05 Dec How To Manage Your Stress And Wellbeing This Christmas
It’s that time of year again where there is a rush of work deadlines, a list of social commitments and a whole lot of bills. We’re madly hurrying to find the perfect gift, to create a lavish feast and to decorate our home with all the bells and whistles.
Celebrating the end of the year while might be fun, it often comes at a price and we end up in a crumpled heap at the end of it.
Not this year.
This year, you’re going to travel through the Christmas period feeling in the spirit and energetic. That’s because you’re going to consciously manage your stress and wellbeing this holidays, right? That way you’ll welcome 2017 feeling motivated, healthy and ready to start the year on a good note.
Tips to manage your stress and wellbeing
1. Kick the season off organised
Getting organised before the chaos hits will protect you from winding up too stressed at the end of the month. Reviewing your calendar and writing a plan will only take 20 minutes. If you need to co-ordinate things with others, ask all the questions now. While you’re pencilling in all your engagements, make sure you block out some time for you where there are no obligations.
2. Calm your mind and body
Incorporating a regular practice of meditation can help calm down your mind and body, while also gaining clarity. When your mind is cluttered and you’re feeling overwhelmed with what lies ahead, your body is also affected. When you correct this imbalance, you will feel more in control and things are put in perspective. Just 10 minutes every morning can make a huge difference. Check out our meditation app here
Tip: Start getting into the habit of mediating now before the real stress kicks in!
3. Create connection
Whatever is happening in your head is going to impact your body. When we’re stressed, our digestive system can often be affected causing bloating, changes in a bowel movements and even skin breakouts. Our sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive in response to the perceived threat. To dampen the stress response, we need our parasympathetic nervous system to kick in. To do that, we need to create the connection with our mind and body to signal ‘it’s okay, we’re no longer under threat’.
A great way to build on this connection is through regular yoga practice and conscious breathing. Try include a 30-minute yoga session in the days leading up to Christmas. Practice conscious deep breathing where you slowly feel your belly up with oxygen before exhaling through the mouth letting your shoulders relax.
Tip: Teach your body how to breath correctly in moments when you’re waiting, like when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, for your meeting or to pick the kids up. That way when you’re stressed and anxious you can easily replace the shallow chest breathing with deep, nourish breathes.
4. Remain hydrated
With two or three champagnes under the belt, it’s easy to forget to remain hydrated. Remaining healthy during the Christmas period doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the festivities and have a great time. It just means you should be more conscious of the little things you can do to support your mind and body. Drinking H2O is one of them! If you have a big night, before you go to bed hydrate your body and keep a large glass of water by your bed for first thing in the morning. If you’re really feeling guilty, have a refreshing green juice to kick start the day.
5. Short, intense workouts
Don’t have time to join your group for a boxing class or go for your regular long run? Switch it up during the busy period for a short, intense workout you can do at home. A 30-minute high intensity workout will still build up the sweat and help maintain your fitness during this busy time. Try our short workouts in the online gym, no equipment and you can even do them in your pjs before you get ready for work!
Tip: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, switch up your high intensity workout for something calmer to reduce your ‘fight or flight’ mode. Yoga, a power walk or a gentle bike ride outside will be a better workout for both your body and mind.
6. Keep it simple
When we have expectations of recreating a magazine worthy feast or of looking just like the model in the outfit you’ve chosen, we’re often stressed and left disappointed. Keeping it simple and setting realistic expectations will reduce your anxiety. Don’t labour in the kitchen for hours and stress about whether your meal is up to par. Stick with a recipe you know well and you’re confident has a flavour punch. This is not the time to try something new and elaborate!
Tip: Cut the time in the kitchen by making some meals ahead and freezing. Think a healthy casserole, sauces and delicious raw desserts.
Incorporating some self-care practices into your life will improve your health and wellbeing, especially during stressful times like Christmas. It’s not only for your benefit. Feeling happy, energetic and positive will rub off onto your friends and family too. And let’s be honest, who wants to be known as the Grinch!