For many people, the Christmas holiday period can be a very stressful and difficult time of the year for many reasons. Please remember that not everyone will have a family at the dinner table on Christmas. 2023 has brought new challenges for all of us and has tested human endurance again. Some people will spend Christmas alone. So please be kind, compassionate, and considerate. My late grandmother for instance was inviting for Christmas ( in 1950th) a few children from an orphanage. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger. Talk to people and ask how are they, and how they spend their Christmas.
Some people are busy with social interactions with family, relatives, and friends well before Christmas. This year some can see their family from overseas or interstate. And although Christmas is all about family, and sharing acts of kindness, there could well be perceived expectations, to create the ‘perfect Christmas’ with presents and perhaps preparing the most important meal of the year.
Planning is important so set a budget and then stick to it. Christmas has a different meaning for everyone and to have the Christmas that you and your family want, it is important to not take on the whole burden of Christmas as a host. Delegate decorating and cooking to your visitors too – there is nothing better than a homemade festivity dish or a gift.
Gluten and Dairy-Free Christmas
It is becoming more and more common for people to have allergies and sensitivities to ingredients such as gluten, lactose, nuts, eggs, shellfish, and so on. So if you are hosting a Christmas vigil supper or Christmas Day lunch, be sure to ask your guests if they have any allergies. There are plenty of delicious allergy-free recipes online and on our website.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol
Alcohol is dehydrating especially in a hot Australian Summer so it is important to pace yourself over the days of the Christmas festivities. You can have fun drinking low alcoholic drinks or alcohol-free drinks which will allow you to make the most of time with your friends and family.
It’s interesting to note that every drink, except water, is dehydrating and some beverages are more dehydrating than others. For instance, one cup of coffee requires 33 cups of water to rehydrate the body. In our hot Australian Summer, dehydration means a loss of electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium which a can cause fainting, low blood pressure or dizziness.
Foods Causing Stress
Foods containing a high level of sugar such as refined foods, caffeine or even chocolate are stimulating which can make you hyperactive, anxious, and stressed. Many people still observe a traditional Christmas as their ancestors did and the first of December marks the beginning of fasting in some religions. This works well from a nutritional point of view if you want to indulge yourself in rich foods during Christmas. Eating dense protein-rich foods, and complex carbohydrates and avoiding empty calorie and processed foods will ensure that you will not be concerned about weight gain over the festive season.
Do at Least one Act of Kindness a Day
You will be amazed by how great it feels to do or say something kind to a stranger. Make it a habit every day of the year. Remember that if you have the means to do Christmas shopping and have your family around the Christmas table consider yourself fortunate.
Remember it’s your Christmas too, so try to relax and have fun, laugh, and be merry. If you do find others around you difficult, do not make an issue of it. If things don’t go to plan, don’t worry about it too much, instead laugh about and forget about it.
Have a Merry, Stress-Free, Christmas Celebration!
If you would like to know more about how natural medicine can help you,
please contact us on (02) 4854 0205 or 0418 458 548
Danuta Hulajko is a holistic practitioner, international speaker, and the founder & practitioner at the DH Natural Medicine Clinic and www.healingremedies.com.au in the Southen Highlands. Danuta specialises in anti-aging, autoimmunity, thyroid conditions, digestive disorders and heavy metal chelation.