Feeling Stressed and Moody instead of Festive? Here’s What Can Help

Girl with feet on table wearing Christmas socks
How to ease your Christmas stress this year

By Caroline Tran, KOL Editor for NutriSmart

We all know the feeling as our calendars inch closer to December. Do we have enough decorations for the Christmas tree? How about the lights? What presents do the kids want this year? What about Santa photos? How about the work Christmas party? What day are we visiting the in-laws?

Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and full of celebrations to share with close friends and family. Instead, for many people, it is the peak of stress and anxiety.

Here are some things you can do this year to have a more enjoyable Christmas and ensure you ring in 2020 the best you physically and mentally be.


Learn to say no

We often accept events or agree to unreasonable requests just to please those around us. Taking on more than you can commit to will cause stress and frustration especially while you’re trying to balance work, the kids’ school holidays and financial responsibilities.

Practice saying “no” to requests or events before you’ve checked your schedule and know you can commit. It’s okay to put you and your health first.


Take time out

A break can be as simple as a quick walk down the road or a five-minute toilet break. This allows your body to minimise the impact of stress and to recharge your mind.

Take frequent rest breaks in the lead up to Christmas and on Christmas day instead of losing yourself in the commotion, which will drain you of energy for excitement.

Research shows that too much stress in the body can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system and cause anxiety. Practice deep breathing exercises daily by breathing slowly through the nose, allowing your body to expand, then breathing out slowly. Deep breathing is an effective way to decrease blood pressure and reduce stress levels in the body. 


Get enough sleep

It’s no surprise that not getting enough sleep leaves you tired and moody the whole day. Frequent sleep deprivation can lead to higher blood pressure, a weakened immune system and higher stress levels. Don’t sacrifice any precious sleep time because of Christmas planning.

Read our blog here about a natural remedy to have a restful night’s sleep.


Don't overeat and consume excess alcohol

We all allow ourselves to “let loose” over Christmas and eat food that we’d avoid on other days.  We’re also culturally expected to crack open a beer or share a glass of champagne to celebrate the festivities.

Too much sugary food and drinks can stress your body and cause unwanted weight gain – not the ideal way to bring in the new year! If you’re a “stress eater” or like to snack throughout the day, try filling your pantry with fresh fruits and vegetables from your next grocery run.

Alcohol is a depressant which slows down the central nervous system and affects our reaction times and movements. While you may feel happy and energetic when you are drinking alcohol, the short and long-term effects can leave you feeling moody, anxious and tired.

Set limits for yourself and stick to them on Christmas day. Practice saying ‘no’ to pressure to drink.


Put aside family conflict

Although Christmas is a celebration to share with your family, split families, unresolved tension and conflicting political views can cause stress and difficulties for everyone involved.

  • Consider putting aside any conflict during the festivities for the kids' benefits
  • Plan and set realistic expectations. Christmas might not be the perfect family day that you hoped for but don't blame yourself for it
  • Avoid alcohol so you can be in control of your emotions and can quickly leave the event if you need to take time out
  • Avoid mentioning known triggers that your family frequently argue about



Santa tapping on his nose to a little boy


Set a financial budget

A huge factor of Christmas stress is due to the costs of presents, food, decorations and whether you are hosting and attending events.

Don’t spend excessively on unnecessary purchases and set a budget before any Christmas shopping.

Consider only buying gifts for the children and organising a Kris Kringle for the adults. Click here to read the rules. Another option is baking goods or hand-making your gifts as it’s the thought that counts!



Saffron threads in a bowl next to Crocus Sativus flowers


Take saffron supplements before Christmas day


Start taking saffron (Crocus sativus) supplements a month or two before Christmas day to ease stress and anxiety symptoms leading up the December the 25th.

A 2015 placebo-controlled study found that saffron can be effectively used in the treatment of mild to moderate depression by helping to improve mood. Another study also found saffron to be an effective relief for premenstrual syndrome (not the best to experience during the Christmas season!).


Remember to relax and join in with the festivities. It’s easy to get caught up in planning that you forget to have a bit of fun.


NutriSmart’s Private Label range has Mood Support Tablets & Melts made of Crocus Sativus Stigma to elevate mood and relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety.