A Stress Free Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year?

What does Christmas mean for you? Is it a time for family, fun, good food, over indulgence, Christmas carols, a festive tipple, a religious celebration, all of the above? or perhaps none of the above! Christmas can certainly mean different things for different people but one thing is for sure and that is, that whilst it brings magic, it can also cause a great deal of stress. There are many different ways to combat this and of course what may work for one person will not be right for another! However, there are a few things that are universally helpful when it comes to releasing stress and allowing yourself the chance to really enjoy the festive season.

We all experience stress at some point in our lives and within normal levels, it is a natural response that allows us to deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life. While some of us thrive on it, others do not cope so well and if you fall into the latter category, it is especially important for you to take steps to ensure that your levels of stress do not encroach on your enjoyment of Christmas. There are many things that you can do here at the clubs and at home to actively reduce stress.

Plan ahead - there is nothing worse than leaving everything until the last minute and then scrambling around in a mad panic to get things done.  It can be helpful to make a list of all the little jobs that you need to do and tick them off one by one.  If you try to spread these tasks out over the course of a few weeks instead of leaving everything until Christmas Eve you will find that it becomes far more manageable and much less stressful. Of course you will probably still have some things that you need to do at the last minute but they will be in the minority rather than the majority.

Book a Massage - Not only can a relaxing massage soothe your muscles, it can be one of the best tools in your armoury to relieve emotional tension.  There are few things in life that can leave your body and soul feeling as though it has had a two week holiday without actually having a two week holiday! but a good massage is one of them.

Practice some "Me-Time" and Mindfulness - a fantastic way of lowering levels of stress and aiding relaxation that will cost you nothing but your time, is practising Mindfulness. That may be in the form of Meditation, Yoga, deep breathing or even something as simple as a walk in the countryside or allowing yourself a couple of hours to cuddle up with a blanket and a cup of tea and read a few chapters from your favourite book.

Get Moving - Whilst it can sometimes seem like exercise is the last thing you have time for when you are on the countdown to Christmas, it's actually the very thing you should be making time for.  By ensuring that you take regular exercise at a gym or in your own time, you will be naturally reducing your stress levels, as physical activity causes your brain to release endorphins which help promote relaxation, better sleep and which will then in turn reduce stress levels.  Not only that but it will also mean you have a head start come the New Year when everyone invariably feels that they have overindulged!

By implementing a few little tweaks to your lifestyle at this busy time it can certainly make for a less frantic run up to Christmas and whilst it may be difficult to eliminate stress completely....every little helps!

Merry Christmas - may your Christmas & New Year be fun filled and stress free!

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