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Avoid These 6 Holiday-Time Dangers

Avoid These 6 Holiday-Time Dangers

It may well be the season to be jolly but actually Christmas and New Years come armed with plenty of dangers. Believe it or not, cold weather is responsible for the death rate increasing 20% from December to March.

The seasonal culprits include:

· Traffic accidents

· Cold weather and flu

· Food poisoning

· Accidents around the home

· Burglary

· Alcohol-related accidents

Let’s look at these dangers in more detail, and more importantly, ways to avoid them.

1. Traffic Accidents

There are more people on the roads during the holiday season caused by increased shopping trips and more people on the road journeying to see relatives. Add an increase of drunk drivers, icy conditions and cars not kitted out with winter tires – and you have a sharp increase in traffic accidents.

· Be extra careful – you can’t see black ice.

· Leave extra room between you and driver in front of you.

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· Other sensible drivers are likely to drive slower so don’t get impatient, it could save your life.

· Bring your car in before it gets very frosty and get your tires checked.

By law, you are responsible for your car and will be made liable if you have a traffic accident due to car issues.

2. Cold Weather and Flu

According to research, cold weather-related deaths for this winter are expected at around 40,000 people. This is the highest number in 15 years.

· Maintain an indoor temperature of at least 18°C.

· Don’t leave windows open when you go to bed – this lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke in cold weather.

· Ensure your flu and pneumonia shots are up-to-date.

· Check your central heating – you’ll regret it if it breaks down on Christmas Eve.

· Make sure you have plenty of warm clothes and blankets in case of a power cut or broken boiler.

· If you have an elderly relative or know of an elderly person, do check on them.

3. Food Poisoning

Food poisoning over Christmas is a hazard because many people fail to cook the Christmas turkey properly.

Defrost Your Turkey Properly

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· As a guide, allow 10-12 hours per kilogram to defrost in the fridge.

· FSA (Food Standards Agency) research shows that 69% of people leave their turkey in an unsafe place when defrosting (the garage, the garden shed, or the bath) – don’t be one of them!

· Keep raw meat at the bottom of your fridge – it should be below 5°C.

· Keep it covered with the original packaging or in a container so no juices contaminate other food.

Cook Your Turkey Thoroughly

Despite popular belief, you don’t need to wash your defrosted turkey! The water doesn’t get rid of bacteria and actually just ends up on your kitchen surfaces.

· Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4).

· To cook your bird (unstuffed):

· Under 4.5kg – allow 45 minutes per kg plus 20 minutes

· Between 4.5 and 6.5 kg – allow 40 minutes per kg

· Over 6.5 kg – allow 35 minutes per kg

Check the stuffing! If you’ve stuffed your turkey, the stuffing must also be at the same temperature as the turkey. The weight of the stuffing should be taken into account when cooking.

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· Check to make sure your turkey is cooked with a food thermometer, inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the bird. If the temperature is at 74°C the turkey is ready to rest before carving.

· Alternatively, there should be no pink meat and the juices should be clear.

Dealing with Leftovers

People say they eat turkey sandwiches all throughout January – is that really such a good idea? Make sure you do the following:

· Place leftovers in the fridge as soon as possible.

· Remove the meat from the bone.

· Store for two days maximum.

Deal with leftovers in style – check out these 5 Awesome Christmas Dinner Leftover Recipe Ideas.

4. Accidents around the Home and Fire

According to statistics, up to 50% more people are likely to die in a house fire during the Christmas period than any other time of year. Reasons include:

· Christmas treesthis disturbing video shows just how quickly a Scotch Pine destroys a room.

· Candles – keep them away from anything that might catch alight.

· Smoking – everyone likes to snooze after Christmas dinner, unfortunately some with cigarettes in hand.

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· Drinking – people are way more accident prone around the house when they are under the influence.

More accidents happen at home than anywhere else – that’s a fact. Every year there are approximately 6,000 deaths as the result of a home accident. Add Christmas fun into the equation and this festive time can turn lethal, quickly. The bottom line is just to be sensible and careful.

5. Burglary

Alarmingly, 59% of burglaries in England and Wales occur when people are supposedly safe and sound at home. Christmas time is when we give and receive wonderful gifts, so homes are even more vulnerable as they are full of presents, most left under a Christmas tree. It’s a burglar’s paradise.

The most obvious solution is of course to get a burglar alarm. Failing that, here are some burglary prevention tips:

· Don’t whack the Christmas tree and presents right by the front window.

· Don’t leave your gifts under the tree – at all.

· Turn your Christmas lights off when you go to bed (they pose a fire risk) but keep your house well-lit.

· Put security warning stickers on your windows – much cheaper than buying the whole kit!

· Make sure your front door is double-locked.

6. Alcohol-Related Accidents

Did you know there is a 41% increase in alcohol-related injuries in December? It may sound surprising, but common assaults and domestic violence also go up by a one third on Christmas Day. As it is the season to be merry, drinking is par for the course but be drink-aware and try not to overdo it. Alcohol is very often involved in all of the above.

Final thoughts

This piece isn’t meant to sweep a black cloud over the festivities! You can still have plenty of fun even though the above hazards and dangers might sound daunting. If you do take these precautions you can increase your chances of having a safe, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!

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James Timpson

Marketeer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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