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Health & Beauty


I


t’s Christmas time. Again. At some point this will become, to most of us, a little like Groundhog day. Just as Bill Murray repeats everyday until he gets it right emotionally we may be repeating the same Christmas over and over again, both the good parts and the bad.


Chris Rea is still driving home for Christmas, Noddy Holder is still beseeching us to have fun and Bing Crosby is forever crooning about snow in the back of a sleigh on the back lot of Paramount pictures. The same routines and rituals are acted out in houses up and down the land.


The same meal is prepared and eaten at the same time.


The same amount of food is left over forcing us to eat turkey until we beg for mercy.


The same mistakes are made in the minefield of gift


giving. Our offspring can’t wait for the shops to open so they can exchange the presents we thought were perfect.


Emotions run high with the expectations


of perfection and the day falling far short of the mark. But we go through it every year even if at the end of the festivities we swear never to do it again as we collapse on the sofa with exhaustion and a box of chocolates. It’s tradition. We like routine from the moment we are


at this point but beware familiarity can indeed breed contempt if you are not careful.


When it comes to your health you may also be suffering from Groundhogitis. Throughout the years you have eaten the same foods; done the same exercises (or not); you have used the same toothpaste for the past decade and know there is something not quite right with your prescription glasses but never get around to doing anything about it.


I know I sound like a mix of


born. We like knowing what is coming next. Just like Bill we can cope with or adapt to anything if we know what is round the corner. Imagine if we learnt from our mistakes instead of repeating them. Trying to be kinder, more tolerant and less judgemental are not the acts of a saint but of a normal person trying to get through the day, not just Christmas day.


If we take this attitude to the rest of our lives maybe we would feel better, have more fun and truly want to revisit the Christmases just like the ones we used to know.


There is nothing wrong with shaking up traditions a little bit. Adding a new dish to the menu or including some different guests or having a themed tree and leaving the hand made ornaments the children made from bits of old pasta firmly in the box for once will stop you feeling stale and bored with the whole thing. I know I sound like a mix of Scrooge and the Grinch


Scrooge and the Grinch at this point but beware familiarity can indeed breed contempt if you are not careful


As the years past, faster and faster according to some, “d’un certain age”, your body needs regular maintenance and tune-ups. It is fine to have favourite foods but you may very well be lacking in a much- needed vitamin or mineral that you never ingest. Part of being a grown-up is not having anyone to tell you to eat your greens but you do it anyway! Your needs change as you age, more calcium to prop up those crumbling bones, more vitamins for healthy eyes and joint mobility. How many of us have thrown packets of un-used supplements away because we are too lazy to take them or they reach their use by date before we use them? Find one multi-vitamin that ticks all your particular boxes and keep the bottle next to the tea bags for a better success rate


Teeth and eyes go down hill faster than an Olympic skier so set regular appointments; as soon as something feels ‘off piste’ in between check-ups make the call and get it sorted.


New products for every area of the body flood the market daily and it becomes tiresome to keep up, I know, but keeping a vague eye is well worth it. A better paste/floss/mouthwash may be out there


that would extend the life of your teeth if you used them. Remember if you don’t use it you lose it, so do do some exercise and this will keep to a minimum the loud exhaling of breath as you bend to tie your shoe or lift a small child. It is never too late to get mobility and flexibility back if you want to so no excuses are allowed. Brisk walking is free and requires no equipment. There are even DVDs that show you how to


BY ROWENA KITCHEN


MISTLETOE AND WINE


Illustration by Lisa Wyman


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