How to keep calm in the run up to Christmas

Author: Emma Gilbert

Now bonfire night is done it’s only 7 weeks until Christmas and the stress and panic begins to set in. Slowly at first, but as the weeks fly by many of us will succumb to the familiar feelings of pressure, anxiety and relentless business that often comes with the festive period. Along with the planning and preparation, there is also Christmas food, parties that keep us up date and a rush to see as many friends as possible, often stretching our diary and leading to more travel. Not to mention a stretch on the finances that might well keep us feeling stressed into the new year.

We call this the “fight or flight state”: less sleep, poorer digestion, less energy, more muscle tension and more mental stress that you would normally have. Like it or not, experiencing these things changes how our body works and prevents it from being at its best. In this fight or flight state, you don’t recover, repair or heal properly and over 7-8 weeks this can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life.

Winter also brings along the dark nights and more cold and viruses which are going to be much more difficult to fight off when your body is in this stressed state.

THINK – what will spending the next 2 months effectively in high stress mode do for your enjoyment of the Christmas build up: will it make it better or worse?

QUESTION – how much better would it be if you didn’t get into that state this year? 

How to avoid loosing your health for Christmas

No matter how stressed you get at Christmas, we could all benefit from focusing on these 3 top tips:

  1. Stop the “I should”, “I must”, “I have to”. Nobody puts expectations on you quite like you do. So, why not stop? Try using the phrase “I would like to” in your internal thoughts instead. Guess what, if it’s not something you would like to do, don’t do it!
  2. Ask yourself “does it really make a difference?” there are so many things that we could do in the run up to Christmas, try to identify the stuff that really matters from the stuff that doesn’t. If you’re honest, most of it isn’t actually that important.
  3. Be honest with yourself, family and friends. People generally respond really well to the truth so if you can’t afford gifts for all or would love to see your friend but actually you’re already over committed to things, say so. Make time for events, fun and friends in the new year and try to limit the pressure on yourself as much as possible

How to gain some health for Christmas

Enjoying the festive season full of energy and vitality isn’t just about avoiding unnecessary stress, there are some great proactive things you can do as well. Mainly, prioritising the habits that are going to bring you health, making you stronger to fight off the colds, stay up later and be at least 50% busier than normal.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Exercise at least 3x week
  • Get adjusted
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Limit junk food and keep your diet 80% healthy
  • Prioritise sleep wherever you can

We call these the 5 pillars of health and you can benefit from prioritising them anytime your life gets more demanding.

Wishing you a wonderful festive countdown 🙂