Reducing Christmas stress

Amanda Roe: Acupuncture and Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Call 087 6331898

The holiday decorations and music insist that, ‘it’s the season to be jolly’ but the reality of balancing work, home and finances at Christmas time can be stressful and affect your energy levels and mood.

The emphasis is for families to come together, so for those who are bereaved, without family or whose loved ones cannot make it home, it can be a sad and lonely time. For others, family grievances can add to the stress and frustrations.

Acknowledge your own feelings, especially if someone close to you has recently died. It is normal to feel sadness and grief and it’s ok to cry. It is not necessary to pretend to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.

Normal levels of stress are motivational but it is necessary to keep an eye on your mood and emotional stress levels to prevent them becoming overwhelming, as high levels of stress can lead to anxiety, depression and stress-related illness.

To manage stress, it is important to be realistic with your time and what you know you can achieve. It is important to ask for help when you need it and ok to tell others when you have over-committed and need to step back for a while.

Make a list of all your commitments over the holiday period and the budget you have to work with. You could suggest only buying gifts for the children, or for adults to exchange homemade gifts, or do Secret Santa where only one name is chosen from a hat and a limit on the price of the gift agreed.

Large family dinners can be time-consuming and expensive for the host. If you decide on your menu early, you can start to buy long-life food items at the beginning of December to spread the costs through the month. Or suggest that everyone contributes, make a list and ask relatives to bring one of the following…a starter, vegetable dish, main, dessert or beverage. Have a to-do list and ask your children or guests to pick something that they are happy to help out with. Many hands make light work and can make the occasion more enjoyable for everyone. Whenever possible continue with healthy eating habits, as over-indulgence only adds to the stress and guilt afterwards.

If you know someone who lives alone, inviting them to join you for a meal or taking time to visit can mean a lot to them. Social media can help us to stay connected with family abroad by sending pictures or scheduling a live chat that works with everyone’s time zone.

Calling a truce or putting aside your differences with a family member can reduce your stress levels: As Buddha said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else…you are the one who gets burned.’

Prioritise time for yourself to recharge your batteries especially if you are caring for loved ones. This valuable time will help you to relax, re-energise and reduce stress.

Try these suggestions: Take a walk out in the fresh air daily, go to bed early, read a book, listen to some soothing music. Deep abdominal breathing is a free, quick, and easy way to reduce your stress levels. Sit comfortably and place both hands on your belly, breathe gently in and out through your nose, and notice how your breath moves down from your chest to your belly. Five to 10 minutes of belly breathing daily can reenergise you and makes real physiological changes in your body to reduce stress.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and may the new year bring joy, peace and happiness to you.

Amanda Roe is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Acupuncturist. She uses a range of holistic therapies including guidance around food to improve physical, emotional and mental health and support natural recover from trauma, eating disorders and other mind/body illness. For more information or to book a session visit or call/text Amanda on: 087 633 1898.

WCP Staff

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