How can we avoid the pre-Christmas stress mess?

  • 8 December 2023

A few tips from the BradCliff team on how to help deal with the stress and strains during the Christmas break.

Shopping, parties, work deadlines, fractious families, overcrowded shops, whining children on top of negative news feeds, and the bombardment of social media. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, its year-end, along with looming long summer school breaks. In the Northern Hemisphere, its the winter blues; short, cold, gloomy days which can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression or low mood related to the change of season, usually from summer to winter.

It can be a frantic and tough time leading to fatigue, sleep disruption, sadness, difficulty concentrating, and burnout and it can take a terrible toll.

One patient recently said he felt like a Pacific salmon – fighting his way upstream and being chronically stressed to the max. Salmon are programmed to do this.  After struggling upstream, fuelled by adrenaline and cortisol, and laying their eggs, they die of exhaustion or infection, their bodies worn out by their efforts. Being stressed to the max is a salmon’s lot.

Fortunately we humans have not been programmed this way. But increasingly the pressure of modern life –- both urban and rural – has for some, become intolerable.

Adrenaline and cortisol levels can be sent sky-high by tyrant bosses, traffic jams, solo parenthood, two-career marriages, exams, unemployment, frightening TV news, and of course ... the compulsory cheeriness of Christmas. 
It may be one, or a combination of stresses that lead to ‘overload’. Respiration rates speed up, upper chest breathing takes over. Resting adrenaline and cortisol levels start to resemble those of the doomed salmon.

How can we avoid the pre-Christmas stress mess?

Try these tips :

  1. The BradCliff Calm Down Bliss Out takes less than 2 minutes - try it several times a day. DOWNLOAD HERE
  2. Eat little and often. The brain needs both oxygen (02) from the air and glucose (fuel) to function properly. Breathing poorly and low glucose can quickly lead to panic feelings so make sure each meal includes some first-class protein. Cut down on quick-fix high-sugar foods, and check your hemoglobin level if you are concerned.
  3. Santa was on the right track with his Ho ho-ho's.
    Laughter is the best toxin-free medicine. 
    Make sure you have a good belly laugh at least once a day, if not once an hour. It works the diaphragm a treat and releases serotonin (a mood enhancer as well as a sleep nectar) into your system. A good bout of laughter is one of the best stress-busters. Smiling is OK too.

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