Making The Most Of Christmas Day
It’s almost Christmas! and during this period our stress levels are on high.
Battling the shops with every other Christmas shopper, children screaming they’re bored, counting down till your work holidays start, extra traffic on the roads, insomnia due to spending your night thinking of the million and one things you have to do for Christmas Day.
Is there anything you can do, besides announcing “Christmas is cancelled this year” to get your stress under control? Of course there is and it might just be easier than you think.
These 5 tips will leave you feeling calmer, in control and enjoy this Christmas Season!
1. Start the day with a nourishing breakfast. This may sound obvious but many people grab a coffee on the run or skip breakfast altogether. This is setting you up for blood sugar instability, resulting in feeling hungry (we’ve all experienced hangry before. Hungry + angry = Hangry), headaches, craving sugar or that 3 o’clock afternoon slump. Choose a good source of protein and fats, to leave you feeling satisfied, with the energy to get through the day. Eggs, avocado and wilted spinach are a great combination or if no time for a cooked breakfast, a homemade chia pudding, topped with coconut yoghurt and fresh fruit.
2. Getting 8 – 10 hours of restful sleep. Getting adequate sleep in incredibly important. This is the time our body repairs itself and lack of sleep not only results in fatigue but headaches, irritability, anxiety and a lowered immune system. When getting ready for bed, ensure the room temperature is at an ideal 20 degrees. Avoid bright lights, including those emitted from alarm clocks, laptops and mobiles. Our natural circadian rhythm (our sleep/wake cycle) causes us to feel alert or sleepy, depending on the time of the day. The sleep promoting hormone melatonin rises in the evening as exposure to light reduces. Those who do experience light emitting devices are known to experience poor quality sleep.
Running a bath with Epsom salts is another fantastic way to promote relaxation before bed and reduce any muscle aches and pains associated with stress and anxiety.
3. Write a list and delegate! You might be superwoman but you can’t simply do it all and putting that expectation on ourselves, often results in feelings of disappointment, irritability, anxiety and an overwhelming sense of pressure. Asking family members to all bring a dish to Christmas Day lunch, doesn’t mean failure on your part; it’s an opportunity for everyone to showcase their favourite dish and enjoy really good food.
4. Avoid caffeine. Simply reducing your intake to 1 – 2 cups a day, will help to reduce anxiety and nervous tension that caffeinated drinks can trigger in some people. If you do enjoy an afternoon cuppa, try to aim to drink before 4pm.
5. Include lots of magnesium and Vitamin B rich foods. Known to support the nervous system, these foods include dark leafy greens, nuts, avocado, dark chocolate, seafood, red meat and eggs.
Magnesium helps to calm the nervous system, reducing anxiety, restlessness and irritability. Deficiency is also associated with muscle cramps and headaches.
The B Complex of vitamins, play an important role in keeping the brain and nervous system healthy. Include foods such as eggs, bananas, red meat, poultry and fish, to meet your daily requirements.
Raspberry, Coconut and Chia Pudding.
½ cup chia seeds, 2 cups almond milk, ½ tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp cinnamon.
Place ingredients in a bowl/ glass and stir until combined. Place in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Top with coconut yoghurt and raspberries