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10 ways to reduce Christmas stress

Thursday, 20 December 2012 Fran

Fran blogs about how she keeps her anxiety and stress at bay by reviewing a daily mantra.

The festive period is meant to be a time for getting together, enjoying each other’s company, exchanging presents and having a good time.  Unfortunately, this time of year can also be the most stressful for all manner of reasons. So, I would like to introduce you to my daily mantra “10 Commandments to Reduce Stress”.

This list was given to me by an ex-colleague when I used to work for an Older Person’s Mental Health Team. At the time I was suffering from pretty bad anxiety, which I have done now for last 10 years on and off. When I first I read through it, I thought: “Hmm, yeah right this is really gonna help me” but I decided to stick with it anyway. I placed a copy on my bathroom mirror, so I read it first thing in the morning whilst getting ready, and there is also a copy on the board in the kitchen.

After a short while I began to realise that this list did actually help me because it made me realise and wake up to how I was feeling. Now I read this list daily just as a reminder for me to think about me and how I feel.

Stress can affect us in a variety of different ways including nausea, constant butterflies, lack of sleep, weight-loss and not being able to think clearly. Sometimes you don’t even realise you’re stressed, as at times I didn’t, until something happens that you really can’t cope with.

Here are the “10 Commandments to Reduce Stress” (from I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.  

  1. Thou shalt not be perfect or even try
  2. Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people
  3. Thou shalt leave undone things that ought to be done
  4. Thou shalt not spread thyself too thin
  5. Thou shalt learn to say “NO”
  6. Thou shalt make time for thyself
  7. Thou shalt learn to switch off and do nothing regularly
  8. Thou shalt be boring, untidy and unattractive at times
  9. Thou shalt not feel guilty
  10. Thou shalt not be thine own enemy

If you feel like:

  • there aren’t enough hours in the day
  • you can’t think of what day it is
  • you haven’t done anything that YOU want to do for ages
  • you can’t see too far into the future

...then these commandments are for you.


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