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How to strike a healthy balance this festive season

For many of us the weeks in the run-up to Christmas can be the most stressful time of the year. Resonates? It doesn't have to be like that. You can be in charge of how you want to feel in this time of year. 

Here are five tips that I often share with my clients and that they have found invaluable to stay well and happy in the pre-Christmas season. With well-wishing - Karen

1. Don’t be too quick to say ‘yes’ to everything …

Before saying ‘yes’ to anything – a request for help or an invitation – take a moment to ask yourself whether you have the energy to take more on. Everyone is preoccupied with their own Christmas preparations that they can sympathise and empathise with your saying 'no'. Trust that it is okay to say 'no'. It's a good life skill to have!

2. Drop a gear. Recognise tension and seek to control it rather than letting it control you

Mind buzzing, jaw tense? Are you trying to do six things at once? If so, stop what you’re doing, take a break, go for a walk around the block and ask yourself, ‘What is the most important thing that needs doing right now?’ Try to focus only on that. Clarity strikes when you stop your mind from asking the same questions and instead relax, allowing the unconscious mind to tick over unhurried and undisturbed.

3. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help

If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Remember you're not the only one who can do things - delegate! Ask your spouse, partner, friends, children or parents for help.

4. Try not to let all your time get eaten up with planning Christmas

Stay in touch with normal life by doing what keeps you sane; be it going for a walk or swim, seeing a friend, taking time out to read a book or magazine.

5. Avoid knee-jerk reactions with family

Sometimes spending time with family over Christmas can be tricky, heated, challenging and even annoying ... When you notice that your ‘family buttons’ are being pushed, catch yourself and pause for a moment rather than going straight into knee-jerk reaction. That’s how the worst Christmas arguments kick off. Pause for a moment to give yourself valuable time to think about the choice you have in your response to whatever it is you need to respond to or deal with.

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