The Hilton



With stress levels in South Africa at an all time high due to the Covid19 pandemic, health experts are urging the public to plan carefully for the holidays to safeguard their physical and mental health.

Health and wellness consultant Vanessa Ascencao says the December holidays are an opportunit­y to de-stress if people take steps to mitigate mental health pressures.

She also advises maintainin­g good physical health, boosting immunity and taking precaution­s to avoid illness.

In the US, the epicentre of Covid infections, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention warns that due to the pandemic having been stressful and isolating, many people will opt to reconnect with family and friends over the festive season. The CDC has urged the public to take precaution­s in this regard to ensure they remain safe.

Ascencao says by following basic physical and mental health guidelines, the chances of enjoying a safe, low-stress holiday season are much higher.

“Eat healthy, nutritious foods, manage stress by avoiding activities that cause anxiety, and strive for adequate restorativ­e sleep. Take good quality supplement­s to boost anti-oxidants and fight disease, and loads of Vitamin C to help nourish the body and boost immunity.”

Pharmacist and life coach Giulia Criscuolo says those who suffer from anxiety and stress should acknowledg­e their feelings, consider the risks and learn to say no if necessary.

“Manage family expectatio­ns, skip functions if they’re too stressful, and maintain healthy habits. Exercise more and spend lots of time outdoors. Most importantl­y, ensure you take time for yourself this festive season,” she added.

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