You have finished your Christmas shopping, the Christmas decorations are up and the tree is looking great!
Keep calm, don’t stress about it… it’s only Christmas!
People generally don’t like to hear those words around this busy time of year, as let’s be honest, Christmas
is stressful and remaining calm is hard, (especially if you feel as if all of the preparation is resting on your shoulders).
For many of us Christmas shopping, wrapping presents and thinking about that most special meal of the year can be daunting, so much so that it can lead to many of us feeling full or anxiety and can even trigger minor depression. The key to avoiding stress is getting ahead and organising everything in good time and at your own pace, not at the pace of others. Let your friends take to social media to boast about how great their tree is, but just because theirs went up last week does not mean you are behind.
The glossy home-style and cookery magazines are expensive, but if you’re going to buy a copy, make it a Christmas special as they are usually packed with recipes and useful information on how to have a stress free Christmas. I’ve had mine for several years now and each year, I re-read in order to refresh myself with some really helpful advice. It sounds boring, but if you can remain on top of things and to find time for yourself, you will feel better. After all, it’s your Christmas too and it’s important to never lose sight of that!
Start writing Christmas cards early. There have been years when I have left it way too late and beaten myself up for forgetting a few people on my list, so now I try to write them out as early as November. Yes, cards are becoming less popular, so if you don’t want to send them and your friends would be happy with a text or an email, don’t put pressure on yourself. However, for my family, it is a tradition that I will continue and will encourage my children to do as well. If you have children, challenge them to writing a few cards for themselves each night; you can also enjoy a bit of quality time together around the family table, too.
Prepare your roasties, red cabbage and Yorkshire puddings in advance; cook in advance and freeze them. Christmas Eve, prepare your veg and get the Turkey in the oven so it cooks slowly through the night. As a child I remember the smell of waking up on Christmas morning to the Turkey, however, early morning will suffice but do check your timings! And if you really want to take away the fuss of peeling and slicing, buy it all prepared. Most supermarkets now even supply freshly made gravy!
Shopping for Family and Friends
Avoid busy shopping periods and have a list of everything you need to buy, as well as the list of shops you need to visit before you head to your town or city. Without a clear idea, the bright lights and dazzling packaging can be too much at times. Better still avoid shops altogether and opt for buying online instead.
Try not to drink heavily as no one functions very well with a boozy heavy head the day after, and if you’re not used to drinking large amounts, binge drinking is never a good idea. You don’t want to feel so rough that you have to stay in bed to sleep it off, so be mindful, drink sensibly and within your limits.
Enjoy all of the food and have treats that you wouldn’t usually have, but try not to eat for the sake of it. Too much food can leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
One of my biggest pet hates and something that can cause me a lot of stress is food wastage. As a child, I remember my mum and Grandma having enough food to feed an Army, but today there really is no need to worry about stocking up your fridge and cupboards with endless supplies, as most shops will re-open on Boxing Day. Therefore, plan each meal at at time and only buy the foods you really need and are going to eat.
Cut Down On Caffeine
We are now considered a nation of coffee lovers and as more and more coffee chains decorate our towns and cities, we are indeed spoilt for choice. However, drinking too much coffee or any other drinks containing caffeine can be adverse to your health. I enjoy a coffee with friends and also if I’m in need of an extra boost, but it is proven that after a period of elevation and once the caffeine has worn off, it can leave you feeling rather low and in some cases cause depression and weight gain. Research has proven that drinking too much caffeine can heighten cortisol levels, which in return releases the stress hormone in your body. Therefore, try decaf or a fruit tea instead.
Take Time To Exercise
Your gym may well close over the festive period but now a days, most will re-open as soon as Boxing Day. Therefore, if you are in a routine, get back into it as soon as you can. For others that attend weekly Zumba or Pilates classes, you may have to wait a little longer to start back. However, don’t allow yourself to take a long holiday. Everyone should find the time to do a little bit of exercise over the festive period whether it’s a light jog around your block or a nice long walk with the family. After all, walking is a good enough form of exercise. However, any exercise you can do will definitely help you and your mood, and will help work off all the Christmas treats you may have succumbed to.
Massages can really help the body and mind unwind, especially an Indian head massage. At The Norfolk Clinic, we offer a range of Holistic treatments suitable for stress release and overall feel good factor.
Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to someone about your anxiety and depression, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’re always here to take your call and discuss our hypnotherapy and counselling services.
In November, the Daily Mail reported that Christmas is as stressful on your body and mind as running a marathon. You can read the article here.