That time of year is fast-approaching and we are beginning to be bombarded with reminders everywhere we look- Christmas cards and wrapping at the checkout, kids begging for their chocolate countdown calendars and writing (very long!) Christmas present wishlists, invitations to functions popping up on social media…It can get quite intense. Take a deep breath and read on for some tips from our resident psychologist Jacqui Manning on remaining calm and centered this Christmas.

Christmas is about spending time with the people we love, enjoying a meal together and taking some time to wind down after what has surely been a busy year. Sadly though, many people start to stress about the holidays and some even dread it, as buying never-ending gifts and organising elaborate lunch and dinner parties becomes top priority. Jacqui explains “We live in a culture of more more more, and Christmas highlights that feeling – we must say yes, we must get this and that, we must run and run until we’re all exhausted.
But must we, really?”
“This Christmas it’s important to listen to your inner voice and recognise when you feel like taking a break would be more beneficial. It’s not about avoiding every social situation but knowing you’ll be happier and healthier if you take your time to pause in between”.
Whilst booking up every weekend between now and the New Year may seem like a fun thing to do, it’s important to recognise when you are simply overdoing it and need to take a breather.
Jacqui gives some great advice: “Listen to your inner voice and cut corners where you can – sit down for a cup of tea in between your shopping, lie down for 15 minutes with your eyes closed (or in the car!) if exhaustion is setting in, and if you really feel strongly about not attending a function, say no. Remember you’re saying no to an event, not your friendship with that person.  Say yes to the shop assistants wrapping your gifts and take some calming relaxing breaths while you wait, enjoying standing still for a while”.

Regular exercise and good nutrition are also important to maintain as we often let these slide when we become too busy. Of course a little extra indulgence is part of the Christmas spirit but keep your energy and mood up by drinking lots of water, having protein at every meal and aiming to exercise at least three times per week. Getting to bed a little earlier than usual on days you don’t have social events will help you to cope better too when bigger days and late nights do happen.

Most importantly, try to remember what Christmas is meant to be about- being surrounded by family and friends, eating delicious food and relaxing. Let’s make this Silly Season a peaceful, nourishing and happy time that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for 2017! Jacqui is available for appointments on Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and alternate Saturday’s if you feel you need some extra support leading up to Christmas. Please call or email us to book 🙂