It’s the first Wellness Wednesday of December! Christmas is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, but it can also be the most stressful. In today’s blog post we’re sharing 25 tips to help you manage the stress that the festive season can often bring.
- Plan, plan, plan!
There’s so much going on at Christmas time and lots to remember to do! Write a list of all of your tasks, and set yourself deadlines on when you want them done for. This can include things like presents to buy, cards to post etc.
- Go for a walk outside
Get outside and breathe in some fresh air! A green space like your local park can really do wonders for boosting your endorphin levels. Plus, you’ll be able spot some beautiful Christmas lights!
- Eat your five a day
Don’t neglect what’s going into your body. Make sure you’re getting plenty of fruit and vegetables. Why not blend up some fruit and have a delicious smoothie for breakfast?
- Say no to things
Don’t feel obligated to say yes to everything that comes your way. Christmas can be really busy, and your diary can fill up in no time, causing unnecessary stress.
- Order online
Christmas shopping is one of the most stressful things about the festive period, and there’s nothing worse than trying to navigate a busy shop. Carve out some time to do some shopping from the comfort of your sofa. Just remember to give yourself enough time incase you need to make any exchanges before the big day.
- Eat ‘feel good’ foods
Our body makes serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan, which is found in foods like fish, chicken, bananas, sesame seeds and almonds. Make sure you’re getting enough tryptophan rich foods!
- Download a mindfulness app
There are so many mindfulness apps to choose from, and they can really help to lower your stress levels. Plus, an app means you can use it at home or on the go!
- Establish a good sleep routine
A lack of sleep can increase stress levels, so make sure you’re getting your eight hours of quality shut eye a night.
Even just half an hour of exercise a day reduces blood pressure and releases feel good endorphins. If you can head outdoors for a run or walk, this will also get the oxygen flowing, helping your body, mind and energy levels.
- Ask for help
Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. Ask your partner, friends, children, family members to lend a hand.
- Limit your alcohol consumption
It’s all too easy to pour another glass of wine, especially at Christmas time. Have a glass of water or a soft drink in between drinks. Alcohol is a depressant which can cause fatigue, making anxiety and stress more difficult to manage.
- Have a laugh
One of the best remedies for stress is laughter – it boosts energy levels, strengthens our immune system and decreases pain. Laughing releases endorphins that makes us happier and more relaxed. Watch a funny film or play a fun board game with your loved ones!
- Enlist helpers in the kitchen
Cooking the Christmas dinner can be very stressful, so allocate everyone a task like laying the table, peeling carrots, making the gravy etc.
- Have a bath
There’s nothing quite like a hot bubble bath to reduce stress. Relaxing in warm water has actually been proven to increase serotonin and balance your cortisol levels.
- Be realistic
Everything doesn’t need to be perfect, in fact – it’s impossible! Don’t worry about the little things that go wrong, just enjoy the festivities.
- Look after your gut
Gut bacteria plays an intrinsic role in our ability to manage stress and anxiety. It’s important to eat foods that support bacterial growth, like yogurt, bananas, peas, ginger and garlic.
- Practice breathing exercises
Check out our blog post on breathing exercises HERE.
- Enjoy the present
Social media means that a lot of us compare our lives to others. Remember, comparison is the thief of joy, so be present and appreciate what you have.
- Favour small presents
Buying presents is one of the most stressful parts of Christmas, especially if you’re not sure what to buy. Opt for a few small presents rather than one big one, that way you’ll have a better chance of giving a present they’ll like.
- Seek help from experts
If you feel like your stress levels are becoming too much, reach out to a professional. They’ll help you navigate your emotions and off you support and guidance through the festive period and beyond.
- Watch your bank balance
Create a budget to stay on top of things, and don’t get yourself into any debt to buy presents. If you’re struggling with cash flow, you can also get crafty and make your own presents.
- Stay hydrated
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water or herbal teas, especially if you’re also drinking alcohol.
- Get your vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for producing adrenal hormones which support our management of stress. It’s found in foods like berries, kale, broccoli, and peppers.
- Practise self care
Make sure you carve out some time for yourself. Curl up with a good book, or watch your favourite Christmas film.
- Enjoy yourself
Try not to stress about the little things – Christmas is supposed to be a time full of joy and happiness, so remember to have lots of fun with your loved ones!