CarePlus Pharmacy is urging people to take extra care of their health and wellbeing as the countdown to Christmas begins. The network of franchised pharmacies has more than 60 outlets across Ireland and its members are busy at this time of year in particular, as seasonal viruses and illnesses take hold.
CarePlus pharmacist in Dublin’s Templeogue, Cormac Spooner, says we need to remember it’s a very busy time of year: “We often hear customers say they were so looking forward to a Christmas break, but when they finally got the chance to stop running around, they were hit with one of the many bugs that are circulating. There is so much to do to get ready for Christmas and it’s a shame when you’re so exhausted and under the weather you can’t enjoy the social side afterwards - particularly on the first Christmas in a while when we haven’t been under significant pandemic restrictions”.
Cormac shared these 5 tips to help us get to the big day and beyond in good health:
This is a fundamental one for your health. Getting 7 - 9 hours a night now will help your body to rest and repair as much as possible. There’s a good chance the sofa naps and late nights will confuse your body clock over Christmas, so try to be kind to it now. If you struggle to get a restful night’s sleep, have a chat to your CarePlus pharmacist to see if we have any over-the-counter remedies that can help.
Another vital factor, particularly when you’re on the go a lot in the coming weeks. Getting an adequate amount of water (experts recommend 8 glasses a day for adults) will keep your body and mind sharp when you’re checking that shopping list twice.
This is another area that can slip when we’re very busy. Coffee and a pastry might seem like all you can fit in before a shopping trip but you’re risking an energy crash later on. Bring healthy snacks like fruit and nuts for when you’re on the go and plan your meals so you don’t have to think too much when you get home. You can always have a chat with your CarePlus pharmacist about any multivitamin supplements or probiotic options that might help support your diet in the longer term.
We’ve come a long way in understanding the importance of hygiene in recent years. To help stay healthy into Christmas and beyond, we need to maintain good habits around hand washing and sanitising, coughing, or sneezing into our elbows, carefully disposing of used tissues, and keeping our distance if we’re unwell.
Don’t assume the flu is ‘no big deal’ - for many people in Ireland every year, it’s a very serious threat and it’s worth considering vaccines for everyone in the family. The HSE offers free flu vaccines to those aged 65 and over, younger adults in at-risk groups, and all children aged 2 years - 18 years. For children the vaccine takes the form of a nasal spray so there are no needles required. The same goes for Covid jabs - if you’re eligible for a booster, don’t let that slide - it’s vital we keep the programme up to date”
Ultimately Cormac says, sometimes catching some seasonal germs can be unavoidable: “Thankfully a lot of these kinds of illnesses can be treated with over-the-counter remedies so if you do feel under the weather don’t be afraid to give your local community pharmacist or your GP a call to discuss your symptoms and what is the best treatment for you”.