As much as we think of Christmas as a time of celebration it is also for many a time of stress and potential conflict! So to help us all to come out the other side feeling rested and calm are a few tips that I and my clients have found useful over the years:
Feasting is a big part of the winter celebration but it needn't mean making ourselves uncomfortable:
· Snack on fruit, nuts and crudités rather than crisps and chocolates.
· Pile up the veg on your plate so you keep a healthy balance of food types.
· Eat slowly and mindfully really enjoying your food. This way you're less likely to overeat.
· Intersperse alcoholic drinks with plenty of water or herbal teas.
Go for a walk everyday to avoid cabin fever. Keeping active is good for our waistlines, digestion and state of mind.
Catch up on some sleep. A few early nights, siestas or lie-ins can make a difference to your energy and tolerance levels! Research has also shown that if you are sleep deprived your body is much more likely to lay down fat.
Do some yoga, just 5 minutes a day can relieve aches and pains, stretch and realign the body. It can also help you stay calm and sleep well. If you need some inspiration, have a look at my You Tube channel where there are lots of short videos for home practise.
Set realistic goals. The perfect Christmas is more about everyone having a good time together than a picture perfect home or a Michelin star meal. Ask everyone to pitch in and share the workload.
Don't expect a Christmas miracle! If you have some challenging relationships keep expectations low to avoid disappointment. However do be kind and considerate; even if that is not reciprocated at least you know your contribution was a positive one.
Try to keep free time in your schedule. I understand the temptation to visit everyone, go to every party and social gathering but having a schedule as tight as a busy working week will not leave you feeling rested and adds stress.
Disconnect from devices and connect with people. The holiday period can be an opportunity to spend time with people you may not see often - cherish this time and give them your full attention. Facebook can wait!
Have some fun! Playing games either indoors out outside can be a great way of spending time together, just try not to be too competitive! If there are children in your life let them lead the games, they are generally better at playing than adults.
Breathe! If it all feel too much and your emotions are rising, duck out for a couple of minutes and take some deep breaths. Its a cliché but it works. Make the exhale as long as you comfortably can, this will help reverse the stress response.
I hope that helps you make the best of the holiday season.
I am finishing work at 2pm on Friday 23rd December and returning on 4th January. For details of my locations and availability please click here.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas/ Happy Hanukkah/ Winter Solstice,