Stress Less this Christmas

Are you thinking...can we skip Christmas this year? There’s so much going on. Too many work deadlines, thinking about family catch-ups or lack thereof, appointments to get in before the holiday season and I haven’t even thought of the presents!

Rest easy as you are not alone, the joy and celebration for the most wonderful time of the year is still within arm's reach. These few tips from Be Smart Get Supple will go a long way to help make Christmas a fun time again.

Prioritise a good night’s sleep:
. Rather than playing catch up, prepare for late nights by having a few early ones in advance. Also if you are going to have some late nights plan in some siesta naps. They can really make the difference. Then we can be rested and refreshed to celebrate when the big day comes.  With so much on the mind and so many things going on in general at this time of year, it can be quite easy to think I will catch up after Christmas, which often doesn’t happen. It is vitally important to prioritise sleep not only to avoid fatigue, it’s also important for our concentration and ability to adapt to stress. We all feel better after a good night’s sleep

Most of us know that after an appropriate exercise session we feel more clear of mind, less stressed and less anxious. We usually have more energy and sleep better too. All this happens while we work out plus keeping physically fit.
It is recommended at least half hour of moderate activity on most days of the week. For maximal benefits get outside, enjoy the world around us with a walk on the beach or a local park which may help with vitamin D (which is also may help with mood).

Eating with mindfulness
Although this is the time of year people ‘Let go’, you can still enjoy all your favourites with a little mindfulness. On the days that you don’t have a feast or function eat in moderation and avoid a fatty or stodgy diet. Don’t skip meals, this just adds to the body’s stress, increasing overall stress response. Choose light meals with a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables to increase requirements for key nutrients. These nutrients are essential to help the body deal with stress, balance mood and provide chemicals for good brain health.
During the feasts and celebratory meals choose small amounts of your food, and eat slowly to savour the flavour. This increases your satisfaction and reduces the discomfort of overeating.  To do this the ideas of Mindfulness help, chew each mouthful 20-30 times. The Dietitians at Be Smart Get Supple encourage that while eating pay attention to the textures and tastes and how they change through each mouthful. Mindfulness is a big part of reducing stress and managing weight and wellbeing.  
TIP: Some good quality multivitamin supplements may help support your nervous system during this time So discuss with your practitioner if they may be of assistance to you!

Avoid alcohol:
Alcohol is a common part of the celebrations, it also tends to be a “go to” when people stress! Alcohol consumption in large amounts interferes with your sleep patterns and mood and adds chemical stress to the body. As most people know the day after a heavy drinking session is not fun and can waste a whole day (or two or three). So don’t sabotage yourself by over consuming. By all means enjoy a small amount to complement a meal and loosen some of the inhibitions around social interactions, but keep it to a low level. Again be mindful, and really savour the flavour. Quality over quantity as the saying goes. Make sure you have alcohol free days between events to help the body recover.

Be a bit Childlike:
As we grow up to be “responsible” adults we lose the wonder of things like Christmas as we are too busy worrying about everything being right. Kids look for the joy in things and allow themselves to get caught up in the fun, they don’t worry about if the table is set just right or if the house is spotless. Make some time to let go and embrace the child within. The people who come over are usually those closest to us, and so have probably seen our house as it really is. Sing Christmas carols at the top of your lungs in a silly voice, Dance while you put up the tree, wear reindeer ears and try to rekindle some of the childlike joy of Christmas.

In all remember that it is one day and does not need to be perfect, so have fun and relax. Enjoy the hiccups that occur, they can be part of the story of the day!

Image Credits (all under under Creative Commons License 2.0)
Nativity - By   Belen luminoso * Coslada
Ryan Sleeping - by Paul Williams
Salad Composee - by Jessica Spengler