The advent of December heralds the festive period where it can feel like every turn presents an opportunity to consume the most tempting food and drink, shops are lit up like Christmas trees to tempt us in and Mariah Carey songs fill the airwaves, - it’s “the most wonderful time of the year”.
However, alongside the wave of Christmas euphoria, there can be significant stress attached to the festive period which often gets overlooked. When you combine this with a growing to-do list and the pressure to create a fantastic experience for everyone around you, it can be an emotionally exhausting month. Research shows that when our stress levels increase over a prolonged period of time our stress hormone cortisol increases too. This can suppress our immune systems and create adrenal problems where we are in a permanent state of exhaustion.
Taking care of our own mental wellbeing and alleviating Christmas stress should be a top priority and we’ve put together some tips to help you manage stress this Christmas.
Stress-free Christmas Tips & Ideas
We are big believers in the power of a list! Take some time to make a note of everyone you need to buy for before you go shopping. Do some research and plan as much as possible. If you’re unsure what to get someone, ask them for a few ideas. Buying someone a gift they want will cut down indecision time and reduce the likelihood of a disappointed face on Christmas Day. Money problems are one of the biggest contributors to stress levels so have a budget and stick to it.
Claustrophobia and Christmas Shopping
Fighting your way through crowds on Christmas Eve can definitely raise your blood pressure and stress levels if you don’t like the enclosed spaces. Try switching from sugary fizzy drinks, coffee and teas to calming drinks such as chamomile or lavender to avoid over stimulating the nervous system. The 3-4-5 breath - in for a count of 3, hold for 4 and out to a count of 5 will also help. This can be done in the car and the tube, helping retrain the body to clear the lungs and calm the mind.
If going to the shops fills you with dread then online shopping could be the solution -allowing you to tick items off your list quickly.
Christmas can really hit your bank balance, but there are small tweaks you can make to save money and financial stress. Try to recycle as many decorations as you can from the previous year, or head to budget shops for wrapping paper and extras, instead of paying more than you need to.
If you’ve got a group of friends who buy gifts for each other, why not suggest a Secret Santa style of present-giving where everyone picks a name, and chooses a gift for that one person. Be sure to agree to a price limit for presents!
Peace of Mind
Take short but regular breathers and some time out for self-care can help you to avoid mounting Christmas stress. Go for a walk, spend time with loved ones – find time to relax.
Our Saffrosun® Organic Saffron is perfect for alleviating Christmas stress naturally. It contains the highest strength of the bioactives crocin, saffranal & picrocrocin, along with vitamins B6, B12 and D3.
Saffrosun® works to combat symptoms that are more likely to occur during festive stress:
- Restore emotional balance
- Reduce tiredness
- Promote good sleep
- Alleviate nervousness
- Maintain normal psychological functionThe Big Day
Try to manage expectations for your Christmas Day. If you expect perfection then you may be disappointed, instead try to aim for an enjoyable day but perhaps with a few mishaps along the way! Drawing up a (flexible) plan can keep you feeling organised, especially around travel plans and Christmas dinner timings.
Wrap presents in advance to avoid any last-minute panic and just focus on having fun.
Family at Christmas
Unfortunately, a lot of stress can come from trying to please everyone or having to manage difficult family members and keep the peace.
Putting coping strategies in place for dealing with family dynamics and making sure conflict doesn’t arise is important. Give some thought to the seating plan, try keeping family that don’t get on apart at the table. Having some games to play and things to do to help navigate the day.
Most importantly, enjoy the Christmas Season and try to make sure it really is a period of proper rest and reconnection. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.