Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la! As the festive adverts paint a perfect family Christmas, for some the pressures at this time of year can be all too much.
The reality of endless shopping whether trawling the high streets or plugging in and purchasing online, cooking, dealing with relatives, excited children and trying to cram in a very hectic social calendar can result in a stress overload. Beware anxiety is likely to occur.
The impacts of stress on your body and health can cause disease and disorders. It is not Christmas itself that causes the stress, but our interpretation of the event itself. Please read our previous blog Stress – Help yourself manage it, for more information.
Meditation can help benefit the effects of stress. The first thing to do is the most fundamental force of life – BREATHE. Stress results in shallow breathing which in turn impairs our bodies from fully operating its vital functions. The parasympathetic system is activated by deep breathing and this will help you to cope.
Try just taking 15 minutes on each of your hectic Christmas days, to find space for yourself allowing you to decompress. Sit comfortably on the floor and focus on your breathing. Feel the cool air as it enters and fills your lungs, then become aware of the warm breath as it leaves the body via the nostrils. Allow your entire body to relax and release any tension held in your muscles. Let your mind settle and clear out any ‘monkey chatter’. Your aim is to sit and simply be in the present without the Christmas Carol ghosts of Christmas past or future making a visit. Simply be!
Other than to meditate, meditate, meditate, here are a few more Christmas Stress Busters:
- Try 3,5 Breathing (breathe in for a count of three and out for a count of 5).
- Put the kettle on – try a cup of camomile tea. Camomile is a mild sedative that can help to calm frayed nerves.
- Get organised – the more organised you are, the less stress you are likely to experience.
- Take a class – working out helps to boost both your immune system and endorphins and can aid sleep, we know it is difficult to fit them in at this time of year but try for your sanity or do a home work out.
- Calorie and content smart diet – it is so easy at this time of year to over indulge but alcohol, coffee and a whole lot of other foods can over stimulate the nervous system.
- Let it go – Just like the Frozen song, let it go by realising that you can’t control everything.
- Mineral bath – adding the super mineral magnesium to your bath can help alleviate aches and pains.
- Sleep – Allow yourself time to get enough when your schedule allows.
- Be thankful – if felling overwhelmed then try noting the things you are grateful for. It often leads to you feeling less stressed and happier.
Good tiding of great joy to each and everyone.