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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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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

Are you afraid of being alone?  Do you worry about your physical safety or do you fear loneliness? These are strong negative feelings that can impact your health.

One study found that when older people are socially isolated, there is an increased risk of an earlier death,[1] by as much as 26%.

If you experience loneliness and are worried about your fear of being alone, study these 6 ways to help you find your comfort zone.

But first, the good news!

How many times have you said to yourself, ‘I just can’t wait to be alone’? This might be after a day’s work, an argument with your partner or after a noisy dinner with friends. You need time to be yourself, gather your thoughts, relish the silence and just totally chill out. These are precious moments and are very important for your own peace of mind and mental refreshment.

But for many people, this feeling is not often present and loneliness takes over. As Joss Whedon once said,

‘Loneliness is about the scariest thing out there’.

Read on and discover how you can exploit being alone to your own advantage and how you can defeat loneliness.

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1. Embrace loneliness

When you are alone, it is important to embrace it and enjoy it to the full.

Wallow in the feeling that you do not have to be accountable for anything you do. Pursue your interests and hobbies. Take up new ones. Learn new skills. Lie on the couch. Leave the kitchen in a mess. The list can go on and on, but finding the right balance is crucial.

There will be times when being on your own is perfect, but then there will be a creeping feeling that you should not be so isolated.

When you start to enjoy being alone, these 10 amazing things will happen.

Once you start feeling loneliness, then it is time to take action.

2. Facebook is not the answer

Have you noticed how people seek virtual contacts instead of a live, face-to-face interaction? It is true that social networking can provide an initial contact, but the chances of that becoming a real life personal contact is pretty slim.

Being wrapped up in a cloud of sharing, liking and commenting (and insulting!) can only increase loneliness.

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When you really want company, no one on Facebook will phone you to invite you out.

3. Stop tolerating unhappy relationships

It is a cruel fact of life that people are so scared of loneliness that they often opt into a relationship with the wrong person.

There is enormous pressure from peers, family and society in general to get married or to be in a stable, long-term relationship. When this happens, people start making wrong decisions, such as:

  • hanging out with toxic company such as dishonest or untrustworthy people;
  • getting involved with unsuitable partners because of the fear of being alone or lonesome;
  • accepting inappropriate behavior just because of loneliness;
  • seeking a temporary remedy instead of making a long-term decision.

The main problem is that you need to pause, reflect and get advice. Recognize that your fear of being alone is taking over. A rash decision now could lead to endless unhappiness.

4. Go out and meet people

It was the poet John Donne (1572 – 1631) who wrote:

‘No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent’.

Human contact is essential to surviving in this world. Instead of wallowing in boredom and sadness, you need to get out as much as possible and seek contacts.

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Being a member of a group, however tenuous, is a great way. So when you are in the gym, at church or simply at a club meeting, exploit these contacts to enlarge your social circle.

There is no point in staying at home all the time. You will not meet any new people there!

Social contacts are rather like delicate plants. You have to look after them. That means telephoning, using Skype and being there when needed.

Take a look at this guide on How to Meet New People and Make Friends with The Best.

5. Reach out to help someone in need

A burden shared is a burden halved.

Dag Hammarskjold was keenly aware of this fact when he said:

‘What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden but this: I have only my own burden to bear’.

Simply put, it is a two-way street. Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.

Reach out to help and people will be there when you need them.

6. Be grateful and count your blessings

Study after study shows that if people show gratitude, they will reap a bountiful harvest. These include a stronger immune system, better health, more positive energy and most important of all, feeling less lonely and isolated.

If you do not believe me, watch the video below, ‘What good is gratitude?’  Now here is the path to hope and happiness:

Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

Reference

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