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Responsible Summer Self-Care

Responsible Summer Self-Care

With the festive season upon us and the summer holiday in full swing for many, it is easy to forget that self-care doesn’t end when December begins. Overindulging and spending hours lazing in the sun can impact all the hard work you have put into keeping healthy and fit throughout the previous months.

“Be prepared and keep safe throughout this festive season by keeping a watchful eye on your health and habits and implement these four steps to taking care 24/7 – not only during the festive season, but throughout the year,” says Allison Vienings, Executive Director of the Self-Medication Manufacturers Association of South Africa (SMASA).

1. Safe summer sun

Whether on the beach or at home in the pool, make sure you keep your skin protected against the harsh summer sun. Try to avoid staying out in the sun between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are at its harshest.1 Wide-rimmed hats and wearing sunglasses are ideal to protect your face. Apply sunscreen well in advance before stepping out and use sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect yourself against UVB or Ultraviolet B (the sun’s shortwave ray). 2 Take care of your skin from within by making the following foods part of your diet – bell peppers, watermelon and pomegranate. 3 Research has found that Vitamins C and E can help protect against sun damage by speeding up the skin’s natural repair system and preventing further damage. 4

2. Say no to food overdose

It’s hard to say no to all the delicious treats that may surround you and sticking to portion control. However, overindulging not only affects how you look on the outside but how you feel on the inside. Consuming large amounts of rich foods, sweets and alcohol puts strain on the liver and digestive system which has to process and eliminate toxins.5 If your digestive system and intestinal function has taken a knock or you would like to keep it on track, probiotics can help and can be consumed in the form of yoghurt or taken as a capsule. 6

3. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water not only ensures that you stay hydrated, but also helps to suppress your appetite, which in turn may reduce the chances of putting on extra weight. Symptoms of dehydration can include feeling exhausted and lightheaded. Dehydration puts you at risk of contracting heatstroke. 7

4. First aid kit on the go

Don’t consider the idea of having a first aid kit on hand during your holiday outings as outdated. With children being highly energetic and active, accidents can easily occur and a first aid kit is ideal for minor cuts and injuries. Make sure you have the following in your kit – plasters, distilled water for cleaning wounds, cotton swabs and cotton balls, disposable sterile gloves, anti-itch cream or lotion for insect bites, antiseptic spray or lotion to clean cuts, and bandages, lotion or ointment for burns.

If you find yourself mostly indoors and at home during this festive season, make sure your medicine cabinet is up-to-date. Visit http://selfcare247.co.za/international-self-care-day/2013-2/ for your medicine cabinet checklist.

1. http://www.drfranklipman.com/summer-skin-care-your-guide-to-seasonal-skin-care/
2. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/sunscreens-explained
3. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/1-10001-5/5-foods-to-help-protect-against-sun-damage.html
4. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/beauty-skin-care-vitamins-antioxidants
5. http://www.epicureantable.com/articles/aindulged.htm
6. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264721.php
7. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/06/22/hydration.water.glasses/