Santa’s near, and with him, a treat box of gifts, joy, and jolly. But it is not uncommon for some of us to feel an increase in anxiety and stress in this period. Is my gift choice premium enough? Is my dinner spread sufficient in quantity and variety for my guests? Do I have time to set up the Christmas tree?
Festive periods such as Christmas is supposed to be a time to strip the shackles of societal norms and expectations, not beg conformity to them. We want to reconnect with loved ones. Here are 3 sure-fire tips to reduce stress and increase bonding.
1. Practise mindfulness
Mindfulness is a term or practise that is oft’ misunderstood. Practitioners recommend tips like “focus on your breathing,” but really, people are missing out on the intention behind such acts. The whole purpose of focusing on your breathing is to drown out the noise and clutter. We get too engrossed with the instruction manual – deep breath in for 3 counts, out for 8 – that we forget how mindfulness should be instinctual.
When we understand that mindfulness is all about being in the present and appreciating life’s simple joys, we start to habitually practise it throughout the day. Innocuous moments like waiting for the bus provides another opportunity to do so. Sometimes, when life throws Mr Moo some lemons, he goes to his favourite park bench, laughs, and relaxes on his seat. He looks at people exercising and playing with their kids. He looks at the sky and realises how small he actually is in comparison with the universe. And suddenly, his problems appear to be insignificant.
2.Have some perspective
Problems are relative to people, context, and time. What is a problem to you may be a blessing to someone else. Similarly, what feels like a setback now may yet be wonderful news in a different situation or at a different age. Think about the first time you tried your favourite salmon sashimi. Did you simply marvel at the buttery-smooth texture and tangy, mild fish flavour? You probably did not complain about how it was frozen or insufficiently marbled. Our expectations tend to get inflated easily.
So if you are worried whether your Christmas dinner is sufficient, just take a fresh perspective and count your blessings. Too many people in the world would not even have the chance to spend the evening with their loved ones.
3.Have a good night’s sleep
The team at MaxCoil is big on sleep, and for good reason. For starters, sleep is essential for a whole host of disease prevention. Beyond that, sleep recharges your mind and spirit, setting you up for a productive and brilliant day! Cortisol levels are decreased, serotonin and dopamine levels are regulated.
Sleep is also a keystone habit, which means that it helps create a domino effect for other good habits to form.
We hope that you have enjoyed this article, and that it will prove helpful in moments of stress and uncertainty. Stay safe this festive season!