Creating a Stress-Free Holiday

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The Christmas holidays and festive season is fast approaching. It can also be a time of year that’s known for its busy nature, that can lead to quite a load of stress. After all, you likely have several invitations to parties and functions to attend, end of school activities, dancing concerts, and the task of braving the shopping centre crowds to find gifts for your loved ones. All of this, on top of your everyday life. It can be overwhelming to say the least.

I wanted to share with you some of my favourite ways to navigate this busy time of year. These exercises are designed to help you slow down, make this season more enjoyable, less stressful and focus on the most important parts of your Christmas.

These secret weapons of mine include…

Be present. It can be difficult when you have a to-do-list a mile long. A wonderful tool to help, and is a great tip to use all year round, not just during the holidays is to reduce the amount of time you use on your phone. Do you have the reflex to pick up your phone and scroll through Facebook or emails when you have a free moment? Try to avoid the temptation to pick up your phone and disengage from communicating with your gathered love ones. Stopping and instead focusing on who you are with and what’s going on around you at that very moment really brings you into the present unlike anything else. Connect with family and friends on a deeper level.

Give yourself more time. Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you are doing your to do list factor in a little bit of extra time. This will help to not feel in a constant rush.

Relax on those expectations. A lot of the stress we put on ourselves this season lies in the notion that we expect things to be perfect. That of course would be lovely. But dropping the expectations of perfection will allow you to be prepared for when something unexpected may spring up. So even when things don’t go exactly as planned – spend your energy finding gratitude in your circumstances and enjoying as much of your time as you possibly can.

Find time to move. It’s incredibly important to keep movement in your schedule, no matter how busy you may feel. Even if it’s a nice walk after lunch or dinner –it’s a great way to clear your mind, reflect on what you have done and what are the next priorities. Be sure that you are getting your time outside in the sunshine with nature, breathing in fresh air.

Get a good night’s sleep. Burning the candle at both ends, night after night is not helpful. It can make you feel extra tired, more stressed and cranky. Is there anything you can say no to, can you leave a function a little early, avoid watching “just one more” episode of your new favourite show on Netflix?

Tis the season and no sooner is the crazy season here it is gone for another year. Wishing you a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

Rebecca Screen

Naturopath, Health Coach, and That Sugar Film Ambassador