Updated: Nov 29, 2022
After the stressful year we have all had and money worries, cost of living increases and Christmas on the way I know that this is leaving many people in a stressed and anxious state. As an holistic therapist I see people everyday whos stress has started to impact their life in someway often with physical pain and illness. As I specialise in working with the parents of stressed and anxious children, providing tools and techniques to minimise further stress in the household, this time of year can be particularly stressful. We all get stressed – but it is important to manage your stress, as any stress that you have often is picked up by your children, so here are 5 simple steps to a less stressed Christmas
1. Understand the things that stress you – and step back and look at what you can change and what you can't, be realistic. Then accept that is the way of things at least for this Christmas.
2. Planning – be realistic about what you can achieve - block out the days you know you have things going on, whether it is personal or business. Start with an overall plan for the month then break it down to what you are doing over the next week and then Daily. Try to have a top 3 priorities rather than an endless to do list. Once you have a plan it really does clear your mind and help to make you more focused, because you are less likely to be overwhelmed. REMEMBER it doesn't all have to be down to you delegate what you can! To your spouse other guests for Christmas day, sharing the food prep for instance - children often like to be involved in preparations too.....
3. Take time for you to focus and breath!– even just 5 minutes can help to reduce your stress levels.
For Example if you feel stressed have a refreshing glass of water and drink it slowly notice the feel of the water in your mouth, in between sips take a deep breathe 3 in six out and feel the tension leaving your body. Stop and re focus. You can do this anytime of day, staying hydrated will also make you feel better in yourself too.
4. Do some exercise – even if you can't get outside do some stretching to relieve tension in your muscles and body. Here is a great exercise when you feel tension in your neck and shoulders:
The Crescent Stretch – neck shoulders & upper back
An excellent stretching technique for stress is the crescent stretch. This stretch helps release tension from the neck, shoulders, and upper back while elongating your entire torso. While standing or sitting, raise your hands over your head. Interlock your fingers and as you exhale move your hands and arms to the right. Make sure to keep your shoulders back. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
Take several deep breathes and inhale as you move your hands back over your head.
Repeat the exercise moving your hands and arms toward the left. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
5. Write down the things you are grateful for just 3 each morning – it can be as simple as I am grateful that I have this day, I am grateful for my children, I am grateful I have a roof over my head. This gets you in a more positive frame of mind. Focusing on the things that you are grateful for will help you feel less stressed generally, looking at the good things in your life – yes you do need to deal with everything else – but that is a whole other project. This is all about having a less stressed Christmas this year.
If you are still feeling stressed you can join my Facebook group by clicking on the page