Christmas is a time when people can often feel stressed, tired and overwhelmed. The financial implications and the emotional strain can take their toll on our wellbeing as the festive days draw closer.
For many, this year could be especially straining. The ever-changing restrictions, increased unemployment and the inability to see family and friends may make many of us feel lonely, stressed-out and emotionally drained. So, in order to keep Christmas 2020 as calm as possible for you, here we suggest a few tips for naturally easing the stress of December.
Whether you’re feeling anxious about a present not arriving in time, or worried about over-cooking the turkey on the big day, breathing is the key to keeping calm and composed.
In these moments of stress, our body goes into fight-or-flight mode, making our hearts race, our temperature soar and our breathing rate increase. You can ease these symptoms with a few long, deep breaths. Try taking a breath in for a count of 5 and a deep breath out for a count of 5. Repeat these 3 times. As you breathe in, allow your belly to expand like a balloon blowing up with air and as you exhale, let the balloon deflate back towards your spine.
2/ Take a ten-minute time-out
When tension is mounting, sometimes it’s best to just remove yourself from the situation. Taking a step back mentally and physically.
Move into a different room and listen to some music for a while or go to the kitchen to make a nice cup of tea. Chamomile tea is a great choice when your nerves are feeling frail as it calms them down and acts as an extremely mild sedative too.
3/ Be mindful of what you eat and drink
December is a tempting month in terms of food and drink. The shops are full of sweet treats and calorific ready-made meals. However, appealing these might seem, try to keep to your usual healthy diet – eating plenty of wholegrain foods and fresh fruit and veg.
Also, ensure you are drinking plenty of water throughout out the day to avoid dehydration. It’s a misconception that you don’t need as much water in winter as you do in the summer. You really do need to keep drinking. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol too. You might think they can help you short-term, but they over-stimulate your nervous system, which can cause longer-term anxiety effects on your body.
4/ Keep up your exercise routine
Exercising boosts your immune system and gives your endorphin levels a lift too to ease off any stress you are experiencing.
It’s often tempting to detour from our usual exercise schedule around the festive period and hibernate inside instead. However, try to still do at least 3 forms of moderate exercise each week. Whether it’s jogging, hiking, swimming or yoga, mix it up and make use of the fact that we can still meet up with friends and family in an outside environment.
If things become too much for you and you find yourself feeling down for a prolonged period of time, then hypnotherapy and talking therapy can both help. Give me a call or drop me an email to have a chat about how I could help you lead a more confident and happy life.