The secret to a great night's sleep

How to avoid festive stress

Whether we are ready for it or not, Christmas is already all around us. The lights are up, and the adverts are everywhere, making the feeling of Christmas cheer simply unavoidable. 

Various party invitations are starting to fly in, and the battle that is Christmas shopping on a Saturday has already begun. 

With so much to do and so many people to see, it's unsurprising that by December 25th some of us can feel a little worn out. 

This Christmas, Dr. Nerina reveals her top tips to help keep up energy levels, and avoid the feeling of inevitable festive stress. 

Get the basics right

Make sure you get the essentials right; this means eating well (including breakfast), staying well hydrated, getting enough exercise and rest and avoiding too much alcohol and refined sugar. It's also a good idea to take a multivitamin throughout the season to keep your immune system robust.

Remember it's OK to say 'no'

FOMO (fear of missing out) is one of the biggest reasons so many of us are left exhausted by the party season, and social media can exacerbate this problem, as we're constantly bombarded with updates on everyone else's busy and exciting social lives. It's important not to over commit yourself - you can only be in one place at once! If things are getting a little too much, remember to ask yourself 'do I really want or have to go to this event?' Perfectionism can really zap your energy. It's okay to say no, and important to have some time out from all the elaborate festivities. A cosy night in with the family by the fire can feel just as Christmassy, and will replenish the energy levels of the whole family. 

Get some fresh air

Get out into nature and aim to have as much exposure to natural daylight, fresh air and sunlight as possible. This will keep your nervous system in balance and optimise melatonin production. It's especially important to make time to get outside during the winter months when there are fewer daylight hours and Christmas is a great time for a wintery walk with family; just 20 minutes of exposure to sunshine is enough to boost your vitamin D levels and your mood.

Reduce time with technology

Try to maintain a healthy balance with technology; constantly posting and tweeting about what you're up to this festive season might boost your mood for a short while but in the long term it will disrupt your sleep.

Seek out quiet time and time without technology to boost morale and flagging spirits. Silence is a great healer and we don't get enough of it in today's hectic, noisy world; especially at Christmas. It may be as simple as taking a bath with no music or technology with you or sitting quietly in your favourite chair, sipping a cup of tea and enjoying a mince pie whilst doing nothing else for ten minutes.

Have a nap 

There's nothing worse than feeling run down when everyone else is full of festive cheer. If you're feeling really out of balance and maybe coming down with a cold, nap for 5-20 minutes at some point between 2 and 4pm - no later than this and for no longer.  This can help to reboot the immune system and revitalise you.








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