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What is stress?
Stress is a natural response to life’s challenges and can be a force for good, but when it starts to overwhelm us then it can become a real problem. Find out more about what stress is and techniques you can use to deal with it.
Set up a mindfulness bell
Daily actions can be mindfulness bells, reminders to stop and pay full attention. Choose actions you know you will be doing – in the kitchen, wrapping gifts – and let the moment make you fully aware.
Take a three-minute breathing space
Keep calm at Christmas – the kind of simple mantra that can arouse feelings of anger, negativity, frustration. At such times it almost seems as if Christmas was created just to make you feel worse.
Take a relaxing bath
A bath meditation can be spiritually and physically uplifting, so take 15 minutes, lock the bathroom door and concentrate on nothing but soaking stress away.
Do what you can…
Never mind what everyone else has already done – appreciate yourself for what you have achieved. Feeling good and being in a positive mood starts from recognising what’s possible. Well done you!
Go for a short walk
Walking is exercise, stress relief and mood booster all in one, so get out for half an hour and put your mind to physical movement and a tonic for the senses. Move, breathe, enjoy!
Wrapping presents: from mindless to mindful
If wrapping gifts is a drudge it will suck energy from you, so enjoy the process and put your whole mind to it Thoughtful wrapping lifts you, and can be a gift in itself.
Do something pleasurable
If Christmas jollity feels forced and nothing brings you much enjoyment, turn back towards the things that you used to like – music, friends, quiet hobbies. It’s time to remember what brings you joy.
The ten-finger gratitude exercise
Granny used to say it, and sometimes traditions really help. Count ten things you really appreciate on your fingers – and don’t give up just because it gets hard after three or four!
Quality time is the essence of Hygge
Spending time with friends and family is a great way to relax and rejuvenate after the stresses of everyday life. That’s why quality time plays such an important role in hygge.
Sooner or later you’ll find yourself in a queue, so why not make it a positive experience? Enjoy the view while you wait, and catch the chance for stillness amongst the bustle.
Go see a film – any film
Choose a friend, a time and go to the cinema, but don’t pick the film until you get there. Unexpected events often make you happy, so make the space to immerse yourself in screen magic.