How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety at Christmas

10 tips to prevent overwhelm and panic this festive season

Christmas time can be incredibly stressful for many people, especially now that we’re in such uncertain times and planning anything is tricky.

However, that said, there are a number of ways to keep stress at bay and anxiety in check this festive season.

Learn how to reduce stress and anxiety at Christmas – here are 10 tips to prevent panic and overwhelm.

10 tips for a stress-free Christmas

Eat as clean as possible by adopting a fresh, whole food diet to keep your mood and blood sugar levels balanced. Instead of reaching for high sugar foods/snacks and refined carbohydrates (cakes, biscuits, pizza, bread) that will only crash your blood sugars and mood, opt for fresh vegetables, fruit, quality protein (nuts, seeds, quinoa) and healthy fats (avocado, flaxseed oil, chia seeds). Fruit and vegetables, especially leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, kiwi fruit, strawberries and citrus, contain plenty of vitamin C which is an essential nutrient for reducing stress hormones in the body and protecting cells from damage.

Ditch coffee and don’t rely on caffeine to get you through the day. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones) which is not helpful if you’re already stressed and anxious. Caffeine also interferes with melatonin production which negatively impacts sleep. There are lots of coffee alternatives such as a dandelion root latte, a chicory root coffee or a Reishi mushroom tea.

Avoid alcohol (or only drink a minimal amount) as it’s highly acidic and puts your liver under stress. Alcohol also disrupts hormone production and mood. Sip on a tasty mocktail instead – try a Seedlip & Chicory ‘Espresso Martini’, Hibiscus Cooler or Hibiscus & Orange KefirSupport your liver by drinking fresh lemon juice in warm water and taking liver cleansing herbs like Schisandra, Dandelion root and Milk Thistle. Learn more about supporting your liver naturally.

Keep your expectations realistic so you’re not disappointed if plans change last-minute. Don’t put yourself under pressure by feeling like you have to adhere to expensive Christmas rituals. The festive period is about spending quality time with family and friends, not what gifts you give. Focus on what’s important to you and not what others expect of you.

Create a list and delegate tasks to others so you’re not lumbered with doing everything. It’s also important to create boundaries so you don’t get zapped emotionally and physically. Remember, it’s okay to say no – only agree to things that feel right for you.

Support your body’s stress response with herbs like Rhodiola, Passionflower, Ashwagandha and Siberian ginseng. These herbs help calm the nervous system, reduce cortisol levels (your stress hormone), balance mood and increase energy. You can take herbs as a capsule, tablet or liquid tincture. Speak to a qualified herbalist who can recommend the best herbs and dose for you.

Try Bach flower remedies as they are excellent for anxiety, overwhelm, worry and panic. Learn more about Bach flower remedies for stress and anxiety.

Don’t forget to exercise and move your body, even if it’s only a walk around the block. Exercise is key for mental health and maintaining a healthy mood as it promotes blood flow and helps regulate hormone production. Listen to CNM’s podcast on exercise.

Make time for self-care so you can fill up your cup. If you’re depleted and drained, you won’t be feeling very festive come Christmas day. Treat yourself to a massage, listen to your favourite music or podcast, or take five with a cuppa and a good book – even ten minutes of self-care can make a big difference.

Ask for help and seek out professional assistance if you’re struggling emotionally. If you’re looking to find more balance in your life, a Health Coach can help you address the issues that are causing you stress and work with you to find realistic solutions.

Stay happy and healthy this festive season

Stay healthy and happy this festive season by eating a nutritious diet and avoiding energy-depleting habits like caffeine and high-sugar foods. Don’t put yourself under pressure by keeping your expectations realistic and ask for you help when you need it. Support your body in times of stress with Bach flower remedies and herbs like Ashwagandha and Rhodiola.

To learn more about how you can use herbs and nutrition to improve your health, take a look at CNM’s Herbs for Everyday Living short course and Nutrition for Everyday Living short course.

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