to the festive season. Logic and reason disappears into the black hole of deliciousness that is made up of champagne, Baileys and cocktails. And turkey.

Because most of us have had one of those ‘a little too merry’ Merry Christmas season’s.

This wouldn’t be such a worry if it wasn’t for the stats – particularly those surrounding Gen Y. New research from the Medibank 24/7 Health Advice Line has highlighted some leading health concerns for Australians during the festive months. Among these concerns? Significant weight gain, food poisoning and… alcohol poisoning.

Interestingly, men think they’re twice as likely to get alcohol poisoning than women. And those of you in NSW, Victoria and Tassie are in more trouble than others – residents of those states are more likely to get alcohol poisoning than the rest of the country.

There is some good news for the baby boomers out there. Four out of five of you will make it through to January without any health troubles at all. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for 44 per cent of Gen Y, who suffer some kind of ailment at one point. (I suspect that may have something to do with Gen Y tending to consume their body weight in beer at the pub over the Christmas holidays.)

So here are my safe drinking tips for getting through the next few weeks in one piece, and staying relatively happy and healthy:

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1. Drink smart.

Be aware of what makes up a standard drink and know how many of them you can typically handle. Drink water and keep hydralites on hand at home so that you avoid getting dehydrated.

2. If you’re watching calories, make sure you remember that drinks make up calories too – not just food.

Count accordingly; a standard rum and coke can be as many as 250 calories, whereas a vodka and soda is about 64.

3. Don’t get caught up in being pressured to drink by other people if you just don’t feel like it.

Use excuses if you need to – tell them that you’re driving or that you’re recovering from sickness. Alternatively, drink mocktails or plain juices or soft drinks that *look* like they’re alcoholic drinks but are actually completely harmless.

‘There’s no need to drink to excess – after all, Christmas is all about spending time with your most-loved ones.’

4. Make sure you’re always drinking on a full stomach.

Carbs and protein are good for filling you up. Try to avoid too much of the candy canes and go for the fresh ham and bread instead.

5. Remember that there’s no need to drink to excess.

… After all, Christmas is all about spending time with your most-loved ones, not about playing a game of who-can-get-the-most-drunk-and-not-remember-anything-the-next-day. You don’t want to be that person who’s passed out on the couch by 8pm or, worse, is making some kind of scene because they enjoyed one too many bourbons. Drink enough to have fun, but stop once you feel yourself getting too tipsy.

6. Listen to your body.

If it’s unhappy, take a break from boozing it up. You can absolutely have fun without drinking and there are so many delicious options out there these days that you don’t absolutely need to have a wine in order to enjoy your Christmas. I’m currently loving Charlie’s white peach and passionfruit juice – I make ice cubes with raspberries frozen inside to add to the juice and it’s absolutely delicious.

How are you staying happy and healthy this festive season? Got any other safe drinking tips?

Members with Medibank hospital cover can call a Medibank nurse with any health questions, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Medibank nurses complement the care given by GPs and other health professionals so consumers can trust they’ll deliver sound advice, and answer most questions. For parents or teens who want to talk about weight issues confidentially with a trusted medical professional, all Medibank members with hospital cover can speak to a qualified nurse at any time of the day or night on the Medibank 24/7 Health Advice Line.

If Medibank nurses think a GP should be seen, they can use their clinical knowledge to call the preferred GP clinic and explain the condition to assist getting you an appointment.

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