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Have Yourself a Wellness Centered Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Families are united under the same roof to celebrate the season, there's delicious food on the table and it's smiles all-round.

However, these can also be very stressful times, as gifts need to be picked up, the house needs to be decorated, and all that delicious food needs to be prepared before it can be savoured. It's easy to get knocked down to rock bottom while you rush around trying to tick off the seemingly unending list of things that need to be done. Most of the time taking care of ourselves and taking the time to unwind and relax, is way down on the list of priorities. For many of us, the very prospect of all this holiday madness causes anxiety to build up, while we worry about how we are going to afford all those presents, whether we'll eat too much or drink too much, or if someone is going to hate us for buying them a book for Christmas.

While it’s often difficult to control all anxiety inducing aspects, food and drink are something we can definitely exert some control over. Unfortunately, taking the unhealthy path seems like the easiest option during the season, but there are some basic do’s and don’ts that can ensure your smile is both genuine, and guilt free when you sit down at that laden table this year.

  • 01. Make time for yourself on the day, take maybe an hour off and isolate yourself from your responsibilities and tasks for the day. Go for a run, listen to some music, watch some tv, take a dip in a pool or just go out for a drive, if that's what you enjoy doing. This will prevent you overworking yourself and eating up more than you can chew (literally!), take some time to rest and recharge your social batteries.
  • 02. It's very important to make sure you eat properly in the lead up to Christmas day. Skipped meals will not help give you the necessary energy to get through the day. Keep eating your greens, eat healthy and mindfully and use meal times as a time to step away from the rush and bustle.
  • 03. Indulge in a Christmas snack every once in a while so you aren’t tempted to binge on the day. Be cautious about the conversations you have with yourself about food, don't put yourself down for eating Christmas cake, or punish yourself in the gym in the mornings to make up for it. This will help avoid those unwanted feelings of guilt that are so much associated with eating over the season.
  • 03. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out or feel an anxiety attack coming on, use this simple breathing exercise to calm down and get centered. Try the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, where you'll first, exhale completely with a whoosh sound and then inhale through your nose for 4 mental seconds. Hold it for seven more seconds, and finally exhale with your mouth for a total of 8 seconds. This makes one breath and doing it thrice more for a total of four.

Using these tips and tricks will allow you to connect with yourself, giving you a better chance of handling the inevitable stress, and allowing you to relax and enjoy the season as it should be enjoyed, with all your heart.

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