It’s beginning to look a lot like stressmas. While ‘tis the season to be jolly for many, others crack under the pressure of festive cheer. With end-of-year fatigue and depleted batteries, more to-do lists, over-filled calendars and booze-fuelled social engagements aren’t exactly what we need. To help you to navigate the madness, here are some wellness hacks to take the edge off what can be a stressful time of year…
For Kat at Well+Life+Tribe, this Christmas she is choosing not to drink at all. “I have been drinking less and less for the last few years but now I just love not drinking and not having a sore head. I feel I am confident enough to enjoy everything that comes my way whereas a few years ago I drank to get myself through it”. Why not try Thomson & Scott’s alcohol free “Noughty” champagne.
“I find taking a few drops of CBD combined with a yoga practise, a really good way to chill out”, explains DOSE editor Hettie Holmes. “I’m currently using CBII, which is a range of CBD products that are full spectrum’’, meaning, the extract is as close to the hemp plant as possible. The plants are grown with low levels of THC (less than 0.2%) and high levels of CBD, avoiding these euphoric or “high” effects associated with marijuana consumption. “When combined with a yoga practice, it helps me to feel mellow and melts any stresses away.’’ Curious? See if the therapeutic benefits of CBII work for you.
COLD WATER SWIMMING
Rosie at Deakin and Blue takes the edge off with cold water swimming. “Exposure to cold water (whilst not recommended at this time of year for complete novices) is a proven stress release and is used by many cold water swimmers to help manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety”, she says. “Exposure to cold water creates a shock reaction (increased blood pressure, heart rate etc) and that regular practice helps the body normalise it’s response to this “shock” and, in doing so, to normalise the response to other bodily reactions, e.g. anxiety”. She goes on “It’s also just a fantastic excuse to get out in nature, disconnect from the phone for an hour or two (you can’t Instagram from the water the way you can from the treadmill…) and listen to the sounds around you (the water, the birds, the trees) before returning to the inbox, the Christmas shopping, the kitchen preparation and whatever else Christmas has in store!” Check out the UK’s best outdoor pools and Lido’s for taking a dip.
Caroline Wilkinson aka The Mindful Dog Trainer, avoids stress with canine therapy. “The benefits of having dogs in our life have been both well documented and scientifically verified – from lower blood pressure and reduced stress, to living longer and being happier. What better time to enjoy the company of our canine companions than over Christmas? It’s a time for long winter walks, cuddles by the fire, and enjoying the oxytocin boost that bonding time with our dogs allows”.
She goes on “Our dogs can teach us so many valuable lessons – but the biggest is to live in the moment. In the run up to Christmas, we often feel the stresses and strains of work balanced with planning for the big day. Our dogs don’t have to-do lists, they don’t sweat the small stuff. They focus on the smells of today, the enjoyment of food, and the special time they get to spend with you, their human. This winter, why not try to ‘be more dog’ and focus on the small moments of every day. Feel your dog’s fur under your fingers, breathe more slowly, and relax in the comfort of family”. Why not try some DOGA or Mindfulness for you and your Dog?
CURLING UP WITH A BOOK
Bijal Shah is a bibliotherapist. That’s a person who prescribes literature as therapy – if you didn’t know! “One of the ways I cope with Christmas is listening to half an hour of a book on audio or reading it on my kindle before bed” she says. “It truly restores my wellbeing and sense of self, after a hectic day. Being an introvert, it also energises me.” Discover the best books on Audible.
Writer, editor and podcaster Jane Perrone stays sane by gardening, indoors and out, over Christmas. “I’ll be heading outside to give my pear tree its annual Christmas prune, and there’s nothing better than turning the compost heap to give you a rounded perspective on the cycle of life. I will also be tending to my houseplants when it’s too miserable to be outside. Listen to Jane’s gardening podcast called On The Ledge
DOSE Co-founder Shara swears by tea to help her sleep during the Christmas madness! “I am loving Pukka’s new Peace tea infused with CBD. It’s packed with stress busting herbs like ashwagandha and chamomile. I drink it in the evening to help me unwind after a busy day cramming in pre-Christmas meetings. They also do a Night Time latte, which is like a super healthy herbal horlicks! See if Pukka’s new sleep range helps you to catch some more zzz’s.
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.