Have Yourself A Calmer Little Christmas

Family opening presents at Christmas in living room

By Freda Burnett,  a WW Coach for Aberdeenshire area with 15 years experience of running workshops. When Freda is not coaching she can be found out walking or keeping up with her boys and their hectic football lifestyle.

Freda Burnett

Freda Burnett

Hoping to enjoy a stress free Christmas this year? With party planning, food shopping, gift wrapping, school play costume making and trying to see all your relatives in the space of two weeks, the festive season can really take its toll on your wellbeing.


Try these 5 ideas to stay calm this Christmas.

1 Get some zzzs . . .

Experts at The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults aged between 18-64 years old get around 7-9 hours of sleep per night (and 7-8 hours for those aged 65+), so make sure you leave time in your hectic schedule to get enough shut-eye. Relaxation before bed is important for quality sleep.

Portrait of a beautiful woman sleeping in bed and looking very peaceful

Pic: iStockphoto

2 Cut down on caffeine

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, even a moderate amount can disrupt sleep, adding to feelings of stress. In a study of shift workers, the equivalent of two espressos was shown to disturb sleep five hours later. If you’re wired and tired, caffeinated drinks may be contributing to the problem.

3 Brew some tea

Relaxed young redhead woman enjoying a tea break sitting wrapped in a warm blanket on a comfortable couch staring thoughtfully ahead, high angle view.

Pic: Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a calming brew, try jasmine tea. In a study of 24 volunteers, even just the scent of jasmine tea was found to have a sedative, calming effect, and even led to a decrease in heart rate. Shop-bought versions are blended with antioxidant-rich green tea, so you double up on the benefits.

4 Get some vitamin D

Scrambled eggs on toast

The further north you live, the more likely you are to have a deficiency of the so-called sunshine vitamin, particularly over the winter months when sunlight is weak. Eat lots of vitamin D rich foods such as eggs, oily fish, fortified yogurts and cereals, and consider taking a supplement. There’s evidence to support a correlation between depression and lack of vitamin D, so these small steps could have a big impact on your happiness and winter wellbeing.

 5 Make time for movement

If you’re feeling frazzled, even a short burst of exercise could help release some of that pent-up festive stress. Take the dog for a quick walk, go for a jog around the park or try a ten minute HIIT training session.

Sign up to WW.com or join a WW Workshop to find out more. And now with the launch of myWW™ it’s made even easier with the most customised and flexible programme ever. myWW programme uses details about food preferences and lifestyle to match each member to one of the three ways to follow the programme.

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Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!