Christmas can be a stressful time for us all. The pressure to make sure it’s the perfect day for friends & family, buying gifts and> generally being expected to have a fabulous time. It can take a lot of preparation, and> a day indoors with lots of people around can bring about arguments and> disagreements.

The festive season should be a time of happiness & fun for everyone so here are my top tips for combating stress.

SET A DEADLINE. You may have a lot to do over the next few days.  The shopping, the wrapping, preparations for the day but there is only so much time & this is a day for everyone to enjoy. So set yourself a deadline to get as much done as possible. If you don’t manage all of it it doesn’t really matter it will still be fabulous and> stick to it! For me Christmas Eve is the start, I have everything ready for then & we always go out for dinner. Even if it’s the evening of Christmas Eve stop, relax and> enjoy the festivities.

EXERCISE. Now I know for a lot people that exercise is one of the first things to go around this time of year. We are all super busy and> just don’t find time for the gym. But exercise is great for combating stress so try and> make time. It doesn’t have to be a long workout. Focus more on quick high intensity all body workouts but do something. You’ll feel better for it.

ALCOHOL. Christmas is synonymous with alcohol for a lot of people, and> excessive drinking is common. But be careful alcohol can make stressful situations worse. Have a few drinks by all means but stay hydrated, don’t over do it & you’ll be able to cope better with any situations that do arise.

BREATHE. No matter how much you plan there are bound to be times where stress levels start to rise. When we get stressed our heart rate rises and> our breathing shallows. Try and> practice deep breathing to reverse this process & stay calm. Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds and> then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Repeat for a few minutes to help reduce stress levels.

HAVE FUN! Try and> remember that Christmas is a time for happiness & fun. If things don’t quite go to plan don’t worry, laugh and> move on. It won’t ruin the day, family being together laughing and> enjoying themselves is what makes the day. Relax, laugh & enjoy yourself.

Let me know if you have any top tips for avoiding stress around this time of year, comment below or get me on social media @ode2fitness – Wishing you all a stress free Christmas.