The start of the Christmas lead up depends on the person, but one thing we all know for sure is that it drags on forever. Then there’s the day itself, then boxing day, then those awkward five days between Boxing Day and the New Year where no one really knows what’s happening, what day it is or where they’re meant to be. After that there’s New Years itself – late nights and drinking! After all of this – the build up, the family arguments, the vast amounts of planning, the food and the alcohol – you know you could really do with a serious destress session! Here are my top tips for beating the stress after the Christmas season and restoring some calm to your daily routine.
Chances are that over the Christmas period, you had a few late nights, a little drink or two and a hefty amount of food. You need to make sure you get a few pints of water down you, now! We all know there are numerous health benefits that come from drinking enough water, but here’s a few that apply right now:
Feeling tired? Fatigue is the first sign of dehydration – the tiniest drop in your body’s water levels, say 1 or 2%, can impact on your thinking. Skin looking a bit grey; got a few spots? With all the other drinks available at Christmas, it’s no surprise we stop drinking water, but it can have a huge impact on your skin! Grab a glass of water and flush out those nasty toxins that cause pimples – you may even reduce some of your wrinkles (though the evidence to this is contradictory). Not feeling very productive; maybe even a little achey? Water refreshes you and makes you more alert; ready to take on anything the day throws at you. Achey joints and muscles will also benefit from a little water.
There are some really cool water bottles on the market at the moment that really help to motivate you! Here are my favourite: The MAIGG Sports Bottle, the Polar Gear Tritan Bottle and the Bobble Sports Filtered Water Bottle.
2. Treat Yourself To A Pamper Session
It’s no secret that a nice warm bubbly bath can do wonders for the soul. I bet you even got a few smelly treats from Father Christmas this year – now is the time to use them. Grab yourself a nice cold pint of water and retreat to the bathroom for an hour for some much needed ‘me’ time. Maybe you could even take a good book with your or catch up on the latest episode of your favourite show on the iPad.
3. Hang Up and Turn It Off
We live in a time of technology – it runs our lives; we’re using it right now! The chances are you probably got a fair bit of it for Christmas, but unfortunately, that means that someone is always trying to contact us, or emails require replies, Instagram is loaded up and you’ve scrolled past 10 accounts without even realising it. Stop! Hang up the phone and do yourself a favour, turn it off. Smartphones have been linked to increased stress levels because of that sense of needing to reply or answer the phone. Close friends who chat on and off all day via smartphones are likely to have decreased productivity in their lives, which likely causes more stress. It’s a never ending cycle. So every once in a while, unplug from the virtual world and allow yourself to relax and unwind.
4. Get Moving
Although bubble baths and screen-free time is wonderful, nothing quite busts stress or even anxiety as much as a bit of exercise. You don’t need to opt for a crazy personal training session, just grab some music (relaxing and soothing or bouncy and energetic, it doesn’t matter – music has been proven to bust stress!) and go for a walk. Get outside, take a deep breath of fresh air and get your body moving. It’s said that a 10 minute walk could be as effective as a 45 minute workout when it comes to beating stress and anxiety.
5. Enjoy The Little Things and Laugh!
Life is all about enjoying the little things. For me, sitting down with a hot cup of coffee watching Lukeosaurus play happily is just the best moment of my day. It’s important to enjoy the moment you’re in and focus on why it makes you happy. I think “Wow, I made this little guy and he’s happy and laughing AND my coffee is hot for once!” Don’t forget to laugh! Laugh with your friends, your loved ones, your children. Laugh at the silly things, the tiny things that would stress you for no reason? Try laughing it off! Laughing releases endorphins that improve your mood, while also lowing the levels of hormones that cause stress.
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