Get through Christmas Like a Pro...

Handling Christmas like a God / Goddess

It is not only the season to be jolly - it's also the season that can cause an awful lot of stress /distress. Family, food and far too much fun can all add up to feeling a little worse for wear. Here are 10 helpful hints to help you get through:

1. Breathe...! This is a good time to adopt the concept of belly breathing... deep long slow breaths that originate in your belly, in and out through your nose. This will slow your heart-rate, invoke your parasympathetic nervous system (resting state) and reduce your anxiety

2. Slump: While keeping your spine straight (but not stiff) allow your shoulders to roll up to your ears, then towards your back and allow a little 'slump' - so they relax. Repeat!

3. Choose your Battles: Traffic, family, pushy shoppers... give them and yourself a little slack, let the person go in front of you, let the comment from your sister slide - you're bigger than all that. It will help you (and possibly them) stay calm.

4. Kindness: Give a little. As I've mentioned before Giving is as beneficial for the giver as the receiver. Make sure you follow the suggestions for being a 'successful giver'. Choose a charity, a person or any other organisation - it helps you feel a sense of belonging and an authentic pride knowing you can help others

5. Gratitude: I know, we have heard this time and time again - but take a moment - list three things you are thankful for right now. Do this regularly - it helps to remind yourself of all the things to be thankful for - despite all the things that might 'not be going your way'.

6. Eat Well:  I know, it's Christmas, but in amongst all the pav, ham, chocolate eclairs and Christmas cake - eat a few green veges, drink a few glasses of water, eat some delicious summer fruit. Your body will love you for it.

7. Exercise: Go for walk. Even a 10 minute walk after meals is shown to decrease your blood sugar levels. It'll make you feel better, help get rid of any tension you might be holding on to, increase your oxygen levels and help to get you some vitamin D - which is necessary for healthy cell production (think anti-cancer!)

8. Reduce alcohol:  You probably don't need that third glass of champagne.... you are likely to stay more in control and feel better about yourself in the morning - stop after one or two glasses. Drink water, bring a non alcoholic drink.

9. Let some things go: Whether it's that extra invitation to another Christmas lunch, the drive to the other-side of the city to 'buy more presents', baking an extra lot of cookies/cake etc... don't make your life harder than it is. Say 'no', stay home, have a nap, enjoy the sunshine, do something lovely for yourself instead.

10. Practice Mindfulness:  Mindful eating, mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindfully opening presents... There are many opportunities to take a moment and 'just be'. Allow yourself to indulge in a few moments of peace and quiet - even if you are surrounded with people - you can take a mindful breathing, check in on yourself, appreciate a moment and make decisions accordingly

Merry Christmas!