Sex & Relationships

Seven tips to survive Christmas

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‘Tis the season to have too much to do and no time to do it. These ideas will help you curb spending, reduce stress, and make Christmas fun again!

1. Ease indigestion: During this marathon of meals, sip 1 teaspoon of digestive bitters (from healthfood stores) in 50ml warm water after eating. Tame your sweet tooth and curb cravings for Christmas cake with the Ayurvedic herb Gymnema sylvestre.

2. Avoid hangovers: Before the festivities, load up on electrolytes in a sports drink, as well as B-group vitamins. If you’ve charged your glass once too often, try the homoeopathic remedy Nux vomica.

3. Shop sanely: Maximise your shopping time, not your credit card limit:

Set a two-options rule: Visit no more than two shops when looking for an item.

Don’t rush: Shopping impulsively almost guarantees overspending and regrets.

Walk away: If you see something you can’t afford, wait 10 minutes. As with the craving for nicotine, there’s a physiological urge that fades if you don’t give in.

4. Find meaning: Consider gifts that make a meaningful contribution, such as a donation to a charity in a friend’s name.

5. Go, gadget: This time of year, the kitchen is Stress Central – a flurry of baking, kids on holidays, and party planning. A sandwich maker can be your best friend, becoming an extra pair of hands that even a culinarily-challenged child can use without supervision.

6. Play happy families (more or less):

Avoid negativity: Every family has its complainers or gossips. When faced with criticism or hostility, respond with courtesy — and see how it defuses the other person.

Make ‘I intend to feel calm and have a reasonably pleasant time’ your mantra: Lower your expectations, keep things simple, and don’t dwell on the past.

Opt out: If you’d prefer to share the holidays with friends instead of your family, do so. Don’t worry about what anyone else says — catch up with relatives another time.

7. Baby yourself: Too many late nights? Settle down for a good sleep after soaking in a relaxing oatmeal bath. Put 2 cups of rolled oats in a clean cotton sock and hang it from the tap while filling the tub. Before bed, drink a cup of sleep-inducing warm almond milk. Blend ½ cup of flaked almonds with 1 cup of low-fat milk, 1 ripe banana, and vanilla.

Your say: Do you have any tips for surviving the festive season? Email us at [email protected]

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