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Stressed out about everything you still need to do before Christmas? Read on for five really easy and practical tips to help you feel calmer this Christmas. You might even find the tips so helpful that you take them with you into 2020…
1. Express gratitude
In all of the rush of the festive season we tend to forget how grateful we should be for friends and family. According to research by the Harvard Medical School, showing gratitude can make us happier, healthier, and also give us a boost of confidence.
Try this as a practice of gratitude: instead of signing your Christmas cards at record-breaking speed, use it as a form of calming therapy. Do this:
- Set up your desk with candles and soft lighting- put out cards, pens and some pictures of family and friends.
- Pretend you’re writing warm hugs. A Christmas card can feel just like an embrace to the person receiving it. Let the recipient know how much they mean to you – even organise to meet up in the new year.
- And repeat… Set aside sometime every day to write out meaningful cards for those you love. You should definitely feel much calmer.
2. Need an energy boost? Just add fizz!
It’s the fizz in effervescent supplements that help them work in our bodies. Try one of these to give you that boost:
- Stressed out? Try Slow-Mag Fizzies Effervescent, from R146 for 20, Clicks
- Worn out? Try Bioplus Effervescent Tablets, from R72,99 for 10, Clicks
- Low on energy? Try Berocca Performance, from R229,95 for 30, Dischem
- Feeling flat? Vita-Thion Effervescent Tablets, from R135 for 20, Clicks
3. Ease into sleep
If your to-do list is keeping you up at night, a deeply soothing essential oil can bring on sweet dreams.
Sweet Marjoram oil is a good remedy. With its calming and sedating action, it can ease nervous tension and help bring on peaceful sleep. It also provides good relief for muscle and joint aches.
How? Add five to eight drops to a spoonful of full-cream milk and pour in the water as it runs into the bath.
4. Hug your anxiety goodbye
Let feelings of anxiety and frustration melt away with a hug. Try doing a knee hug – it’s a wonderful way to release anxiety, says psychotherapist Dr Patrizia Collard.
How to do the knee hug:
- Start from a comfortable position, lying on your back. Support your neck with a pillow or towel.
- Bend your legs, one at a time, into the chest and gently squeeze them lightly. You can also put your arms behind the knees. Press each vertebra into the floor. Listen to your breathing.
- Hold for as long as is comfortable.
- Gently let go of your knees and relax your legs onto the floor.
5. Ease up on the caffeine, try these natural beverages instead
Wired nerves contribute to seasonal stress, so why not help by giving up caffeine over this festive time. Switch to herbal teas – which have great health benefits.
- Nervous tum? Fennel helps detox and soothes digestion, it is also great to ease bloating. Try Pukka Three Fennel Tea, R102, Faithful to Nature
- Feeling wired? A relaxing blend of herbs and spices will do the trick. Try Yogi Organic Wellbeing Tea, R80, FeelGood Health
- Lost focus? Gingko is a great herb shown to improve concentration and memory. Try Buddha Gingko Biloba Tea, R120, eVitamins
- Can’t sleep? Try a calming cuppa with lemon balm, lavender and chamomile. Try Higher Living Organic Sweet Dreams Tea, R39.99, Woolworths
Compiled by Features Writer, Andrea Cresswell
Person of faith. Features writer. Lover of baked goods (Mary Berry is one of her heroes). A curator of really great Pinterest boards. She also loves to stay up to date with the latest health trends. If she was lost you’d probably find her perusing the cookbook aisles of Exclusive Books, sipping on a cortado.