Christmas stress or Christmas cheer?
Christmas is a jolly, happy affair, full of cheer and good will, isn’t it?
If you do, you certainly are not alone. GPs and other health professionals see cases of stress, depression and anxiety peak at this time of year. As well as juggling work and family life, mums particularly often bear the brunt of creating a perfect day for everyone around them, whilst having very little time to actually enjoy the whole thing themselves.
There are cards to be sent, presents to be bought, menus to plan, nativity costumes to whiz up out of thin air, trees to be decorated, in-laws to be entertained – the list goes on forever. And all this seems to start earlier and earlier from September here in the supermarkets of North London. It?s exhausting isn’t it? So what can you do to navigate all of this, to keep the good will flowing and even to enjoy this time?
In my Cognitive Hypnotherapy practice, I teach people like you ways to cope with the pressures of daily life. These tools can be particularly useful during the festive season. Why not give some of them a go and let me know how you get on.
1. When the going gets tough, breathe.
It makes sense that it is physiologically impossible to feel relaxed and stressed at the same time and 7/11 Breathing is one of the best ways to counteract stress. It?s a very simple technique that you can use in all situations. It slows your heart rate down and calms the mind. For instructions have a look at http://www.kirstyhanly.co.uk/711-breathing-for-stress-reduction/
2. Become Queen of Lists
It might sound obvious, but it?s easy to forget how much better things can be when they are out of your head and down on paper. Make a list at the start of every day and check it off as you go. You get the added benefit of revelling in satisfaction at the end of each day as you see how much you?ve achieved.
3. Don’t forget about you
You are very important in this whole equation. We all know how to take care of ourselves don’t we eat well, get enough sleep, exercise, but it can be easy to forget, especially during the party season. You might be surprised that just by spending a few moments a day to be still and to check in with how you’re feeling can make all the difference. Some people choose to listen to a hypnosis CD or learn self-hypnosis to help them to relax. A Cognitive Hypnotherapist in your area could help you with this.
4. Set a budget and stick to it
Financial issues are one of the largest cause of stress in the UK. At Christmas this is often highlighted as the pressure mounts to spend, spend, spend. So be realistic. Set a budget and stick to it. It might be a cliche, but it’s a truth that it isn’t the size of the gift but the act of giving and receiving that’s the lovely bit. You’ve probably seen your children enjoying the box more than the present on a number of occasions. Keep that in mind when you are planning the gift list this year.
5. Spend a moment feeling the love (wherever you can find it)
Did you know that positive interactions actually keep you healthy? The bonding hormone oxytocin is released whenever we experience warm emotional connections. Studies have shown that this has an effect on the vegus nerve which in turn reduces inflammation in the body, making you feel all round healthier. So by smiling lots, spending time being with people you love and in being kind to others you are actually improving your own health and wellbeing. It’s official – coffee with friends keeps you healthy. How lovely is that?
Why not give these tips a try and do suggest any others that might help others to enjoy all the good things that Christmas has to offer.
Kirsty Hanly is a Coach and Cognitive Hypnotherapist practicing in Harley Street, London. For more information on how Cognitive Hypnotherapy can help, have a look at www.kirstyhanly.co.uk. or go to the Contact Me page to make a booking.