The Best 3 Tips to Hack Stress this Festive Season

Three: Breathe, the ultimate gift.

A simple deep breath has the power to reset our minds and bodies for an instant holiday. A conscious deep breath stimulates our rest and digest response (the parasympathetic nervous system), brings us back into the present moment and de-clutters our busy minds.

When we are busy, rushing from one thing to the next, we instinctively breathe from our chest, this action automatically stimulates the stress response or the fight and flight response. Ancestrally this was our body’s clever way of preserving basic functions, however the stress response also depletes our energy, hampers digestion and oxygenation, disrupts sleep and so much more.

If we don’t take a moment here and there to de-stress we quickly arrive at Christmas tired, exhausted and irritable. We have a choice.

Try this super simple 30 second exercise – now.

  1. Breathe slowly and deeply through your nose, mouth closed, and all the way into your diaphragm on a count of four.
  2. Fill up your diaphragm completely with air until you can’t take anymore in.
  3. Relax your body and hold for 7 seconds.
  4. Let it all out, through your mouth for a count of 8 seconds.

Repeat the above 2 or 3 times. How do you feel?

It can be easily done anywhere and anytime and give an instant reset.

‘When we breathe we feel. When we feel we heal.’

Christmas is such a special time for bringing family and friends together. It can also bring emotions bubbling to the surface. I hope you can celebrate the incredible gift that this time of year brings, that you can savour the heart warming magic of giving, receiving and connecting rather than falling into a mind trap of emotional depletion and physical heaviness and a smorgasbord of way too much food. And that you’ll need a health coach to help get you back on track with ; )  What choice will you make?

Now I’d love to hear from you and any other tips that work for you?


A big thank you to my co author Kylie McKinnon-Smith, Mother, Administration Consultant. 

After working as an executive in professional services, Kate Barnes started her global business as a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She has a Bachelor of Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business. Kate runs an online program, ‘Our Happy Children‘, a leading education program for deeply nourishing families and building strong immunity, great energy and preventing illness. For more information visit Kate’s website, like her Facebook page for loads of daily inspiration, healthy tips and more recipes and follow her on Instagram:  @kate_barnes_health_coaching.

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