Stress At Christmas
When we’re children, Christmas is a magical and exciting festival that we look forward to for months. But as we get older, especially when we have children ourselves, fantasy turns to reality and many of us worry about making sure everyone gets a great gift, our food is worthy of The Great British Bake Off and we don’t overspend or overindulge. Just how much of a problem is stress at Christmas? We surveyed 200 people to find out, because as all nutritionists know, getting to the bottom of a problem is the first step to fixing it.
Half get stressed, half don’t
We asked whether Christmas has ever got respondents stressed. Overall it was pretty much split 50/50, meaning about half of us do and half don’t. There was a slight difference between men and women – only 53% of men didn’t get stressed. So whether you’re one who doesn’t let Christmas faze you or one of those who does, just remember you’re not alone!
But what's stressing us out?
What causes Christmas stress? 48% of respondents said the cost and 50% said shopping for presents. Fatigue, meeting expectations, finding the perfect gift and getting run down each caused stress in about a quarter of people. Forward planning might ease these problems, plus remembering the real meaning of Christmas – friends, families and time off work!
It seems that nearly double the amount of men than women get stressed about hangovers. In our survey, 14% of men got annoyed by hangovers, while only 6% of women had the same complaint. Luckily we've got some tips and advice on avoiding the dreaded hangover in our Finding The Perfect Hangover Cure article.
5 tips for beating stress
Did you know that it's estimated that 75% - 95% of all doctor's visits are due to stress-related issues?
Here are 5 simple steps to beat stress from Katy Petter, Senior Nutritionist at Nutri Advanced.
1. Remember to eat - in times of stress you need to supply extra nutrients to cope with extra demand on your body. But junk food and convenience snacks are often devoid of nutrients so it's important to choose nutrient-dense foods.
2. Cut out stimulants - don't rely on quick fixes such as alcohol and caffeine, they can actually put more pressure on your stress response.
3. Exercise - yes, it may seem like the last thing you want to do when you've had a stressful day but it really will help you relax afterwards and release those much needed endorphins.
4. Optimise intake of key stress nutrients - if you suffer from chronic stress it's unlikely that your diet will be able to supply enough nutrients to fuel this. Focus on supplements that include high levels of magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C and zinc. Herbal support can be useful, look out for supplements that contain adaptogenic herbs such as Asian ginseng, Rhodiola and Cordyceps Mycelium.
5. Make time for relaxation - Set aside some time to relax properly. Mindfulness, meditation and yoga have both been found to significantly help reduce stress.
Read about the latest stress research
For Healthcare Professionals
1. Clinical Guide - Stess.
2. Stress Protocol
3. Nutritional Management of Stress-Induced Dysfunction
4. Stress: Milk Protein Hydrolysate and Theanine.
5. Optimum Nutrition for Exhausted Adrenal Glands
Join in the conversation!
Come join us on Twitter and Facebook and let us know your secret stress-busting tips and take part in our poll to find out what gets your tinsel in a tangle at Christmas time.
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