Don’t let festive angst take over! Holistic life practitioner Salochanee Reddy gives advice on how to handle holiday anxieties and ensure a stress-free festive season
1. Keep your expectations realistic
Remember that everything doesn’t have to be perfect; things will go wrong. Whether it’s an unexpected delay at the airport or a mishap with the Christmas pudding- it’s okay. Prepare yourself mentally for problems that could arise, but choose to accept it, deal with it in the best way you can, and move on.
2. Make ‘me time’ a tradition
Whether you’re hosting or being hosted by family, spending a lot of time under one roof can be overwhelming. ‘For me, a holiday stressor is family visitors with their scheduling demands,’ says Salochanee. ‘Me time’ should be a time-honoured tradition like family time. Plan ahead a specified time you can enjoy personal time without offending your family. The bonus is that this mini break can be good for everyone and will give your family members time for themselves as well.
3. Don’t take too much on
This could be hard for many women as we do tend to want to control things, but if you delegate duties to your family members or learn to say no, you’ll be in a better position to appreciate and enjoy every moment of your holiday. For the tasks you do take on, tackle them one by one, rather than attempting to do all of them at once. When you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, take a break. Even a few minutes – listen to your favourite song, grab a healthy snack, or meditate – it will make a difference. Create a ‘to-do’ list and spread it over a few days. When you finish a task, tick it off the list. The sense of accomplishment will boost your mood, and having one less thing to do will lower your stress.
4. Stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan
During the Christmas season, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to indulge a little, but try to start the day off well with a healthy breakfast and some exercise. If you do have a big meal, take a leisurely stroll afterward to walk it off. Exercise releases endorphins which in turn lowers stress, regulates your appetite and boosts the immune system.
5. Practice deep breathing
When your tolerance and patience levels are hitting rock bottom, breathe in deeply, go to your happy place and tell yourself ‘This too shall pass’. Inhale for a count of 10, and exhale slowly. Repeat this for a few minutes until you feel calmer. Strangely enough, the calmer you feel, the more you get done and the happier you feel, so make time for daily meditation.