Christmas is definitely a time of love, Joy and family time, over eating, drinking and getting away. which we can all look forward too.
It is also full of Shopping, rushing around, organising and planning, driving around trying to find a car park, lifting heavy bags, cooking and cleaning, money worries and even having to put up with the odd in-law you’re not too fond of.
Christmas can be a stressful time for many.
If you are feeling stress or anxious, take control early before it controls you.
3 steps to a better Christmas.
When the mind believes it is time to panic a part of the brain called the Amygdala activates. It puts the body on high alert sending out adrenalin, increasing the heart rate which pumps more blood through to the muscles preparing you to fight or flee, taking blood away from the organs, to protect you from a physical threat – This is known as fight or flight mode
Just breathe! Stop what you are doing, go to a quiet place and focus on slowing your heart rate down; breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. Place your hand on your stomach and physically feel the stomach expand as you breathe in and reduce as you breathe out.
7/11 Breathing is very effective, Breathing in for 7, out for 11 the method of breathing is to make each “out” breath last longer than each “in” breath. This has the effect of stimulating the body’s natural relaxation mechanism – the parasympathetic nervous system into Rest and restore mode, restoring blood back into the organs and stomach to rest and digest
2. Adjust the Picture
Imagine a large wall in your house. Now image walking into your house and this large wall has graffiti, ugly words, and ugly colours all over it.
Now would you just leave that there for you to view every time you walk in to your home?
NO! You would paint over it or wash it clean. Wouldn’t you?
The same thing applies to your mind.
If the pictures running through your mind are stressful, daunting and ugly it’s time to change the story.
Take the time to implant positive stories. Clearly take yourself through a few events where you have felt calm, in control and were prepared.
Take the time to visualise it in detail; see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt. Feel the body’s weight drop, relax your shoulders and smile
Write down a list of tasks to do before the big day or the holidays, shopping, cooking, Family time what every it maybe leading up to the holidays Plan ahead each day on the tasks you need to do.
After you achieve once task, give yourself 5 minutes to enjoy the task complete.
Feel the rewards of achieving that task before moving to the next.
While writing down your tasks take the time to see yourself achieving them successfully. If you have people who interrupt, visualise yourself politely putting them off until you have more time. By taking the time to prepare your mind in successfully achieving your outcomes, your mind believes it to be more achievable.
Enjoy your time over the Christmas Period and know that you can make the decision to control stress and focus on the things you love about Christmas.