DRANK too much at the Christmas party? Can't seem to shift the sniffles?

Follow our guide to surviving seasonal ills: 


Problem: Overdone it on the turkey, stuffing, mash, chocolate log, cheese and those few mince pies you nibbled on? If you're feeling bloated or have any discomfort in your chest or stomach, it's most likely due to indigestion. 

What to do: Indigestion is caused by acid reflux, when the acid in your stomach escapes into your digestive system.

The best way to reduce symptoms is by taking over-the-counter antacids like Maalox, which neutralise the acid. Eating slowly will also help. If you have indigestion frequently, you should see your doctor as it might be due to a more serious health problem. 


Problem: It's been one Christmas party after another, and all those vodka-tonics have finally caught up with you.

If you seem to have a permanently sore head and a constant ringing in your ears, don't think the hair of the dog is going to help one bit. 

What to do: Most hangover symptoms are caused by dehydration, as alcohol is a diuretic. It also eats up the body's store of vitamins and minerals, and reduces blood sugar levels - which might explain the throbbing headache.

Water, and lots of it, is the best cure. In fact, following every alcoholic drink on a night out with a glass of water is said to help stave off a hangover. But if you're still suffering the next day, a thin veggie-based broth (with bouillon) should help to replace your body's lost vitamins and minerals. 


Problem: The brand new little black dress does look lovely, but after going out in it without your woolly scarf and hat, its no surprise you're now feeling under the weather. If you're coughing and spluttering and stuck in bed, you'll wish you'd followed some simple advice on how to tackle the flu. 

What to do: Rest up at home by keeping warm under duvets and taking paracetamol, or Ibuprofen, which will relieve the symptoms Drink plenty of water and herbal teas to flush out your system, and avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee as they'll just make you more dehydrated. A good quality tissue can kill 99.9% of all cold and flu viruses in the tissue, reducing your chances of spreading your cold - or catching it from a friend. A honey and lemon lozenge like which contains anaesthetic and antiseptic, will soothe pain and fight infection. 


Problem: Brand new stilettos and a tipsy night could have your feet in agony.

Blisters, swollen toes and even a sprained ankle could be yours for the taking, so take some precautions and learn how to dance the night away safely - ideally in flats. 

What to do: If high heels are a must, banish the pain when you get home by using an ice pack of ice cubes wrapped in a towel, to reduce swelling and pain.

Try elevating your feet by putting a pillow under them (even while you sleep) to help reduce inflammation. If you're still sore the next day, indulge in a soothing foot spa.


Problem: If make-up is a must and you've been wearing more than normal to all the seasonal parties, you might find that your skin feels tight, dry and stretched.

It could also be the weather - the cold air outside and central heating inside play havoc with the body's natural oils. Sometimes it can even cause little white patches of dead skin around the nose and chin. 

What to do: Drink water - and herbal teas - to help keep the body rehydrated. Coffee and black tea tend to dry out the skin, so keep those to a minimum. Wash with warm - not hot - water when you bathe, as hot water extracts moisture from the skin. Always wash off any make-up at night and use a good moisturiser. Apply when the skin is still damp to maximise your skin's moisture potential. 


Problem: No more mistletoe for you, now that big red cold sore has appeared on the edge of your lip. Picking it will only make it worse, so avoid touching it if you can. They're also very contagious - so remember to steer clear of anyone else with one. 

What to do: Warm compresses can ease the discomfort, but the best way for you to get rid of a cold sore is to use an over-the-counter cream or medication.

Dab it on instead of rubbing it, and be sure to wash your hands before and after to limit the spread of the outbreak.

Cold sores can also be caused by herpes, so if you get recurring cold sores, you should see your GP. There might be a bigger health problem involved.