Posted by Devenia Besant on 10 Dec 2019

It’s nearly here and whilst it’s a lovely time of year Christmas can bring on lots of stress for many different reasons!
With the above in mind I had a chat with Christine Michele Murray who as a holistic therapist see’s people every day whose stress has started to impact their life in some way.
We all get stressed – but it is important to manage your stress so here are Christine’s 5 simple steps to a less stressed Christmas:
Understand the things that stress you – and step back and look at what you can change and what you can’t – be realistic, then accept that some things are just the way they are at least for this Christmas.
Be realistic about what you can achieve – block out the days you know you have things going on, whether it is personal or work. Start with an overall plan for the period then break it down to what you are doing over the next week and then daily.
Try to have a top 3 priorities rather than an endless to do list. Once you have a plan it really does clear your mind and help to make you more focused and you are less likely to feel overwhelmed. REMEMBER it doesn’t all have to be down to you – delegate what you can!
Take time for you to focus and breath! Even just 5 minutes can help to reduce your stress levels.
For example if you feel stressed have a refreshing glass of water and drink it slowly.   Notice the feel of the water in your mouth and in between sips take a deep breathe, 3 in 6 out and feel the tension leaving your body. Then stop and re-focus, you can do this anytime of day but staying hydrated will also make you feel better in yourself too.
Do some exercise – even if you can’t get outside do some stretching to relieve tension in your muscles and body. Here is a great exercise when you feel tension in your neck and shoulders:
The Crescent Stretch – neck shoulders & upper back
An excellent stretching technique – this stretch helps release tension from the neck, shoulders, and upper back while elongating your entire torso.
• While standing or sitting, raise your hands over your head.
• Interlock your fingers and as you exhale move your hands and arms to the right. Make sure to keep your shoulders back.
• Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
• Take several deep breathes and inhale as you move your hands back over your head.
• Repeat the exercise moving your hands and arms toward the left.
• Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
Write down the things you are grateful for just 3 each morning – it can be as simple as:
*I am grateful that I have this day.
*I am grateful for my children
*I am grateful I have a roof over my head.
This gets you in a more positive frame of mind. Focusing on the things that you are grateful for will help you feel less stressed generally, looking at the good things in your life.
I hope these steps from Christine help you have a less stressed Christmas this year.
Dee xx
P.S. If you are feeling stressed or anxious and find it hard to manage this yourself, then reach out and get help. Christine runs individualised packages of therapy sessions working with you on a 1:1 basis and also has self discovery programs where you purchase a self study course with supporting material.  You can find out more information here.

Devenia Besant
Devenia (Dee) Besant is the founder of Epsom and Ewell Families. Runs a busy household as a mummy of 3 and a wife and some would say crazily committed to helping small businesses and the local community.

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