Get through the festive season minus the stress with Health & the City’s easy tips.
Shopping, crowds, family tension and too many kilojoule damaging parties – Christmas can be a stressful time of year. But, you don’t have to let Christmas get the better of you. Take a deep breath, relax the shoulders and rediscover the most wonderful time of year with our stress-less festive tips.
Get out in the sun: Take some time out to lye in the sun and soak up the rays. Sunlight boosts levels of the happiness-neurotransmitter serotonin, so make sure you have some fun in the sun each day throughout December.
Do less and enjoy more: Instead of heading to as many Christmas catch-ups as you can, only go to the most important. Say “no” to at least one thing throughout the festive season and you’ll have more energy to enjoy the events that are the most important to you.
Find time to laugh: Laughing gives you a mental and physical boost. It stimulates the circulation and aids muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce the symptoms of stress. Laughing will also boost your mood thanks to the endorphins they release from your brain. So put on your favourite funny movie and laugh away.
Go tech free: Turn off your phone, computer and tablet for 8 hours at least once a week. Being contactable 24/7 is exhausting and stressful, so switch off your gadgets and enjoy being in the moment minus the constant distractions.
Just breathe: Sounds simple right? Truth is few of us breathe correctly. Often we take short, rapid breaths and fail to maximise our oxygen uptake, which produces feelings of stress and anxiety. Taking deeper, slower breaths promotes feelings of calm and relaxation, helping us to de-stress.
Put on some tunes: Crank up the volume of your iPod and belt out your favourite tunes. Music elevates mood and reduces perceived effort, therefore distracting you from your stress. In fact singing solo has been found to boost energy levels and reduce tension nearly as much as a cardio workout. So sing your heart out!
Train hard: Start each day with a morning workout. Whether it is a walk, swim, run or ride, sweating out your frustrations will not only boost your mood, you’ll also be more productive for the day ahead and that is a stress release in itself.
Say “ohmmmm”: Spend 5-10 minutes each day in meditation – it will slow down a racing heart, reduce your blood pressure, slow down your breathing and help you stop stressing about everything you need to get down before the 25th December. Namaste.
About the author
Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and yoga teacher. Caitlin is passionate about all things health and wellness, and keeps up-to-date with the latest health research, which she uses when contributing expert advice to health, fitness, lifestyle and food companies. She is also the nutrition expert for the Women’s Fitness magazine, the dietitian for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and ambassador for Papaya Australia. Follow Caitlin on Instagram @caitlinareid or visit her website.