Though Christmas hasn’t yet been conquered, the season of giving, altruism and generosity is certainly beginning to loom large. And that’s just great, we love the festive period and all the socialising and celebrating it brings. 

Sometimes, it has to be said, it doesn’t love us in quite the same way. Indeed, Christmas can end up being a stressful, unhealthy time, of overindulgence and overt emotions. It’s important, then, to remember to take care of yourself during this time; because self improvement doesn’t have to be selfish, here are 4 IDEAL ways to look reduce stress during the festive season.

EAT RIGHT

Another mince pie? Why not, I’ve only had seven today. When the snacks are always in, the fridge always stocked and the drinks cupboard fuller than usual, it can be hugely tempting over the Christmas season to throw caution to the wind and forget all self-control where our diets are concerned. But ask yourself if it’s really worth it. That post-Christmas slump, and the struggle to get back into the gym, can be really tough and counter-intuitive if you spend the whole of the month overdoing it. 

A little moderation goes a long way. Whilst we wouldn’t want to discourage enjoying all the delicious treats of the season, it’s sensible to at least bear portion size in mind during December, as well as making an effort to still eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and other nutritious elements. Should you feel that you’re missing out on the healthy stuff in the midst of all the Christmas canapes and finger food, there’s no harm in topping up your diet with multivitamin supplements.

EXERCISE

Routine seems to go down the toilet as soon as the Christmas tree goes up. The party season demands a huge amount of space on our calendar and conversely, that part of the day we usually dedicate to the gym gets squeezed out by more pressing concerns. But during a time of such overindulgence, it’s vital you keep up with your exercise regime, to keep the wolf from the door, your energy levels consistent and stress levels lower. 

Exercise has been proven time and time again to help us let off steam and reduce stress, so don’t miss out on it just because you’re a little busier than usual. If you really can’t find the time for a gym trip, try fitting in a quick home exercise instead, as a stop-gap solution. Check out our 5 IDEAL tips for working out at home here.

MEDITATE

Meditation and mindfulness have been attributed with providing a whole host of amazing benefits to those devoted to the discipline. These include improved concentration, reduced stress levels, help with addiction and many, many more things besides. And a period of calm, where you can listen to your own thoughts and needs attentively and without distraction? Well, doesn’t that sound pretty ideal during a period of near non-stop stimulation? 

It only takes ten or so minutes a day of stillness and calm, and there are plenty of apps out there to assist you in getting going if this is your first time, but the effect on your overall well being can be huge. When combined holistically with other calming elements – you could do a daily yoga routine, buy CBD products or other herbal supplements, listen to white noise, or learn more about breathing and visualisation techniques – your traditional Christmas stress will be reduced.

STICK TO YOUR USUAL ROUTINE

After a couple of months of gentle, predictable routine, the party season can throw us a little off-kilter. The sporadic late nights, necessary lie-ins and missed alarm clocks, as well as the skipped dinners and odd snacking timetable, can leave our sense of inner calm in tatters. We realise it may sound simple, but to look after yourself well during the Christmas period, try to keep to your usual routine as much as possible, as that predictability can be comforting and a great way to tackle stress.

 

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