Five tips to survive stress during the festive season

by Meg Phillips, Clinical HypnotherapistWatch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

THE HOLIDAY SEASON CAN BE STRESSFUL FOR MANY
REASONS BUT IT IS POSSIBLE TO GET THROUGH THIS TIME BY FOLLOWING THESE STEPS.

REMEMBER TO BREATHE

Establishing a routine for deep breathing prior to the holidays will result in this becoming second nature to you when you are in a stressful situation. A simple and effective breathing technique, done first thing in the morning and last thing at night, is to lie on your back with your hands over your belly and the fingers just touching each other. Take a deep breath into your belly area and your fingers should separate slightly and then exhale slowly allowing your belly to go flat. Do this ten times. If you find you lose count, then exert a slight pressure on each finger after every exhalation.

STAY IN THE MOMENT

Cultivate mindfulness as a strategy. When you are eating…eat. Be aware of the flavour, texture, smell, feel of the food and be especially aware of when you feel full. It’s OK to say “No” to second helpings or to leave some food on the plate. If there is a vast array of food, see this as an opportunity to create a small “tasting plate” and again be aware of the presentation, texture, flavours, smell of the food and whether it is a “friend or foe” to your body.

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GIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS

This applies not only to presents, but to your time and what you are giving yourself in the way of “treats”. If you love to bake, then do so and give away your creations to family and friends. If you are giving your time, make sure that you leave enough for yourself to enjoy the occasion. If you are intending on giving yourself a “treat”, make it a massage instead of a meringue or a pedicure instead of a pie…

STICK TO ROUTINES AND STRUCTURE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

Have a plan. Most holiday stress comes about from that last minute rush to make everything perfect. Set goals that are realistic. Map out whether there are any obstacles to achieving the goals and what is the best way forward.

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR EMOTIONS

The holiday season can be difficult if you have had a bereavement or change in family structure. Spend time reflecting on what traditions you would like to keep and what you would like to change. Have a plan, this may be that you decide to keep the celebrations the way they have always been. Plan B is always good as a backup if you realize that you need some time alone or to leave a celebration a little early.

You can find more articles like this in our Summer 2016 issue e-magazine! Click on the below image to download

Summer 2016 magazine cover