5 Steps to Enhance Your Christmas Cheer

Christmas is approaching, and I’m that person who can’t help but bring it up early. This year, I’ve pondered if Christmas has become more like “Stressmas!”. When I chat with people about the season, I often hear comments like, “The silly season is so crazy and hectic!” or “I don’t even want to think about it; it starts to stress me out!”

But where did that childhood excitement and anticipation go?

It seems to have been buried beneath the weight of what we think we “have” to do rather than focusing on what truly matters. So, let’s reclaim that joy. Here are five steps to find your cheer:

1. Get Adjusted:

If stress has taken over, an adjustment can shift that response, release tension, and reduce the “fight/flight” mode on a cellular level. It’s a game-changer for feeling, thinking, and being better to help you navigate and enjoy the festive season.

2. Make a List:

Take a page from Santa’s playbook and make a list. Write down everything you think has to be done. Assign a number between 1 and 5 beside each task. Use 1 for actions crucial for Christmas and 5 for things that, if left undone, won’t ruin the holiday spirit (or, as my boys say, leave people ”Devod”).

3. Breathe:

Taking ten diaphragmatic breaths three times a day can make a significant difference. After each main meal, do it to shift your stress response, improve concentration, and enhance brain functioning. It may sound simple, but it works. Try to breathe in for 4-5 counts and out for 6-7 counts as this engages your rest and digest nervous system and helps you relax)

4. Create New Traditions:

Focus on traditions that create lasting memories. It’s not about the number of presents or the perfect Christmas ham; it’s about the people and the moments you share. Our family did many years of welcoming the new year in by seeing the sunrise, and no, I don’t mean we stayed up all night. The kids loved that tradition and looked forward to it. Pursue quality over quantity. Ask yourself who brings out the best in you during the holiday season, how to spend more time with them, and what you want to do with that time.

5. Live in the Moment:

This moment won’t come again. Choose to make the best of it, rather than be drawn in to those more stressful conversations or moments. Don’t let external stressors knock your internal ship off course. Keep rowing your boat – gently and steadily down the stream.

Let’s focus on bringing back the joy and meaning of Christmas by prioritising what truly matters and pacing ourselves, which will help create memorable moments with those around us that will last a lifetime.

Very Best Wishes,
Dr Rob.