According to the song, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. If only that were true! For some of us, Christmas is busy, stressful, financially draining and can cause anxiety, depression and loneliness – and you do a lot of socialising with family members that you may not necessarily get on very well with. This week, I will pass on some great tips that may help you to cope better in dealing with the ‘emotional’ side Christmas.
If you are planning to host / attend a big family Christmas, then no wonder you may be feeling stressed! Family gatherings can be stressful, so just keep in mind the following tip:
- Don’t expect miracles. If you and certain family members bicker all year long, you can be sure there’ll be tension at Christmas gatherings. Be polite to everyone, but don’t engage in too much conversation with those who ‘rub you up the wrong way’.
- Avoid known triggers. For example, if politics is a touchy subject in your family, don’t talk about it. If someone brings up the topic, use distraction and quickly move on to something else to talk about (or better still, move away from the conversation and talk to somebody else!)
- Before you head off to your Christmas function, take time out to meditate for 10-15 mins. Calming your mind, can just put you in such a better head-space before you walk into a crazy Christmas celebration.
- If you do find yourself getting ‘stressed’, find a quiet place and practice some relaxation techniques (even if it has to be the bathroom!), such as deep breathing or focusing on your breath to cope with anxiety or tension.
- Family members involved in after-lunch activities (such as cricket on the back lawn) are less likely to get into arguments. Plan for something to do as a group after lunch if necessary.
- People under stress tend to ‘self-medicate’ with alcohol to get them through a stressful time but that is not such a great idea at Christmas as you are more likely to say something you will regret. Remember that drinking won’t make the problem ‘go away’, so steer clear of overdoing it.
- Get busy! If you are not hosting Christmas, volunteer to be the person who helps put out all the Christmas dishes and then assist with the clean up afterwards. The busier you are, the less likely you are to get involved in long discussions (and the host will really appreciate your help!)
Finally, the best antidote for stress & anxiety is exercise! Make an effort to move your body every day of the week over the festive season – your brain releases feel good endorphins when you exercise, and these ‘happy’ hormones help you feel more calm and relaxed.
If you want more tips for ‘coping’ with Christmas (and we haven’t got very long now until the big day), then you need a copy of The Natural Ways’ Christmas Program. It is jammed full of tips to keep you on track as well as giving you plenty of healthy menu suggestions and great weight-loss friendly festive recipes. All this for the small price of $15 AND you receive a $25 voucher to redeem in January 2017. To get your copy of the Christmas Program, ask your The Natural Way consultant or call your nearest clinic on 1300 SLIMMER (1300 754663) today.
Visit our website: www.thenaturalway.com.au