1. CHRISTMAS WRAPPING: Don’t leave all your Christmas wrapping to the Night before: Wrapping can actually be quite time consuming and you are standing or kneeling in one position for a long period of time with the neck and low back flexed taking the strain. Before you know it, it is past midnight you’ve not been able to enjoy a stress free Christmas Eve drink and you’ll wake up tired, with a sore neck, back or knees. Wrap the presents on a table so that you can stand rather than kneel and aim to spread the task over a few days.
2. CHRISTMAS COOKING: Plan! Plan! Plan! Christmas day cooking can be very stressful especially if you are catering for large numbers. Worry and stress can lead to tension in the neck and shoulders. Firstly the number one piece of advice is to plan what you are going to have on Christmas day well ahead of time. This way you can work out what can be made ahead of time and stored and what can be done the night before. This means less time in the kitchen and more time with the family. Secondly write out a timed schedule for the cooking on Christmas day. Then you tick off each thing as you go along, this way you won’t forget anything and will find this much less stressful than trying to remember if you have done everything. Thirdly, Ladies have flat shoes on for cooking - your feet, back and shoulders will thank you for it.
3. CHRISTMAS DAY WALK: Christmas day is always busy, noisy and exciting in our family but we always aim to plan in a walk to the park so the kids can let off steam and we can get a bit of Calm before the Storm of the MAIN EVENT. So when planning your day see if there is room between presents, chocolate and cooking for a 20 minute brisk walk outside. It is well known that exercise reduces our stress levels. Even if the cook can’t get out at least there will be a short time of peace to get on with things.
4. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING: If you’re organised and done it all you don’t need to be reading this bit but there might be some advice for next year, however, If you’re anything like me you haven’t started to shop. My shopping tips are 1. sensible shoes - it goes without saying. 2. Plan what you need to get and leave bulky items to last or if you are not miles away from the car head back and drop items off, this will make a big difference to how your body will feel. 3. Enjoy that well earned coffee and cake reward at the end after all you’ve probably clocked up well over the recommended 10000 steps a day.