A Christmas sleigh ride without the stress

The most wonderful time of year, maybe the most stressful time of our lives. Make this Christmas less stressful and more relaxing for you and the family.

It may be the most wonderful time of year, but it is probably the most stressful time of our lives. With a sleigh list of things to do, such as buying gifts, decorating the Christmas tree, building a snowman, cooking the turkey, putting out the cookies for Santa, it is hard to get some rest and relaxation. No matter how hard you try, you are probably going to be shopping on Christmas eve, stressed out with all the other last minute shoppers.

Stress has a profound effect on our health

When we are stressed, our bodies react by releasing a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is not necessarily a bad hormone, but when there is an excess of cortisol lying around it can eat away at your muscle tissue (as a fuel source) rather than tapping into your fat stores. As a result, your body starts to pack on a few pounds because the fat is lying around and there is no muscle tissue to burn the fat. If you combine cortisol with the Christmas spirit, you will have a perfect recipe for tuckering yourself out before turning over that new leaf in 2018.

So the question is, what can we do about this stress?

Well, we all know that Rome was not built in a day, so don’t expect your stress to vanish overnight.

Your first job is to figure out the cause/s of your underlying stress. It maybe a multitude of things, and even at Christmas time, you may be working 9 to 5, supporting a loved one, deprived of restful sleep and eating one too many gingerbreads instead of maintaining a balanced diet.

Not surprisingly, you could be facing stress in all aspects of your life. Hopefully I haven’t made you feel more stressed by telling you about how many things you might be stressed out about.

A very helpful guide to get you started is Dr. David Posen’s book entitled The Little Book of Stress Relief. Stress may only be a six letter word, but Posen delves into the deeper components that make this small word so potent. Of course you experience it, but do you know the signs of stress? Do you realize the effect sleep or lack of sleep has on stress? Do you know how to deal with difficult people that may be causing you stress?

Well if not, look no further, because Posen’s gives you the answers to all those important questions.

One ingredient to stress free living

His book gives you all the ingredients to put together the perfect recipe for rest and relaxation. I will give you one ingredient that has helped me with my own stress free recipe. Just recently, my dad and I were discussing a person I found difficult to deal with. Every time I spoke to this person, I would feel frustrated, anxious, and sometimes angry. In light of this situation, my dad mentioned a similar situation presented in Posen’s book about unrealistic expectations. Posen states that certain people’s behaviour may irritate you, but it shouldn’t surprise you every time you meet them.

Basically, Posen calls this the “Roger doing Roger” situation in which you know the person will consistently react in this irritating manner. And since you already know that, it should make you less surprised or upset, because you can predict what will happen on your next visit. Although this may not be a revelation for everyone, I’m sure this helps you see how easily we can eliminate one tiny piece of stress, that we carry around on our already stress burdened shoulders.

So wrapping things up, I have two more important messages for you this Christmas season.

Firstly, don’t let stress get the better of you.

Secondly, if it does, make sure Santa delivers David Posen’s helpful stress relief book to your door, in order to help you start the New Year off on a stress-free note.

David Posen, The Little Book of Stress Relief. (Canada, Key Porter Books Limited, 2003) p38 & 39.

Natasha Turner, The Hormone Diet, (Canada, Random House, 2010) p65 &67.

Merry Christmas To You All! Hope This Christmas And New Year Brings A Lot of Good Memories To You 🙂