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Prepare for a stress-free Christmas

Christmas is a time for celebrating with family and friends – but it can be stressful too. By being prepared for what the festive season brings, we can maintain a good balance in every aspect of our lives.

Red ribbon with white text saying 'Tips for a stress free Christmas'. Surrounded by an icon of the sun, a bucket, sunglasses, jandals and sunglasses

Being stressed for a long time isn’t good for your heart and overall health. Long-term stress can increase your blood sugar levels and your blood pressure – making your muscles tense and your body more at risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Let’s work together to be less-stressed. The time we spend together at Christmas is valuable. Follow our tips to get ready for the festive season, so you can spend your time with family and friends stress-free, happy and healthy.

1. Plan ahead as much as possible

First up, let’s talk food. We know it’s around a lot at Christmas at all the celebrations, gatherings and on Christmas day itself.

If you’re hosting an event – make sure you’re ready by writing a shopping list of all the food you need to buy. Take the list with you when you go shopping, so you remember to buy everything you need.

You’ll be able to enjoy your time with your guests more if you’re not worrying about that forgotten taro! Don’t forget to read our tips for a cheaper food shop, and try this healthy summer recipe too.

Shopping list on table with pen with 'eggs, milk, apples, leek, bread' written on the list.

2. Get the kids out and about

When the kids are bored and running around the house it’s easy to feel stressed. Plan some days out and activities to keep them busy. Connect with other families with children, so the kids can play together while you catch up with family and friends.

Luckily, Christmas brings with it hot weather. That means free activities like trips to the park, walks and visits to the beach are easy to do. Just don’t forget the sunblock! Remember to pack a picnic with plenty of water to save money on food and drink while you’re out and about too. Only pack the right amount for the day – the more you pack, the more they’ll eat!

Teenage boys playing basket ball in playground

3. Make sure your food is safe to eat

Christmas is a time for celebration, so it can be very distressing to get sick during this busy time.

During the summer months it’s much easier for food to go off, and make us sick with food poisoning. Keep you and your family healthy by following these tips to keep food safe in the hot weather.

If you’re cooking outside, keep food like meat, fish and dairy cool in the fridge. Or if you’re going on a picnic use icepacks and a chilly bin.

When cooking raw meat, remember to wash your hands before and after handling it.

Don’t leave food out in the sunshine, it may spoil and bacteria will grow quickly in the heat. Once you’re finished with it put it in the fridge.

Man and wife sat in park with kids eating picnic

4. Maintain the balance

With the kids off school, church obligations and Christmas celebrations, there’s lots happening. With so many things to do, we can often feel overwhelmed, tired and even moody.

Maintaining a good balance in your life is important. It’ll help you have a stress-free body, happy spirit and calm mind. To help you take a step back from the busyness – reconnect with nature.

Being outdoors is good for your mind and body. So spend some time alone outside, or go for a walk to clear your head. Your family will thank you for it when you return back your happy self.

Dad on bike in park with two children, one child on a bike and one holding a rugby ball

5. Reach out to others

Even if you’re coping well with the busy season, your friends or family may not be. Sometimes it can be hard to tell how others are feeling. Take the time to look out for each other, you never know who might be in need of a little help.

Many of us are lucky to have people to spend the holiday season with. Christmas can be a hard time for people that are alone. Pay your good luck forward by reaching out to others and inviting them to your celebrations so they feel less alone. The more the merrier!

Man and two women in kitchen preparing food

We hope your enjoy summer and the festive season. Remember to check out more tips for a healthy mind, body and spirit on our Pacific Heartbeat Facebook page.

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