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Beat the pre-Christmas stress

We all know that we can feel more pressured and more stressed at this time of year than any other. We want to make the festive season a jolly one, have a beautifully decorated home, entertain family and friends and make it a Christmas to remember for the whole family. However, with daily pressures of work and life, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Try some of the below pre-festive stress relievers to help you through this busy season.

Planning: If you are worried and stressed about how you are going to manage to get everything organised in time, it is a good idea to put your thoughts on paper and create an achievable ‘To do List’ week by week, breaking down the tasks. This way you can aim to complete bite size chunks and rid your brain from the worry of it. Start planning now and avoid last minute panics.

Sufficient good quality sleep: Having enough shut-eye is crucial during the festive period if you want to manage your stress levels effectively. Try and get a few early nights if you can and save your biggest nights for the week-end, so you can have a lie-in the next day if you work during the week. It may also be worth investing in a sleep mask and ear plugs to help improve the quality of your sleep and ensure there is no blue-light in the bedroom.

Monitor alcohol intake: Surrounded by festive tipples whether work or social drinks, it’s only too tempting to say yes to every glass that is offered. However, try to limit drinking to the week-ends as it interferes with quality of sleep. If you are out often, try to intersperse the alcoholic drinks with soft drinks such as juices or virgin cocktails.

Give exercise a chance: It is a well-known fact that exercise is good for you, especially when you are feeling stressed. Find the time to hit the gym, or if you don’t have access to one, go for a run. It is well documented that when you exercise, your body produces happy chemicals called endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and mental ‘uppers’, reducing tension and enhancing your mood. So give it a go and help yourself to manage Christmas stress.

Treat yourself to a massage: The trick is to book yourself in for a facial or a massage, basically some ‘you’ time during the festive season to give you a chance to unwind without any distractions. Like exercise, massage stimulates the release of mood-enhancing endorphins, so spoiling yourself with a relaxing massage should really help you de-stress and find your peace. Anything from a simple head or foot massage to a session on a state of the art massage chair should help.

Deep breathing: If you feel yourself become anxious or that things are getting on top of you, first try some simple on the go deep breathing. Breathe in slowly through your nose, counting from one to five, and out through your mouth, again, counting from one to five, and repeat – you should feel calmer in next to no time.

Essential oils: Everyone knows that certain essential oils have particular properties that can either awaken or relax the body and mind. Why not run yourself a relaxing bath and infuse it with a few drops of one of the below essential oils to help manage your Christmas stress followed by an early night? Also, consider carrying a small sprinkling with you so you have it to hand when you are out and about – a few drops on a handkerchief or cotton wool pad will suffice. Some shops sell small bottles suitable to pop in your handbag.

  • Rose: the queen of oils to help with all stress issues
  • Lavender: soothing; builds solidarity and strength
  • Bergamot: calming; relieves mild anxiety
  • Chamomile: calming, soothing, medicinal