Dreaming on a white Christmas? It’s hard not to get caught up in all the festive cheer, especially when the shops have been playing the Christmas classics on repeat since the end of September.

Even if you’re not feeling the festive spirit, nobody wants to come down with a case of code milky green, you know… snotty nose, congestion and general spluttering. So your local NHS has put together some solid advice to help you make it healthily to the 25th of December.

First thing is first, it’s very difficult to avoid all contact with shared surfaces like door handles, keyboards and worktops. This is where bugs and germs will lurk. The best defence you’ve got is washing your hands regularly. This will help to get rid of germs you may have picked up.

Though I can already feel the eye rolls as I type, it’s genuinely worth watching this short video on how to wash your hands properly…

If you feel a sore throat coming on, don’t panic. You might benefit from gargling with warm salty water. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a glass of part-cooled boiled water. It won’t get rid of any virus you might have picked up, but it does have anti-inflammatory properties and will have a soothing effect.

You won’t be popular if you unnecessarily take up a GP appointment seeking antibiotics for a cold (it’s VIRAL!). Be it coughs, colds, sore, dry skin or a UTI, you might begin to feel like the end is nigh, but it most probably isn’t. Your local pharmacy is the first place to go.

In the world we live in, we’re used to getting what we want at the touch of a button, but sadly that isn’t how the body works. It’s very normal for symptoms of coughs and colds to last for a few weeks. You need to do your bit to take good care of yourself. Your pharmacist can often give the best advice about over-the-counter remedies to make life more tolerable while you’re not feeling your best. Chances are you won’t, but if you do need to see the doc, they’ll let you know.

Pharmacies have a private consultation room so you can have a quiet word, if you feel more comfortable discussing your symptoms in private. A number of Dorset’s 140+ pharmacies are open late and over the weekend. Click the link and tap in your postcode to find one close to you.

If you take regular medication or just need a one-off prescription, help your pharmacist out this Christmas and allow a bit of extra time.

Have a holly, jolly, healthy Christmas.

Stay well.