Okay, we're at that point now. There is no going back. It's unavoidable. The festive period is upon us (I know this, because I have finally seen the Coca-Cola advert). Indeed, some people have had their Christmas lights up for a few weeks now, and, with the dark days upon us, you can't ignore them anymore.
Christmas is a great time of year, my personal favourite, in fact, along with most of the population. It's a time for seeing friends and family, for lazy days in front of the fire, for Christmas entertainment and festive tunes on every single channel. Perfect days and cosy nights (not to mention my birthday earlier in the month).
But, for many, this isn't always the case. Stress-levels are often elevated thanks to a multitude of things; close proximity to family members, that all-important Christmas dinner and the stuffed aftermath, and arguments about who should win the X Factor. Not to mention hosting, entertaining, dressing for parties, presents, presents, presents.
Can you feel your blood pressure rising? Hyperventilating? Panic setting in?
People often push themselves to the limit at Christmas, all in the name of Jesus . . . Okay, and having a good time. We forget the damage that stress can inflict on our health. But there are some simple solutions to guarantee a fun, stress-free Christmas:
A lot of people diet in the run-up to Christmas, in a similar fashion to a pre-holiday cleanse, all with the thought process that there will be a lot of food consumed. It's not a good idea, because, even if you lose weight in the run-up, that great feeling will soon be flattened when you weigh yourself post-holidays to discover you've put the pounds back on, and possibly more.
(If you feel you need a little help, Gordon Hill, Hypnotherapist is offering a virtual gastric band therapy treatment for £50 up till the end of December, a saving of £20)
There is a lot to do. Plan, prepare and pace yourself. Don't attempt it all at once, and try to avoid last minute mayhem. It's a holiday that comes round once a year, and it's not about throwing the perfect Christmas, it's about having fun with the people you care about.
(Treat yourself to a relaxing massage with Petra Barlow. As a qualified Aromatherapist, Petra can mix a unique blend of oils to specifically target anxiety and stress. On offer at the moment is a half hour massage for £10 instead of £20)
Everybody loves presents. And, it's always great to receive them. Don't panic about looking for the perfect gift, as I'm sure, for most people, it really is the thought that counts. And, worst case scenario, keep the receipts.
(Stuck for a present? Petra has gift vouchers in lots of denominations, or why not get three friends together for a Pamper Party? Choose from half hour Massage, Facial or Reiki treatments; you add the wine and the chit chat, and all for £10 per person)
Despite the days becoming night much earlier than usual, this doesn't result in more sleep. In fact, it accounts for the opposite. Late nights as a result of socialising, combined with less sunlight and more alcohol, can cause insomnia, which is sure to drive stress levels through the roof. Eight hours is ideal around this time of year, and early nights don't mean you're missing out on anything.
(If you have trouble sleeping, try acupuncture for a relaxing, balancing health treatment. A four session course of acupuncture with Chartered Physiotherapist Karen Willcock is £160; over the festive season if you pay for four sessions at the outset, you receive a fifth session totally free)
The cold and dark conditions, and the entertaining at home mean that people move a lot less during the festive period. This can cause problems with the body; stiffness and soreness of joints, back and neck pain, restlessness. Keeping up your regular routine will prevent this, as will initialising a new one, even if it's just a nice walk in the snow.
(If you do start to stiffen up from too much sofa sitting, Bolton Therapy Centre is the only practice locally to utilise ‘Theraflex’, a ‘bionic hand’ for backs, which mobilises every joint in the spine and helps to keep the spine supple and elastic)
Christmas is a time for enjoyment, for fun and frolics. Don't allow stress to ruin what should be one of the merriest times of year. If you feel like you could be at risk, or think you could benefit from anything above,
Member since: 9th July 2012
I think. I type. I publish.