71% of Australian parents say that they feel stressed and anxious in the lead up to Christmas Day, with 35% admitting to self-medicating with alcohol. This isn’t what Christmas should be about and there are healthier ways to relieve stress so that you can enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. Taking some time out to look after yourself can be difficult if you have a family or lots to do, but it’s essential. You cannot be there for your family and enjoy the festivities if you’re not 100%. So go and get a massage or take some time to do something you enjoy.
Take Some Time For Yourself
A lot of your thoughts and energy can go into what you’re going to buy or make for people as gifts, stressing over Christmas dinner, where everyone is going to sit and if you’re going to fit all the food in the oven. It’s important to stop and take some time for yourself each day so that you don’t get caught up in the emotions and stress that can come with Christmas. Even if it’s half an hour to take a relaxing bath, read a book or browse online, it will help you to remain calm and think clearly so that you can go back to your to-do list with fresh eyes and deal with everything effectively.
Getting a massage is one of the best ways to take some time away from the madness of Christmas and de-stress. Incorporating aromatherapy into your massage boasts even more benefits, from relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety to eliminating headaches and helping you to fall to sleep. Many essential oils are believed to be antivirals, antifungal and antioxidant, so your overall health will benefit. If you don’t have time or spare money for a massage, you can burn candles around the home that contain essential oils that will also offer benefits, particularly if you choose a plant-based wax that doesn’t negatively affect your health, such as soy wax. Lavender, ylang-ylang and chamomile are all good choices for stress-relief.
Mindfulness is a great way to practice living in the present moment, not letting past experiences or future potential problems worry you. Studies looking at the benefits of mindfulness have found that it can effectively improve anxiety, prevent and treat depression and improve cognition. To start practicing mindfulness, commit just a few minutes a day to it, gradually increasing how long you spend over a week or two, until you’re at a comfortable level. You can then start to incorporate it into your daily life, such as while you’re in a queue or on a train. When you experience stress or anxiety, such as over the holidays, you’ll be able to deal with it easier by evaluating the situation for what it is, instead of worrying.
Mindfulness, aromatherapy and simply taking some time for yourself can help you to relax and feel better so that you can enjoy spending time with your loved ones over Christmas, which should be the priority anyway. Holistic approaches help you to avoid self-medicating, especially at a time of year when temptation is all around and can exacerbate the situation.