Christmas is a time of year that adds stress to people's already busy lives.
Christmas is a time of year that adds stress to people's already busy lives.

Take a deep breath and use these tips to reduce stress

WITH less than a week until Christmas, stress levels are getting higher as we all try to cram festive preparations into our already busy lives.

If you feel your blood pressure rising, take note of Queensland Health's tips on reducing stress.

The department says our attitude, personality and approach to life can influence how we respond to stress.

Too much stress all of the time can be harmful.

Stress affects us in many ways. It can lead to poor performance at work, increased levels of anxiety and irritability, headaches, and sore neck and shoulder muscles.

The more anxious you feel, the more stress can affect you.

The good news is that there are everyday things you can do to manage your stress.

Research suggests it is a matter of recognising changes in our bodies and how we react to stress.

The old adage 'prevention in better than cure' is certainly true for stress management.


To reduce your stress levels

1. Talk to friends, family members and work colleagues about how you're feeling. Work through problems and difficult situations with those involved.

2. Exercise regularly. You should do some form of exercise that causes you to feel puffed afterwards. Have at least 20 minutes of exercise three times a week.

3. Avoid conflict and situations that make you feel stressed, as much as you can.

4. Relax. Make sure you give yourself some time to relax each day and try to spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself.

5. Eat well. A nutritious diet is important. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

6. Sleep. A good sleep routine is essential. If you are having difficulty falling asleep, do something calm and relaxing before you go to bed, like listening to music or reading.

7. Seek help from your doctor or counsellor if you continue to feel stressed and unable to cope with everyday life.

It's also important to try and have a good work life balance by taking some time each day to do something you enjoy.

You could:

  • Go for a walk
  • Kick a football around with the kids
  • Read a chapter or two of a good book
  • Get a massage, or
  • Catch up with a friend or family member over coffee or a meal.