helpline 01494 601 400

Top tips for a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year


22 December 2016

Our medical director Professor Ley Sander shares his top tips for enjoying a healthy, happy Christmas.

  • Make sure you have enough medication to last over Christmas and the New Year as opening hours may change at your local pharmacy.
  • If you are away and need to find a local pharmacy, you can find one via the app Find A Pharmacy from the App Store. Or find a pharmacy through NHS Choices Find a Pharmacy Service
  • It can be hard to stick to routines over the festive period, but make sure you take your medication as prescribed.
  • Look after yourself. Try to have regular meals and get enough sleep. Remember alcohol can be a trigger for seizures, especially if you have a hangover and become dehydrated. It can also make your medication less effective and side effects worse. Recreational drugs can also trigger seizures and interact with medication.
  • If stress and excitement trigger seizures for you, try to keep these to a minimum, although this is easier said than done.
  • If you are out with friends and worry that you may have a seizure, tell a trusted friend about your concerns and let them know what they should do if you have a seizure. You might like to point them in the direction of our first aid for seizures information.
  • Christmas lights should not be an issue even if you have photosensitive epilepsy. But if you have concerns, covering one eye completely with your hand can help to reduce any photosensitive effect. If you are watching TV, make sure the room is well lit.
  • There are lots of opportunities to socialise in the local community over the festive period. Why not join in with a carol concert or find out whether there are any events at your local community centre that could be an opportunity to meet new people. For services, go to
  • Our helpline 01494 601400 has different opening hours over the Christmas period.
  • If you would like to talk to someone over Christmas and New Year when our epilepsy helpline is closed, you could always call the Samaritans on 116 123.
  • And you can always join the online conversation at or

Above all, have a safe and happy Christmas and good New Year.