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  • Kevin Patton

De-Stress This Christmas

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

Christmas can be an overwhelming and stressful time for many people. Between expectations, crowded shopping malls, and the pressure to please everyone at the same time, is it any wonder most of us are running on empty?

Pressing pause and easing up during this hectic time is vital to your sanity and your health. The connection between stress and illness is real.

This Christmas, say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no. It's okay to decline the last party invitation you received. And I promise you, no one (and I mean no one) will die if you say no.

Don't forget to breathe.

When you're stressed, notice your breath. Is it shallow? If it is, inhale from the tips of your toes to the top of your head and exhale slowly from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Inhale as if your whole body is inhaling. Exhale as if your whole body is exhaling. You can practice deep breathing anywhere. Standing in line, waiting at a red light, sitting down at your desk... anywhere. Deep belly breathing reduces stress and tension almost immediately.

Limit your alcohol consumption.

If you drink wine, one super easy tip is to cut your wine with soda water and add berries. You still can enjoy your wine but you won't have a headache the next day. And you won't wake up feeling like you've been hit by a bus.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Your skin will love you and so will your waist line. This is one of the best and simplest acts of kindness you can show yourself.

The carbon dioxide in sparkling water reduces smooth muscle contractions and keeps your blood vessels dilated, allowing blood (and oxygen) to get to where it’s needed.

Make time for you.

If you have to, make an appointment with yourself every day for 15-30 minutes. Longer if you can. Trust me, when you make the time to take care of you, you'll find you have more to give to others. Don't let your internal gas take run empty.

Write A Priority List, Not A To-Do List.

Instead of freaking out over all of the things you need to get done, try to organize your list in order from what is the top priority/needs to be done right this moment to what can wait for a little while.

Begin and end each day with your gratitude journal.

If you don't have one, that's okay. Grab a few sheets of paper and staple them together. Index cards work great, too. Every morning jot down 3-5 things you're grateful for. Do the same before you go to bed. Peace of mind begins with an ”Attitude of Gratitude”.

Reviewing pleasant every-day experiences gives you a little hit of serotonin (which neutralises the stress hormone, Cortisol)

Cut Back On Caffeine.

That doesn't mean that you have to give it up completely. Limiting yourself to drinking caffeine before noon can make a major difference in your mood (not to mention it'll make you feel less weighed down).

Try Rooibos Tea. Rooibos tea really works wonder as a stress reliever!

Organize Your Space.

Feeling overwhelmed can be a mental and physical thing. Even though this may sound strange, decluttering your space will actually make it that much easier for you to clear your mind.

Try Meditation Candles.

Take a time out during your busy day to really relax.

Using scented candles stimulates the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for rewarding behaviour, reinforcing behaviour and balancing moods.

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