Published: 12/27/2013 - Updated: 02/12/2016
During Christmas, stress is a constant factor although it is meant to be a holiday. From cooking the dinner, finding all the perfect gifts for the children, meetings and plans for New Year and in some cases, work for those who do not or cannot celebrate the holidays, all of these can contribute to stress levels during this time.
Relaxation is the key to having fun
However, the entire holiday does not have to be comprised of preparations and obligations: The holiday season is surrounded by several opportunities to vary your daily routine, enjoying a relaxing time in company and devoting some time to yourself too. It is advisable to spend a few minutes of relaxation and/or practicing breathing exercises that can allow to you keep your cool amid the hustle. These exercises require no more than a few minutes.
Breathing is an action that we perform unconsciously, but conscious breathing promotes relaxation and is an exercise that helps to release stress.
Find a quiet and well-lit room, close your eyes and breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling and calmly feeling the air fill your lungs.
Classical music is a good way to relax, so put some music on in your room or while doing work in the kitchen, study or home. Try to listen carefully to each note and observe the emotion that the melody evokes in you. If you do not enjoy this kind of music, pick a genre that you DO enjoy.
An effective way to relax is to tense every muscle in your body and slowly let go by relaxing each muscle until you feel comfortable. Pay attention to how each muscle relaxes to further increase your relaxation.
Travel with the power of your mind
Find a moment of peace, close your eyes and imagine yourself in your "happy place". It could be the beach, the mountains or anywhere you want, as long as it symbolises tranquility for you. Breathe deeply and visualise the place around you, give yourself as much time as you want there and you can even interact with your environment.
Standing up, stretch your arms to the sky as far as you can. You can even slightly bow your back, then slowly begin to drop your arms, exhaling as you relax and breathe deeply, letting your arms fall to either side.
For shoulder tension
Tension regularly tends to accumulate in the shoulders, neck and back. An exercise to release tension in this area is to raise and lower the shoulders to a smooth, continuous rhythm. Then write circles with your shoulders, and finally relax. You will begin to feel the weight lifted.
Refresh your home
Scents like lavender and apple not only give us a sense of wellness and make the home more inviting, but they also help us to relax. You can use candles, incense or fragrances.
Christmas is a time to enjoy yourself. There is always stress surrounding you with each task you need to do, but you can adjust your workspace to suit you. Give yourself a chance to relax, listen to music, focus on your breathing, try to clear your mind and have fun.
Some other useful recommendations are:
Practice yoga or tai -chi. You may have low opinions of these disciplines, but they have been proven to help us find emotional balance and in turn provide relaxation.
Invite as many family members as possible to take part in Christmas activities: A healthy and happy co-existence favors a more relaxed state of mind.
Do not dismiss the idea of treating yourself to a massage or a full day at the spa during the holidays. Anti-stress massages are truly effective to combat it and it gives you a chance to spoil yourself a little.