It’s that time of the year. Christmas is just around the corner, social calendars are overflowing with invitations and end-of-year concerts and celebrations, relatives are making plans to get together and school holidays are nearly upon us.

Although I absolutely love Christmas and spending time with my family, it can be a stressful time.

You may feel as though there’s nothing you can do about stress. There are never enough hours in the day, the bills are piling up, the housework isn’t doing itself like it should be, the kids are asking ‘what’s for dinner?’ before you’ve even made it to breakfast, along with a million other things you have to do before the end of the week.

Stress management is all about taking charge of not only your lifestyle, but your thoughts, emotions, your organisation and the way you deal with your problems. We all respond to stress differently and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to dealing with it. But if you do feel that there is stress in your life that is affecting you in any way (even if it’s small) there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure, prevent and/or reduce the harmful effects from stress and regain control over your life.

If stress is an issue for you, try following these recommendations for reducing stress. Start small and be gentle with yourself.

  1. Make stress management your priority as you would other aspects of your health and lifestyle – diet, sleep, exercise, meditation, time alone, time with family and pets, and time doing something you love each day.
  2. Know your limits and learn to say ‘No’. Don’t take on projects or commitments you can’t handle.
  3. Aim to get 15 minutes of sunshine per day – get out into nature as much as you can.
  4. Reduce your exposure to negative marketing, media, news and online forums etc by limiting your use of TV, radio, newspapers and the internet.
  5. Stop worrying so much! Many things in life are beyond our control. Manifest and focus on life’s positives by cultivating gratitude, empathy and acceptance.
  6. Learn to express your feelings instead of bottling them up before they explode.
  7. Give up pointless arguments. Try other ways to get your point across and learn when to walk away.
  8. Take an Epsom salt or magnesium salt bath with a couple of drops of Lavender essential oil.
  9. Keep a stress journal so you can begin to start pinpointing your stressors.
  10. Put on your favourite music and dance to it or put on some headphones to zone out.
  11. Get enough good quality sleep. Feeling run down and tired increases your stress levels and may make you think irrationally and feel more irritable.

Happy Changing Habits,


November 2015

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Cyndi O'Meara

Founder at Changing Habits
Not your typical nutritionist, Cyndi disagrees with low-fat, low-calorie diets, believes chocolate can be good for you and thinks cheating and eating yummy food is an important part of a well-balanced diet. Cyndi must be doing something right because she maintains a healthy weight and has never (in her whole life!) taken an antibiotic, pain-killer or any other form of medication. Cyndi is a passionate, determined and knowledgeable speaker on health issues and uses her education and experience to help others improve their quality of life so they too can enjoy greater health and longer lives.

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