Healthy Living

Q: As a working mother of two, I always find the run-up to Christmas very stressful. Do you have any tips that will help me to keep my cool this year?   A: Helen and her team from Molloy’s Lifestyle Pharmacy & Health Store says:  Christmas is quite probably the busiest time of the year, and with two little ones and a career to juggle, it’s no wonder you’re feeling the pressure.   However, while you understandably want to create the perfect Christmas for your loved ones, try not to become too weighed down by an impossible ‘to-do’ list, otherwise you’ll only feel relaxed when the festivities are over!   The following measures should help.    Be realistic with the time you have available and make a sensible ‘to do’ list that is achievable.   Where possible involve others in your preparation; perhaps the kids could help with the mince pies or decorate the tree while your partner plans the seating arrangements.   Take time out! A little ‘me time’ is essential for your sanity. Curl up with a good book or go for a short walk by yourself.   Daily exercise can really make a difference. It will help you to vent frustration and it causes the brain to produce more of the ‘happy hormones’, endorphins, so should cheer you up. Try to grab at least 20 minutes a day.    Structured relaxation techniques such as yoga and Pilates can also help to relieve high stress levels.   Keep an eye on your diet. In times of stress certain nutrients are used in larger quantities than normal so increase supply where necessary.   The B vitamins play a crucial role in supporting brain health and the nervous system, as does the ‘winding-down’ mineral magnesium.   Stimulants such as caffeine contained in tea, coffee, chocolate and coca cola can aggravate stress, so try to avoid these. Camomile tea and fruit juice are good alternatives.   Likewise you may wish to try Calma-C from Higher Nature, an instant calcium and magnesium drink with vitamin C.   Calcium and magnesium are vital for healthy nerve impulses, muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium in particular helps muscles to relax.   And vitamin C is beneficial at any time of the year but especially during the colder months and in times of stress when immunity may be lower.   Simply add hot water to one teaspoon of Calma-C granules and flavour with honey, fruit juice or herb tea to taste. * For further advice or information, ask at Molloy’s Health Store.