Christmas is often referred to as the ‘most magical time of the year’, but not everyone feels full of joy and magic during the festive period. Christmas can be a very stressful time of the year for a number of reasons; whether that’s financial stresses, family tensions, feeling like you have no time to yourself or even stress about finding the perfect gift that is meaningful.
How to stay calm at Christmas
To help you get on top of any Christmas Day stress that might come about over the next few weeks, we have laid out a few useful tips and tricks to help you combat the stress before Christmas by listing a few activities to help you take some time for yourself.
Move your body
You either love or hate exercise, but exercising is one of the best natural remedies for reducing stress. Getting up and moving will release more of your feel-good endorphins and also distract you from any holiday stress and here is why! When you practise aerobic exercise, your body will automatically release chemicals known as endorphins or your ‘happy chemicals’. The endorphins then trigger a positive feeling which will leave you feeling happier and hopefully less stressed.
Exercise is also a great distraction from your problems as it gives you something else to focus on. Whether you’re taking a brisk walk outside and taking in your surroundings or playing a game of football with your friends, you might find that these activities will often make you forget about the irritations and stress of the day, leaving you feeling calmer.
A little bit of cooking
It really wouldn’t be Christmas without taking part in a little bit of festive baking or cooking, but did you know it can also make you feel better? And no, it’s not just because you get to eat the delicious goodies after they are out of the oven (although that is a pretty good reason to do it). Baking is actually a form of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be present in the moment and to be aware of your surroundings and what you’re doing.
Baking or cooking is all about that; you have to carefully measure out the ingredients, follow the recipe step by step and keep an eye on the cooking time. As you’re focusing on the different elements of the dish, whether that be a chocolate yule log or some Christmas-tree shaped cheese scones, your brain switches off from what was previously causing you stress, and you should feel more relaxed afterwards.
Meditation & sleep
If you’re feeling stressed at any time of the year, you might notice that you haven’t been sleeping as well which can leave you feeling exhausted, lethargic and often more stressed than when you went to sleep. Getting a good night's sleep is very important; adults should typically sleep for 7-9 hours a night; how many hours of sleep do you get a night? If you’re struggling to fall asleep, or you fancy trying out meditation as a form of stress relief, we have just the device for you.
Morphée is our wave-free sleep and meditation aid device that will help you to unwind and will help to improve the quality of your sleep. In total, there are over 200 guided-sessions for you to choose from, all of which have been created by sleep professionals. If you know anyone that regularly struggles to sleep, Morphée could be the perfect gift—even better there is a My Little Morphée device for children as well.
Find something you enjoy
No matter what your hobbies are or what you enjoy doing to help you relax, engaging with an activity that is interesting to you will help to improve your mood, lower your heart rate, and help keep you calm this Christmas.
One of our favourite activities to do at this time of the year, is having a Christmas film marathon, whilst eating some delicious festive goodies that we have baked earlier in the day. Whether you enjoy arts and crafts, baking, walking or taking a long hot bath – anything you enjoy doing, you should take time out of your busy day to do it.
Tips on what to avoid this Christmas
Whilst there are lots of things we can do to make ourselves feel better over the Christmas period there are a few things we should try to avoid as well to keep us feeling fresh and relaxed over the festive period.
Over the Christmas, there are a lot of festive cocktails and alcoholic presents you may be given which can sometimes lead to an over indulgence which will often leave you feeling worse. Alcohol and mental health are closely linked together, if you drink too much this can negatively affect your mental health and well-being. As the alcohol wears off, we will often feel worse because of the way alcohol affects our body and brain leaving us feeling run-down, unwell and often anxious. Just like drinking too much, eating too much and leaving ourselves in a festive food coma can also be a problem.
Too much food
As Christmas food is often high in carbs and fat, the insulin levels in your body can go into overdrive and the effects will leave you feeling drowsy, unwell and tired.
Let it go
The last thing to avoid is putting pressure on yourself. Christmas is supposed to be a joyful and exciting time of the year which is why you need to remember that not everything needs to be perfect and ‘Instagram worthy’. Think about the type of Christmas you and your family will enjoy and focus on spending time with your loved ones and having a Happy Christmas and healthy New Year.
Happy Christmas from the team at Morphée