December is usually all about excess, spoiling yourself and others and taking a break from the daily grind. We have put together some tips to help you decrease your stress and stay on track this Christmas to look after yourself so the new year doesn't come as a huge shock!
After a full year on the go, many of us are tired. Taking care of the basics, like sleep hygiene, this silly season can help you to get through the holidays. Missing a few hours of sleep each night causes your body to release hormones that make you crave sugary foods and can lead to extra weight gain over the holidays. It can also make you more irritable and less tolerant at those family events. Aim to stick to your regular sleep schedule and try to limit your late nights to no more than 1 hour off your regular bedtime. If you’re sleeping in a different bed, take your own pillow for a more restful night and to help prevent neck pain while you sleep.
In Australia the weekly average alcohol intake triples over the festive season. Drinking too much can impact on your quality of sleep, cause you to eat bad foods and leave you hungover the next day. To help, leave 2-3 hours between your last drink and going to bed and fill up on protein based foods, fruit and veggies before drinking to help you feel fuller for longer and give the body the fuel it needs to process the alcohol.
If you are feeling sluggish and tired this holiday season, staying active will help keep you energised, reduce holiday stress and mitigate the extra calories consumed over Christmas. Try to exercise first thing in the morning before it gets too busy and to beat the heat. Don’t forget resistance bands are easy to take with you anywhere and walking is a great way to see your holiday destination.
Money worries can significantly increase stress over the holidays. 37% of Australians start the New Year in debt due to Christmas overspending. 1 in 4 people will take 5 months to pay that back. Avoid extra stress by monitoring your finances and sticking to a budget. Consider a secret Santa instead of buying gifts for multiple people, asking guests to bring a dish of food and try to pay for most things outright rather than using a credit card.
Travelling to see family and friends is one of the most exciting parts of the silly season. But it is important to look after yourself while travelling. Simple exercises such as ankle figure 8’s, shoulder shrugs, glute squeezes and neck rolls can help promote circulation and prevent muscle aches while you’re sitting in the car or on a plane these holidays. Also make sure to switch drivers to prevent fatigue, take regular stretch breaks while on long trips and watch your posture while reading or using devices.
Social burnout occurs when people get physically exhausted and emotionally drained by repeated social events. To avoid this, try prioritising the events that appeal the most to you, and allow yourself recovery time after the event. Or, if you want to attend more, consider just stopping by rather than staying the whole time.
88% of people feel the holiday season is the most stressful time of the year. Remember, Christmas is also a time to rest and prepare yourself for the New Year. Prioritise time to do things that help you relax and de-stress; log off your emails, finish that book you started months ago and get outside to enjoy the sunshine.
This Christmas comes at the end of a very busy year, where most of us are feeling tired and a bit overwhelmed. By looking after your physical, chemical and emotional health, you can have a more restful and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
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At Ballarat and District Chiropractic Center, we want you to be empowered when it comes your health. We want to help you by sharing all our knowledge about Chiropractic.