How to cope at Christmas when you have ADHD or Menopause brain fog

Christmas can be amazing, but it can also be incredibly stressful. The pressure can be overwhelming.  We want to make everything magical and perfect, but often on the day people are just rung out and exhausted.  There is time pressure from rushing around, the pressure of finding the specific gift, especially for children.  There might be financial pressure, and of course the pressure of family altogether, who are similarly exhausted. It can unfortunately occasionally be a tinderbox.

How can you tell when you’re stressed? Stress will show itself in a few different ways.  You may feel anxious or depressed, you could be grumpier and quicker to lose your temper, or you may be exhausted, often all the above mentioned!

Here's a few way to cope at Christmas when it all feels very overwhelming, from a mother who knows exactly how you're feeling!

1. Exercise

OMFG!! I hear you shout, that’s the last thing you feel like doing when your exhausted, grumpy, and anxious?  It does, however, release Dopamine, and Dopamine is responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. When you feel good that you have achieved something, it's because you have a surge of dopamine to the brain.  Perhaps try some Yin Yoga, which is a slow relaxing, stretching yoga and instructional videos are available on Youtube.  

2. Meditate

I can sense another grumpy sigh, because you don’t need another job to add to your list!   However, meditation doesn’t have to be for a long time, even 10 minutes of sitting still in the quiet breathing slowly and deeply will have a big affect on anxiety and bring calmness.  You should immediately benefit from a clear mind, a reduced heartbeat and reduction of physical tension. 

3. Get Outside

Park 10 minutes away from work or the shops and stroll in.  The fresh air and the regular rhythm of walking is in itself a type of meditation.

4. Be compassionate

You may have to spend time with family members who perhaps have hurt you, or with whom you could easily lose your temper.  Try and think differently, what must they have been through to make them that way, and so it’s helpful to pity them rather than hold anger. 

5. Seek Solitude

If you begin to feel overwhelmed then it is okay to slip out and spend 10 minutes out of the way.  This will help you to recharge both your social battery and your patience.

6. Be gentle

We are our own worst critics; do we need another pudding?  Where’s the Christmas tablecloth we always use?  The pressure to all have matching Christmas PJ’s.  None of this really matters, just stop seeking perfection, your loved ones would rather you were feeling yourself, than being grumpy and so set realistic targets and keep things simple.

7. Sing

Jump in the car and turn the volume up to your feel good music.  Singing lowers cortisol and relieves stress and tension. Studies have shown that when people sing, endorphins and oxytocin are released by the brain which in turn lowers stress and anxiety levels.

Of course, the final thing you can do is take Cognitively every day as it helps to increase both Serotonin and Dopamine, which are the pleasure hormones, and it is very good at reducing stress and anxiety.  Use Santa20 for a 20% discount until Christmas Day

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy NY.

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