The gift is in the giving

It is Christmas time again. It will be a different Christmas for many people this year as some families cannot be together due to border restrictions, and for some who live in countries going back into lockdown due to Covid-19, there will be a difference.

It is especially difficult for those people who miss the interaction of the younger members of the family at Christmas time, or for those blended families who often try just to “fit in” to please their parents, or partners.

Whatever the reason, there are ways to navigate your way through the season.

Tips to enjoy the season

1.Exercise and Breathing

Make sure that you take time to catch your breath and breathe 2 or 3 deep breaths when you are starting to feel stressed and do remember to exercise even if it is just going for a walk.

Activities like walking or jogging involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups which can be particularly stress relieving. Regular exercise can help lower stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins and improving your sleep and self-image.

The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who don’t exercise. Exercise helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.

2. Get enough Sleep

Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours sleep each night if you can.

3. Reduce your caffeine intake

Why not try Green tea which contains many polyphenol antioxidants which provides some good health benefits. It may also lower stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels.

4. Try to make it a “Happy time”

Try and spend happy time with family or friends, or if you can’t be together, Facetime or Whatsapp a meal together. Show interest in others and listen. Everyone has a story to tell.

5. Laugh more

Laughter is a great way to relieve stress and improve your immune system. If you cannot be with your family or friends, then watch a comedy, or find a humorous book to read.

6. Learn to say No sometimes

Take more control over the parts of your life that cause you unnecessary stress. By limiting the number of things you commit to will certainly reduce your stress levels.

7. Music

Listen to soothing music, or your favourite Christmas carols.

8.Count your blessings

Count as many blessings as you can each day, no matter how small. Remember, the fact that every day you can wake up and have fun if you want to, is something that is denied to many.

It is your Christmas too, so try to relax and have fun, laugh and be merry.  If you do find others around you difficult then try to rise above the situation.  If things don’t go to plan try not to worry too much, instead laugh about them and make them into fun memories that you can talk about during Christmases to come!

©2020| Author| Kathryn