As we have now well and truly arrived in holiday season and Christmas Day looms ever closer, a lot of people would agree that the festive season brings strain and stress along with the cheer and joy. We all want everything to be perfect for our family and loved ones but from shopping and cooking to dealing with in-laws, work and social events, it can all become a bit too much. So take a little time to read our tips on how you can reduce the added burden of dealing with stress this season.
1. First of all, prioritize. That is tasks, events, people. You don’t need to say yes to everything. Be comfortable saying no and leave time for you and yours.
2. Focus on people. Don’t stress about things, presents, dinner. We all know that less is usually more but we tend to forget that at this time of the year. Live a little, laugh a lot and enjoy being around your family and friends and remember that this is the most important part.
3. Immerse yourself in nature. Whether it’s a walk through your local park or gazing out at a snow filled wonderland, doing so will help to calm you down. What’s more, if you are spending Christmas in the sun then sunshine stimulates the production of mood lightening serotonin so head to the coastline for some much needed fresh air and vitamin D.
4. Put down the phone/iPad/laptop. Try to put away all gadgets and tune out. Whether it’s spending time on you or your family or just focusing on your task at hand, baking cookies, putting up the Christmas tree.
5. Volunteer. What you give you will get back in return. Feeling part of a community, realizing how lucky you are and what is truly important will put things in perspective and make you feel better.
6. If you have 30 seconds to spare then why not try the traditional Chinese method of pressing firmly down on the Hoku spot which apparently reduces stress & tension in your upper body. The Hoku spot is the skin between your thumb and index finger.
7. Exercise. Whatever works best for you. It could be practicing yoga or going for a walk or a run. Boost your mood and your energy the natural way. Moreover the rhythmic motion of running or walking helps to decrease anxiety and should help you to sleep better too.
8. Listen to music. If you are hard at work baking, cooking, shopping, organizing, try to do it with a background of whatever music makes you feel good. Listening to music helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate and reduces stress hormones. Even better, listen to holiday music and ramp up that festive mood!
9. Take a day off or if you can’t take a day then at least an hour or two. Some time off from work, from planning and organizing, from hosting. Some time for you.
10. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself! Usually we are our own worst enemies and think that everything needs to be our idea of perfect. Relax and enjoy the here and now.