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How to have a wholesome holiday

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Have a safe and responsible holiday this upcoming Pchum Ben. GT2/Chor Sokunthea

THE holiday season is once again upon us with Phchum Ben celebration taking place next week. To many of us, the holidays mean taking a short breather from the daily hustle and bustle to focusing instead on the beauty and merriment of life.

Meanwhile, to some others, holidays merely mean indulging in good food and drinks, good company and having an all-around good time. How exciting.

While it might be tempting to use your ‘cheat’ cards this holiday, we hope you will still place a strong importance on your general wellbeing to ensure that you’ll come out of the festive season all jolly and well.

Here is how you can make health-conscious decisions along the way:

1) Travelling

Pchum Ben is one of the Cambodian holidays which will see the locals going back to their respective hometowns to celebrate and spend time with their family. The excitement could easily lead us to make rash decisions, especially on the road.

Earlier this year, during the Khmer New Year celebration, the National Police reported 109 traffic accidents nationwide, with 52 fatalities and 183 injuries. The major causes of which were speeding, non-observance of traffic laws, hazardous overtaking, drunk driving, and vehicle malfunctions.


Therefore, think twice before making irresponsible choices behind the wheels. Ensure that you abide by all traffic rules, so as to not put your lives and the lives of others at risk. Let us have a safe holiday and not become yet another statistic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the basic rules of thumb are:

  • Wear your seat belts and ensure others do to
  • Obey speed limits and other laws
  • Don’t use your cellphone while driving
  • Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or medication
  • Wear corrective lenses for night-time driving, if required

2) Eating

Imagine sitting at the dinner table with an extensive spread of all-you-can-eat homemade dishes– some of which you have not had for ages. It might seem ludicrous to not sample them all, doesn’t it? Well, yes and no.

We are not saying you should totally refrain from eating, but watch what goes into your mouth. The next time you want to treat yourself to a second helping of rice, think again: “Do I really need to eat more?” As we mentioned countless times before, moderation is the key.

The term ‘holiday weight’ exists for a reason and there are so many health complications that could entail such as cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and worse, cancer.

Here are some of the tips on how to not overeat this festive season.

  • Pack some healthy snacks that you can eat during the trip back home
  • Eat more greens so there is little room in your stomach for high calorie items
  • Don’t feel obligated to eat all the food, even if there is ‘pressure’ from family members

3) Drinking

The most synonymous beverage to a festive season is none other than alcohol — whether or not you are an existing drinker. It is a norm to see everyone pick up a can or a glass as another family member proposes a toast, cherishing the good moments shared between all.

However, we highly advise against alcohol-binging. This is because too much alcohol is detrimental to your organs, especially the kidneys. Serving as a powerhouse that maintains and regulates the body’s water level, high volume of alcohol can bring about severe dehydration to the kidneys.

Here is how to not binge-drink during festive season:

  • Eat before or while drinking
  • Keep an eye on your drinks and only get a refill once your glass is empty
  • Add mixer to your booze or alternate the alcoholic with non-alcoholic drinks

4) Quality time

Did you know that the word ‘Phchum’ itself means to congregate or to meet together? It is said that Phchum Ben is the time of the year where families find quality time to spend with each other, regardless of how busy they may be during the 15 days of the celebration. Therefore, we must stick to the tradition.

We do not want to offend anyone by being anti-social and in this modern age, we know how easy it is to be distracted. All it takes is a small ping from Facebook or that tiny little ding from Whatsapp to shift our attention from the present reality to the virtual realm.

Here is how you can enjoy good ol’ family bonding time:

  • Apply the no-gadget rule at dinner table
  • Play several rounds of game that everyone can participate in, like charades
  • Look for common interests within family members for an engaging conversation

Holiday season is the best because above all, it fosters better relationships among yourself and loved ones. The only other gift that could be better than quality time is the gift of a secured future.

Learn more about AIA សម្រាប់ជីវិត (Samrab Chivit) by contacting AIA Client Care service at 086 999 242. Its life insurance solution covers 26 conditions of critical illnesses and medical operations in Cambodia and overseas.

Additionally, you can also call in if you would like to find out more about AIA’s Additional Accident Benefits which could offer you and your family protection from unfortunate accidents. Feel free to log in to aia.com.kh or contact an AIA Life Planner for a more in-depth chat.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Arrive Alive, Khmer Times, Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Healthline, Medline Plus, AIA Cambodia.

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