Mynd.Works - Anxiety Treatment Canberra

Top 10 Tips for Less Seasonal Stress

The festive holidays will soon be upon us and this period is almost always among the top 20 most stressful events of life – sometimes as high as fifth or sixth.

Other events are infrequent  (deaths, marriage, divorce and even house moves), but Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Las posadas and even New Year stress comes around with great regularity!

At a time when advertising bombards us with scenes of joyous family gatherings, and we’re expected to be in a perpetual state of celebration, it can feel shameful to confess to others that the whole thing fills you with dread.

However much fun this time is traditionally meant to be, there is no doubt that the festive season brings frustration and stress – even for the kids!

here are my Top 10 Tips for Reducing seasonal Stress:

 These tips mainly reference Christmas, but will help in all situations.

1) not Too Much

You’re not superhuman! If you’ve already agreed to host your own party and go to a further 3, do you really need to accept extra invitations?

You need time to rest as well as have fun.  Build in plenty of down-time, time to flop around and chill out. If you are reading this and thinking, “No chance!” then that merely emphasises just how much you do need to build it in.

So, insist upon it. Everyone will benefit if you have more energy at the key moments.

 

2) Plan Ahead

Buying presents over a few months takes away the stress of having to find them all at once and also spreads the financial burden.  It’s atmospheric to shop when the lights are in the shops and it can be fun, to buy a last special present on Christmas Eve – but you don’t have to do all of your present buying in December.

It’s also not wise to wait too long for something that’s likely to sell out.  It can be extremely stressful to find that an important present is out of stock everywhere.

 

3) Buy Online

Checkout queues can be a really stressful, some people even suffer trolley rage.  It’s possible to order food, drink and gifts for delivery to your house if you get in quickly enough.

The delivery charge is worth it for the loss of stress!  Do it early or you’ll worry about whether it will arrive in time or not.

 

4) Remember nothing’s Perfect

You don’t have to be Ebenezer Scrooge to acknowledge that, while there is the perfect Christmas tune (Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You – don’t look at me like that, it must be, based on the neverending airtime it comands ), there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas.

You’re not responsible for everyone’s happiness.

It might be your job to cook the dinner and pick the presents, but if Aunt Flo is in an awful mood, or Grandma insists on watching 3 hours of continuous soaps and upsets everyone else, it’s not your fault.

Although, you can help to set the atmosphere, essentially people will make up their own minds whether they’re going to be in the festive spirit or not.  Which brings us nicely to…

 

 

5) Be Responsible

Alcohol is either a friend or an enemy depending how you treat it.  Entertaining can be so stressful that many people like to have a small drink just as it’s about to swing into action.

This can be relaxing and can help you to feel jolly – creating a festive atmosphere.  Of course, this does mean just a tipple… a drunken host or hostess is not a good idea!

If you’re cooking, why not get someone else onto drinks?  They should make sure everyone has what they want without overdoing it.

Since tensions can be high, it’s not a good idea to get so drunk that you tell your sister exactly what you really think of her and her children!  That will greatly increase your stress for a long time to come!  This is less likely if you stick to an amount of alcohol you know you can handle well.

Parties are a great time to let your hair down, but it’s a good idea to drink soft drinks interspersed with the booze during the night and some water before bed.  Overdoing it will often ruin what was otherwise a great night, so one way of dealing with that is to say, “I am going to drink only 4 drinks tonight” (or whatever you know you can handle and not suffer the consequences).  If you plan it that way, then you will find you can stick to a sensible limit more easily.

 

6) The In-Laws

Or, as some call them, “the Outlaws.”  If you have wonderful ones then this is no problem at all – move on to the next item.  If yours are hard work, you may just have to accept that it may be a strain.

Knowing what has made it easier in the past can help, as can the notion that you can take 10 minutes out from time to time – agree this with your partner beforehand and work together as a tag-team.

 

7) keep it simple

Sometimes, less is more.  Although there are certain things you cannot avoid putting extra effort into at Christmas there may be others that are so stressful that they aren’t worth the payback.

Is it necessary to prepare every meal as a gourmet feast or to put up so many decorations that your house can be seen from space?  Even the kids may appreciate doing something lower key for some of the holiday.  If they don’t chill out at some point, there will be tantrums.

 

8)   Time to Relax

Speaking of chilling out, it’s important to have something stress-free planned.  Many people book a massage or spa session either just before or just after (or both if you have the time and money).

Perhaps a round of golf or playing some other sport can also do this – if it’s not too cold!  And of course, there is the Boxing Day sport schedule.

Counsellors often have very busy January’s when new clients want to unload the stresses they underwent over the Christmas period.  It can be good to unburden this to an empathic ear.

My own door is always open, book your FREE consultation here.

 

9)   Go For a Walk

It can be a relief to go for a walk on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.  It can be a blessed break from TV, relatives, broken toys and over-indulged stomachs! Getting out in nature, especially if there is festive weather can really help to lower stress levels.

 

10)   Having a Spiritual Moment

If you are a religious person it can be the highlight of Christmas to support your faith or go a Carol Service.  If you’re not, it can be calming just to enjoy the music in the malls or on street corners – take a minute to enjoy!

It can be great to escape the manic pace of shopping, find a cafe, grab a seat, pop in some headphones and listen to my FREE 7-min relaxation audio and lower your pulse rate.

The festive season can be such a happy time of celebration and connection. However, it can be a time of isolation, so reach out to others and check they’re okay.

If you do find Christmas stressful then remember keep this list handy and it might ease the burden.

wishing you a joyously festive season.

3 Quick Ways to Release your Anxiety

Feeling anxious and not sure how to deal with it?

Everyone experiences Anxiety from time to time. Sometimes, it involves both physical and mental symptoms that create even more stress.

Here are 3 quick tips that can give you immediate relief:

FOCUS

When you’re anxious, your mind isn’t focused on NOW. It’s racing back into the past or into the future – to things that haven’t even happened yet.

The instant you realise that you are thinking negative thoughts, intentionally bring your focus back into the present – after all, that’s all that ever exists – this moment. Returning to full the awareness of NOW is really liberating because it allows you to realise that you can choose to control the focus of your thoughts.

So how do you practise mindfulness during anxious moments?

Start by controlling your breathing. Then look down on your body. Notice your clothes, your feet, and the comfort level you are experiencing at the moment. Notice any tension you feel at any part of your body. And slowly, release the tension and allow that part of you to soften.

Lastly, look around you. Notice all the details of your surroundings. When your mind starts to wander again, bring it back to the present. Don’t feel bad. It’s normal.

Here are some more tips on relaxing while anxious.

Laugh a little more

When anxiety-provoking moments strike, having an extra dose of laughter can be really helpful. Laughter is one simple and free tool that alleviates symptoms of anxiety and lifts your mood. When you laugh, the ‘happy hormones’ in your brain activate which gives you positive feelings.

It could be difficult to insert some laughter when you are already stressed out. So just like mindfulness, you want to intentionally make yourself feel better. Rest for a while. Watch a funny video or a comedy film. Chat with an amusing friend. Laughter is a great medicine.

put the past back in the past

Don’t let the past control you. If you hold grudges, you’re holding onto a poisonous feeling, so practice letting go and moving on. It may be a challenge but once you realise that even your worst nightmare was a massive opportunity for growth you instantly change the situation into a powerful lesson.

Healing takes time, letting go allows you to move forward with your own life, without harbouring all that negative energy you’re carrying.

Dealing with anxiety can be challenging, but give these techniques a try. Who knows – one, if not all, may ultimately free you from the unbearable world of anxiety.

If you need help with your anxiety, send me an email or book an absolutely FREE consultation so I can give you more specific advice.

Follow me on instagram for more anxiety release tips and tricks.

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Six Mind Tricks for better workouts

Exercise is one of the best habits to incorporate into your lifestyle. There’s an abundance of health benefits related to regular physical activity, ranging from a better physique to a lowered risk of heart disease, dementia, diabetes, plus many other chronic diseases.

Let’s face it, working out can be a hard habit to start for some

Often, those who begin fitness programmes will quit very quickly. Sometimes, after reaching a target weight, many choose to stop working out and return to their old lifestyle, only to lose the physique and store the fat once more.

Your mindset is the engine behind every action you take. To get your mind on board with the process of healthy exercise you have to make the whole process a fun, exciting and rewarding one.

So, how do you make sure you are able to stick to your workout habit?

That’s the challenging part. Sure, the extensive sweating and breathlessness can make you feel helpless and not want to exercise any more. But, you can actually trick your mind into getting going! Here’s how…

  1. Make it fun

If you don’t like exercising, there’s a big chance that you’ll feel tired and bored working out, and won’t succeed. So you need to choose a fitness programme that you will actually enjoy. Don’t hesitate to try different workout plans. Mix it up a little; ask a professional trainer to help you.

Choose the one you like the most and make your experience even more fun by doing it outdoors or turning up the music (nice and loud!). Adding fun to your workout routine makes you enjoy it more, rather than feeling obliged to do so.

  1. Invest in your workout outfit

Having a great set of workout clothes can increase your motivation to stick to your fitness routine. It motivates you to see yourself looking great in good, quality gear. Not only do you want to feel comfortable, you also want to avoid getting injured during your workout session.

  1. Make even more tweaks

So, you’re on a programme. That doesn’t mean you can’t try other forms of exercise as well. Not all workout routines are found inside the gym. Swimming, trekking, mountain climbing, cycling and other sports can be wonderful exercise options too.

  1. Buddy-up

They say ‘two heads are better than one’. That’s so true, especially when it comes to accountability on an exercise programme. Working out is more enjoyable when you have someone to go through ups and downs with. And by the way, ‘the more the merrier’ too!

  1. Progress not perfection

STOP comparing yourself to others. Doing so can be demotivating when you start wondering why you’re not progressing as fast as the next guy on the same routine.

There are so many factors to consider, not just your exercise, in trying to lose weight. So focus on yourself.

Discover why you really want to exercise. If your reason is to simply look good for others, you chance of success will be significantly lower. The reason should be intrinsic. It should be for yourself.

  1. Rise to the challenge

Always try to dig deeper. If you’re able to plank for 30 seconds, try to hit 40 next time. As you keep challenging yourself, you’ll start to benefit from better health and quality of life.