The lead up to Christmas and the festivities themselves can bring a sprinkling of magic to our lives but also come with quite a heavy smattering of Christmas stress too. What can we do to sail peacefully through the festive tide? How can we best navigate this notoriously stressful time of year?
We’ve made a list of 10 holiday stress tips you can do to help you deal with any anxiety this time of year might bring and to make sure that you keep calm this Christmas and enjoy the season of goodwill, stress-free.
Our Top Tips to Keep Calm and Love Christmas
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1. Get Enough Sleep
In the lead up to and during Christmas try and get some early nights. Some studies note that if you go to bed very late you are more likely to be overwhelmed with repetitive negative thoughts. Try a bedtime routine to help with your Christmas stress and include a bit more self-care, over time it may become a ritual that you look forward to.
- Soak in a long bath pre-bedtime. Add Epsom salts (for relieving aches and pains) and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender helps calm our nervous systems and promotes a deeper, more restful sleep.
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea with a teaspoon of raw honey. Chamomile has long been used as a natural sleep aid and is thought to help the body relax Honey helps to fight infections and seasonal allergies
- During the break, remember it’s your holiday too. Take a cat nap after lunch. A short sleep of 20-30 minutes can help to boost your mood, make you more alert and help you manage tasks better in general.
2. Go Outdoors
Get outside and take a walk. Strolling out will give you some time to clear your head and relieve that Christmas stress, also to get inspired and help to jolt your system into action after a heavy meal.
- The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain. One study found that walking improves both convergent and divergent thinking, which simply put means it gets your creative juices flowing
- Exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of feel-good serotonin. Serotonin boosts our mood and helps us to feel calm and focused
- If you are near nature, take some time to enjoy it. More and more studies show that there is a significant increase in people’s health and happiness when they are amongst nature.
3. Stay on Track
Don’t abandon fitness regimes entirely over the holidays. Even a short 20-minute run or swim has massive benefits for your body and helps you look great too. When blood is pumped around our bodies, nutrients rush to the surface that help to plump and clear skin and improve our complexion.
- If you’re away from home do some research and find a short, easy run that you can use as an escape route! Short bursts of cardio really help you to blow off steam and the effects last all day as your metabolism is fired up.
- Even if you get out and just kick a ball around with the children, this cardio exercise will release endorphins, our happy hormones!
- Try doing the Five Tibetans every morning. This simple practice will give your body a great stretch and fans swear that if done daily these exercises are the secret to eternal youth! Ideal to keep you calm this Christmas!
4. Take CBD for Christmas Stress
Cannabidiol (CBD) could be an effective natural alternative to prescription drugs if you are suffering from anxiety. CBD is a compound found in the hemp plant called cannabis sativa. A 2015 study revealed that there is strong evidence to support the potential for CBD as a treatment for anxiety.
- Try Endoca’s 3% raw hemp drops as a starter. Raw CBD hemp oil maintains the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from the original plant all preserved as it is extracted using the CO2 method without any chemicals.
- Choose which product is best for you and then find your sweet spot by following the dosing instructions on our website.
5. Ditch the Digital
It is tempting to sit on the sofa and scroll yourself stupid over the holiday period! Try an electronics fast, this will force you to connect with others and with yourself.
- Have a designated digital time for every one of maybe two half-hour periods a day. That way there will be times when none of you are distracted and everyone is engaged.
- Don’t take your phones to bed. Make a conscious effort to leave your phones in another room overnight. The World Health Organization warned in 2011 that usage may be possibly carcinogenic to humans, especially in children.
- Don’t reach for your phone once you stop being ‘busy’. Learn how to be present and grateful for the moment. This is one of the most important holiday stress tips.
6. Release Expectations
If your expectations are too high it’s a recipe for disaster. Be realistic with what you want to achieve. Don’t be afraid to abandon old customs that cause you Christmas stress, this can be a good strategy if you’re feeling lonely or you have lost someone with whom you used to spend Christmas.
- Go somewhere different. Plan a special trip you’ve been dreaming of or go on an adventure. An active holiday will keep you busy, distracted and happy
- Why not take up that offer from friends to spend Christmas day with them? If family is not your choice or they are busy doing other things this can be a light-hearted alternative
- Invite people you know who will be on their own over to your house. You may just make their day and you’ll feel good about it too.
7. Laugh out Loud
Laughing triggers endorphins and reduces stress, which in turn helps boost immunity.
- Get the jokes out! Don’t leave laughs till Christmas lunch or to the Christmas crackers! Have a joke book lying around that’s visible to everyone. See how laughter is catching!
- Put a comedian on the TV that everyone loves and have a giggle
- Play a game together. Any game like charades or even a simple arm wrestle will get you all chuckling.
8. Own your Feelings
Whether it’s your mother-in-law or child who’s driving you round the Christmas tree and causing you Christmas stress, you’re the one who decides how you respond to the things around you.
- If you’re at someone else’s house try not to get stressed out because you are not in control of the situation. Offer to take on tasks or find a quiet spot and stay out of the way! A perceived loss of control can be a trigger for anxiety.
9. Give Gratitude
If you’re really feeling glum and you can’t get out of a negative thought pattern, thinking about what you are grateful for can turn around a bad day.
- Think of your top ten reasons to feel grateful and to keep at calm Christmas about. Count them on each finger as you say them out loud
- Make a list before you go to sleep of the things you felt thankful for during the day.
10. Take a Deep Breath and Meditate
When it all becomes overwhelming and Christmas stress is in full effect, deep, controlled breathing exercises can really help to restore a sense of peace. Or take it one step further and try a meditation practice for five minutes a day.
- Find a place where you can be alone and sit comfortably. Use a timer on your phone so that you don’t worry about falling asleep! Close your eyes and relax. Count as you breathe in and out. Allow your thoughts to come and go. Don’t hold onto them
- Playing some gentle meditation music or using essential oils can help you to reach a place of peace. Rub some lavender essential oil between your hands and breathe it in deeply before you begin
- Use a free app such as Headspace to accompany you and help you learn the basics of meditation.
Don’t let Christmas stress be the one thing that ruins your holidays this year, try our holiday stress tips and remember to keep calm this Christmas!
Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Endoca and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cure. Endoca CBD products have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).