Have a fantastic Christmas everyone.? Or “Happy Holidays” if that’s how you celebrate this time of year.
It’s a fabulous excuse to get together with your family and friends and relax.
But there are a couple of sleep down-sides.
I’m going to give 4 simple tips especially for Christmas, because this time of year presents certain different challenges around sleep, staying asleep and dealing with stress.
Christmas Problem 1. Too Many Drinks.
They will help you fall asleep, but later in the night, after the ‘knock-out effect’ we can wake up and?not be able to go back to sleep.
Now I’m not going to ruin your fun. Enjoy partying, that’s fine. And we need the time with friends and family and having fun.
On top of that, alcohol can be unexpectedly dehydrating. So we are drying out our ‘wet computer’ (called “the brain”) and causing some extra problems there.
Solution 1 – have some water in between your reds, whites, beers and bubbles. That will keep you hydrated, and hopefully you’ll have a few less drinks that will “mess with you” during the night, and the next day.
Christmas Problem 2. Family Stress.
For many people Christmas and the holiday season can be the most stressful time of the year.
Whether you’re recently separated from your wife/husband, the kids are off doing their own thing, you have to face that sister in law you can’t stand, you’re on holiday somewhere you would prefer not to be, you find traveling for long distances in the car very challenging, you’re trying to get the finances to stretch and still have a great Christmas for everyone, your alcoholic uncle is at it again…. etc etc..?
And by the way, while we are trying to pretend all this stuff only happens in ‘our family’ … I’ve got news for you… no use pretending – EVERY family has their challenges, some are just ‘better’ at hiding the skeletons!
Seems a lot of things come to a head at this time of the year. Even more reason to be rested, relaxed and resilient.
Solution 2 – For stress. Use Andrew Verity’s stress reduction method, actually thinking of the problem that you have. Go to Http://www.stressreliefstrategiestips.com and watch video 1 right at the bottom of the page. Copy that eye-modes exercise thinking of your problem, and feel your neurology figuring out new ways to deal with it all.
Solution 3 – Keep up your Exercise Program. If you’re not near your normal gym and routine, it’s tempting to give yourself a few weeks off. Instead, go for an early morning walk for 50 minutes. Do something easy, not punishing. Hit the beach, ring your mates for a touch footy game. You’ll feel so much better for staying focused on your health and good attitude over the holiday.
Christmas Problem 3. Every Year the Same Thing
Some of the things that keep being stressful about Christmas are staying that way because of the ‘family traditions’ that are repeating themselves.
Maybe this year you can make some NEW suggestions on how to do Christmas. And if everyone thinks that your ideas are not good, then plan next year’s holiday season differently so that you enjoy the time off, and really relax and have fun with the people you REALLY want to be with. Ask each member of your immediate family, or each one of your friends what their favourite Christmas/holiday is and formulate some new ideas. There are many options.
One of my favourites ideas for events that you ‘have to’ go to – is to create a second event as a distraction from the ‘bad one’. e.g. If Christmas Day with your family is really bad, then do a slap up Christmas Eve at your place – to put the other event into perspective. You’ll be so busy having your friends around on Christmas Eve you’ll diffuse the other tensions – “distractionary therapy!” It works.
Life is too short to be spending our precious holidays getting stressed out with people who we don’t enjoy being with.
Since there are a lot of people with family situations that are bad, there are also lots of groups of people who ‘do their own thing’ for the holidays. Spend some time finding these groups, or starting one yourself – to be the point of sanity that you wished someone was for you at Christmas.
Solution 4. Plan next year’s holiday well ahead, in fact, this year. Keep your eyes open to new opportunities and listen up for what other people do during Christmas that sounds like FUN for next Christmas.
The good news about Christmas. Home made food. Yum… With all that fabulous cooking around, there’s less chance you are going to be kept awake by nasty food additives in junk food. There will still be some, but there are a lot better options.
Enjoy the baked turkey guys! And laugh.