A recent survey revealed one quarter of Brits find Christmas more stressful than divorce.
A further 15 per cent say moving house is actually less stressful.
But experts have come up with a list of quick fixes to help you feel re-energised as Christmas approaches.
This time of year is stressful – getting your work tied up before the holidays, the rounds of parties, working out how much money you have to splash out on Christmas – and these can be huge energy zappers.
To help feel less frazzled, psychologist Dr Megan Arroll suggests you take a quick stroll and do this simple walking mindfulness exercise: “As you walk notice the sound of your feet as they hit the ground, feel the air as it swooshes past your face. If you walk mindfully, you’ll feel calmer and more grounded after this exercise.”
Nourish your nervous system
A.Vogel Nutritional therapist Alison Cullen said: “Aim to eat every four hours to prevent blood sugar dips which will make your energy levels slump and if stress is taking it out of you try A.Vogel AvenaCalm tincture, £9.75 for 50ml. Made from the oat plant it is full of B vitamins and calming constituents that help to nourish your nervous system.”
One of the most common causes of tiredness and low energy is dehydration and at this time of the year being dehydrated can be exacerbated if we have been to a string of boozy events.
Aim to drink around a litre of water a day although this can be made up of herbal teas or foods with a high-water content like fruit and vegetables. If you are feeling a bit ‘liverish’ after all the excess try a Milk Thistle supplement.
Take a slow deep breath of stimulating scent
Uplifting scents like peppermint, lemon and rosemary essential oils can help give you a welcome shot of energy. Sprinkle a few drops on a tissue and inhale taking slow deep breaths.
Nibble on dark chocolate
This contains theobromine and caffeine – both energy boosters which can also help you feel more mentally alert and on the ball. The darker the chocolate the greater the antioxidant and health benefits.
Add in extra vitamins and superfoods like Gogi berries, acai berries or bee pollen and you will get more of an energising hit.
Walk around the block
It might seem counterintuitive to expend more energy in order to get more but even a short amount of exercise will help.
A study from California State University says that taking a brisk 10-minute walk actually makes people feel more energised and that effect can last up to two hours. Exercise also helps trigger soothing neurons in the brain and muscle tension (often a side effect of stress) and you should feel an energising endorphin rush.
Eat low GI foods
Rob Hobson Healthspan Head of Nutrition said: “Tucking into foods with a low Glycaemic Index (GI) – where the sugars are absorbed more slowly – will give you more sustained energy levels.”
Low GI foods include whole grains like brown rice, wholemeal pasta and wholemeal bread; high fibre vegetables and nuts and healthy oils. Proteins and fats have very low GI.
Get your B vitamins
You need a mix of all vitamins and minerals for optimal energy but B vitamins are particularly significant as they help convert your food into energy.
Most of us get enough vitamin B from our diet in the form of pulses, green leafy vegetables, meat, dairy and eggs but if you feel you are not getting enough over the festive season then try a Vitamin B Complex supplement.
Have a magnesium hit
Magnesium is necessary for energy production and too little of this mineral can make you feel tired – physically and mentally. Magnesium deficiency can also cause symptoms like muscle cramps and weakness, nausea, joint pain and even irregular heartbeat.
Find it in pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, pulses, almonds, avocado, salmon, spinach, quinoa, dark chocolate and soybeans. Alternatively take a supplement like Effervescent Magnesium, £9.95 for 40 tablets. Or even bath in it (although how much you actually absorb through your skin is still being investigated).
Get organised – have an MOT M(money) O(do online shopping) T(keep talking)
Be military in the run to Christmas – set your budget and be disciplined.
Have a conversation with any friends and family who may be experiencing financial problems and talk and share out family responsibilities/duties early on so no arguments with family members and teenagers.
This is how else you can make your Christmas shop stress free.