Christmas can be a hectic time. There are presents to buy. Kids are finishing the school year with exams, formals, and presentations. Plus there are Christmas work functions to attend.
And that's all before you can even consider how to bring the family together for this holiday during this strange time. COVID has turned Christmas into something that's different from what we're used to. Yet, we're still determined to have a merry COVID Christmas.
Here are five ways to keep your COVID Christmas a happy one.
Laughing stimulates circulation and helps your muscles relax. It triggers the release of endorphins (the body's natural feel-good chemicals). The positive effects of laughing can be felt for up to 45 minutes after you stop laughing.
So if you're feeling glum and stressed out about Christmas in the time of COVID, try watching a funny movie, TV show, or even a silly cat video on YouTube. Get those giggles on.
Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain. It also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps reduce stress and anxiety. Breathing techniques can also reduce overactive thinking. They can help you feel connected to your body as your breath quiets your mind.
If the Christmas rush is getting to you, try this easy breathing technique: Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose until your stomach fills. Hold your breath as long as you can. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat the exercise until you feel your body relax.
Remain calm with essential oils
Studies have shown that essential oils can help relieve stress, relax your body, and get you to sleep better. The effect of some essential oils have on the brain's neuroreceptors are actually similar to some anti-anxiety medications. This explains how scents can quickly trigger physical reactions and have lasting effects after the scent is gone. Many oils can ease anxiety and bring a sense of calm.
As you wrap presents or put up your Christmas decor, diffuse a few drops of lavender, ylang ylang, rose, or frankincense in an oil diffuser. Or treat yourself to an aromatic bath after all your Christmas errands.
Use a remote-controlled essential oil diffuser to keep things calm for you.
Eat a colourful diet
Holidays are for relaxing. But keeping a colourful diet will make sure your energy levels stay high. Eat a variety of colourful foods with every meal so you can maintain good nutrition and health. The same goes with your Christmas feast. Plan it so that several colours are represented.
Red foods are loaded with powerful antioxidants. These can help reduce the risk of cancer and protect against heart disease and stroke. Try these: tomatoes, red peppers, cherries, beets, strawberries.
Orange foods are full of vitamin A. That's vital for healthy skin, a strong immune system, and good eye health. Try these: carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, oranges, sweet potatoes.
Yellow foods contain beta-cryptoxanthin. This can reduce your risk of developing inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Try these: squash, lemon, corn, bananas.
Green vegetables are some of the most nutritionally charged foods around. They're packed full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Plus, their high content of antioxidants makes them possibly one of the best cancer-preventing foods. Try these: broccoli, peas, leafy greens, green beans.
Stay in gratitude
There have been multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. It's proven that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression. Being in gratitude also improves confidence, sleep patterns, and promotes better relationships. Although this year may have its challenges, don't lose sight of being grateful for what you have. For 15 minutes daily, jot down a few grateful sentiments to reflect on. This will help you maintain your perspective.
If you need a visual reminder to get the good vibes going, wear a cool t-shirt like this one!
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