The “Time to be Merry” is nearly upon us. But have you ever given any thought to how much the whole Christmas season affects you? Tasks like carrying the shopping, packing the car, sleeping in different beds and spending time playing with new toys (big and small) are all on the horizon. And they all stray from your ‘normal’ activities, increasing the stresses your body experiences. Unfortunately, this means you’re less able to fight off infections, too.
So, how on earth are you meant to get through Christmas without any problems? Especially if you’ve suffered with aches and pains before. Well, along with the colder weather we tend to see more people booking in at ChiroPractical. They’re looking to reduce the stresses on their body and feel physically better.
To help you keep your Yuletide Merry, we’ve pulled together 40 tips for Christmas Survival (do let us know which ones made a difference?):
Look After ‘You’:
- Drink plenty of water: it’ll help flush out bugs & toxins, as well as ease any muscle aches.
- Take a look at the 3 minute Straighten Up UK posture exercises.
- Try not to over-indulge: Sugar (and therefore white bread and alcohol) are inflammatory foods, so they’ll make any inflammation worse.
- Spread out the shopping so you don’t have one massive shopping mission.
- But, if you have bought too much, drop the bags off in the car, before carrying on.
- A rucksack is the best bag in any situation – fitting nicely and worn over both shoulders.
- The second best bag is a long-strapped bag worn diagonally across your body.
- Keep shopping bags evenly balanced in both hands.
- Take a break regularly, those coffee shops can be a welcome stop (I like Gingerbread lattes!).
Card-Writing & Present Wrapping
- Get comfy: do your writing/wrapping at the right height.
- Ensure you’ve got enough space.
- Keep your back straight.
- Use a ‘chunky’ pen so you don’t get cramp so easily (we don’t write that much anymore).
- Take a break at least once an hour (Mince pie anyone?)
- Keep bags easy and comfortable to lift by keeping them light (only pack what you need).
- Think about using 2 bags instead of 1.
- Lift with a straight back: use your leg muscles (they’re bigger than your back muscles).
- Face the direction you’re going to lift; you don’t need to injure yourself twisting.
- Keep bending, lifting and twisting as separate movements as much as possible.
- Give yourself a ‘broad base’ (keep your feet wide); you’ll be more stable.
- Make sure what you’re lifting is balanced and not going to roll around or dislodge.
- Carry everything as close to your body as possible.
- Put the lighter stuff in first. Put it down close to you and then push it in.
- Make sure you sleep well. You’re more likely to hurt yourself if you’re tired.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes and loose-fitting clothes (maybe even your Christmas jumper?).
- Allow plenty of time for packing and the journey.
- Don’t forget the sweets! … or un-sugary treats ?
The Car Journey
- Do all your normal car checks beforehand.
- Get in by sitting on the seat and swinging both legs in together. Swing both legs out and then stand up to get out again.
- If you’re driving, get your posture right e.g. seat slightly tilted back, elbows at a relaxed angle with your hands falling naturally on the steering wheel.
- Have a break at least every 2 hours, ideally less than that.
- Passengers can do some simple thigh and buttock clenches, side bends and shoulder, neck and foot circles en route.
- Get a cuppa and go for a walk to loosen up before unloading the car. You’ll need to ‘warm up’ just like you do at the gym to reduce your chance of injury.
- You can’t pack your mattress, but you CAN take your pillow. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes!
- If the bed is too hard you can make it softer by putting another duvet/blanket underneath you. Unfortunately, most spare beds are too soft, and you can’t do much about that.
Presents / Playtime
- Get down to the kids’ level when playing with them, rather than bending over.
- You might find sitting on a cushion more comfortable than the floor.
- Regularly change position.
- Take regular breaks from Tech and Gadgets (shrug your shoulders, stretch your neck and arms).
- Keep a good posture: back straight, head up and looking straight in front of you. Try sitting with your back supported, knees bent up in front and resting the gadget on your knees.
Overall, don’t stress! It’s just one day and it’s simply a time to celebrate and be surrounded by those you love. Everyone will have a fabulous day, whatever happens.
I hope these make a difference to how much you enjoy this time of year – let us know how you survive?
N.B. Who else could benefit from these tips – Pass it on! Or if you’d like to read more from ChiroPractical – sign up for “The Back Page”