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HEALTH TODAY –– A stress-free Christmas!

RELAXIt’s just 14 days to Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. And while most people are looking forward to that special day, for others it is simply a holiday of hassle.

But there’s no need to raise your blood pressure; you need instead to be ready for the New Year. This time around, focus on having a stress-free Christmas by employing these
simple tips.

1. Make a plan. Plan your ideal holiday. Sounds strange? No it isn’t.

If you want to enjoy Christmas, try writing down exactly how you would like to spend the season. Record all your activities, from gift shopping to going to church. This will help to keep you on track.

2. Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list. Share out the jobs that need to be done. Don’t slave away for hours on your own, and feel like people have taken advantage of you.

Discuss your plans with others, including spouse, siblings, children, so that you can listen to their ideas and wishes for the day. Then you can come up with a celebration, which includes things that please everyone.XMASXLIST

3. Make a budget. Keeping track of your spending will spare you a lot of stress. It is the season for giving, and lots of extra special treats; but don’t get carried away. Make a list of all the gifts you intend to buy and the things you need.

Plan your shopping.

Plan your shopping.

While keeping your spending within the constraints of a Christmas budget can be difficult, it is much easier than coping with months of debt. The stress accompanying the debt can be avoided by realistically considering your current financial circumstances and future needs, settling on an amount you can comfortably afford, and staying within that limit.

4. Focus on what’s most important. There are millions of things to do at Christmas. There’s cleaning, shopping, cooking and visiting friends, and a whole lot more. But we have to admit that we can’t do it all.

Refocus on what’s most important to you. If you’re overwhelmed, see what can be done after the holidays. Remember if you are burnt out, the holidays will be a bummer.

Priortize what’s important.

Priortize what’s important.

5. Do something new. How about doing something new this year? Make a change. Take one task that drives you crazy during the holidays and tackle it in a new way. A fresh approach just might make a difference.

6. Sit back and relax. Scheduling some downtime every day and week is important to maintaining your sanity and enjoying the company of your loved ones. Learn to make time for fun; take a deep breath and savour the moment.

Give yourself permission to forget about all those tasks still left on your to-do list.

7. Set deadlines. Have a cut-off point. Decide now when you will stop preparing and start enjoying. Having a stress-free holiday means you will have to put up your foot and let down your hair at some point. It’s all up to you, set your deadline.

Christmas Eve is a good time to put your feet up and admire your handiwork. If you work towards a goal, you are more likely to stick to it.

8. Eat right. In the rush to make the house just right, taking care of the children and guests, we forget to eat. Or we spend a few minutes eating unhealthy junk food. Remember the better you eat –– wholesome meals packed with veggies, fruits and lots of water –– the more energy you will have to keep up with all you have to do.

9. Make time for exercise. Sounds strange too? Christmas is, for many, a time of excessive eating and drinking, and exercise can be easily overlooked. Diets are particularly popular in January!


Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, as it burns off hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and helps produce mood-enhancing endorphins. Try going for a walk after dinner, as the fresh air and exercise will lift your mood and make you feel better. Enjoy the lights. ’Tis the season to be jolly!

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