Stress Free Christmas

Christmas is a time to relax and enjoy spending of time with friends and family. Instead, for many, it’s a hectic time of year, crammed full of party planning, last-minute shopping and organizing the big family dinner. All this frantic activity can lead to a stress, a lack of sleep, and ‘Christmas burnout’, which is anything but merry.

Are you looking forward to Christmas or are you dreading it? If you are dreading it, then you are not alone. A recent survey by The Post Office found for one in five people Christmas Stress can start around November 12th - a whole six weeks until Christmas Day!

41% of respondents to the survey said that the most stressful aspect of Christmas was finding that perfect gift for their loved ones. Next came the cost of Christmas, with 37% saying they were worried about being able to afford to buy those special gifts. Added to the cost of gifts, 29 per cent of people said they were worried about the cost of feeding their family over Christmas. And, no surprise here, deciding where to spend Christmas Day is a source of stress. 21% per cent worried about where to spend Christmas Day, and even if you are the host, one in 10 panic about causing offence over who to invite for the day!

Phew! exhausting just reading that isn’t it?

How can you avoid Christmas Burnout this year?

Plan out your time and prioritise tasks. Make a list of tasks. Break down larger to-dos into smaller, manageable tasks, complete with timings, and follow it. Set realistic goals.

Say no! One more little thing may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s okay to say “No, I can’t.” Count to 10. Before you say or do something you may later regret, step away from the situation and breathe in for the count of 5, breathe out for the count of 7.

Take a break - a walk or a bubble bath. Make time to engage in at least one enjoyable activity per day.

Before you go to bed - Clear your mind. Protect your pre-sleep routine by dealing with any problems or making up your list of things well before you settle down for the night. This way, you’re keeping these worries from following you to bed.

Can’t sleep? Leave your bedroom. When you find yourself worrying about your shopping budget, going over your to-do lists, and you’re still awake after 20 minutes, leave your bedroom. Do something that relaxes you and don’t return to bed until you feel sleepy again. Why? Being upset or awake for long periods of time in a place where you should be sleeping will create an unintended association between your bed and feeling anxious. This is one of the ways that a temporary sleep problem can turn into chronic insomnia. Take a lack of sleep in stride. During stressful times like Christmas it’s natural to experience disruptions to your sleep. Don’t worry. Your body has a built-in system that compensates for sleep loss naturally by increasing the quality, but not quantity, of your sleep on subsequent nights. However, temporary loss of sleep can turn into insomnia if you become too preoccupied with not sleeping well at night.

It’s best not to catch up on your sleep by sleeping in, napping during the day or going to bed earlier. Your body will actually keep you from falling into a deep sleep. Instead, stick to your normal sleep routine and do something relaxing like taking a warm bath.

Use Hypnosis! Hypnosis is a wonderful tool for helping you to relax deeply. Learning self hypnosis is easy and a fantastic skill to have for life.

For more information on Self Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy contact Lindsay on www.lindsayshepherdhypnotherapy.co.uk or call now 01202 511096