The run-up to the festive season is now well and truly underway. It’s a fun, but undeniably busy and tiring time for many of us – and even more so for the millions of people who are juggling the long Christmas ‘to do’ list with managing a long-term health condition, recovering from an operation or undergoing treatment for a health problem such as cancer.
There is little you can do to prevent the hustle and bustle over the Christmas period, but there are things you can do to take control of your health and increase your confidence in managing your condition. We’ve asked our experts at London Medical Concierge for their expert guidance on managing your health and wellbeing over the festive period:
- In the run-up to Christmas, make sure you have a good supply of medicines to last well over the Christmas period and into the New Year. If you don’t plan ahead, you could find it difficult to get a repeat prescription as GP surgeries will not be opening during the usual hours. If you run out of medication it could lead to an avoidable deterioration in your condition and mean that you need to call for urgent help.
- The social pressures of Christmas can create even more stress for people who are feeling under par, as changes to your usual routine may make you feel out of control and lead to you feeling unwell. Unfortunately, the cold winter weather at this time of year can also make symptoms such as breathlessness worse for some patients. If you have a long-term breathing condition such as COPD you should discuss this with a health professional so you can take steps to prevent the cold weather making you unwell.
- We all like to have additional treats and enjoy things we might not usually indulge in over the festive period and there is no reason why you shouldn’t do that just because you have a long-term condition or you’re undergoing treatment. However, having these things in a measured amount and not necessarily all on the same day will allow you to enjoy them without it making you feel bloated, tired and possibly unwell. If you have diabetes the change from your normal routine of meals can impact on your blood sugar levels and so you should take a measured approach to what and when you eat, and monitor it in your usual way.
- It’s important to talk to one or two close friends or relatives about what to do if they see signs you are becoming unwell (your “emergency plan”), what to do should this happen and any vital contact or medication details. This will ensure others are looking out for you and will also make it easier for them to manage as you will have given them the information they need to be able to deal with it calmly and appropriately.
- It’s very important to let yourself enjoy the festivities, but also to know when you need to take a break – and make sure that your guests or hosts are aware of that. If you need to have a rest after lunch or don’t feel up to a winter walk, then do listen to your body and rest when you need to.