How to stay calm whilst braving the shops this Christmas

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

The festive season is the best time of the year. Friends and family get together and reminisce on the good old days, indulge in delicious food, exchange gifts, sing Christmas carols and decorate the tree. What about the weeks leading up to it? Taking present requests, dealing with the large crowds and spending way too much money. It can be unbelievably stressful and can actually make you dread Christmas, which is a shame because it should be all fun and giggles. Here are the key tips to staying calm whilst doing your Christmas shopping this festive season.

christmas list

Write a list

This sounds so simple, but seriously, writing a list can be a life saver!! Sit down, write a list of all the people you need to buy for and make some gift idea dot points next to each name. If you have a list of all the things you need to buy you will immediately feel less stressed. Be armed with your list before braving the crowds.

lady breathing


Simply taking a few deep breaths every time you feel overwhelmed will help to calm your nervous system and take the edge off. Breathe in for 3 seconds and out for 3 seconds and repeat until you feel notably calmer. You can even do this while you’re at the shops!

woman online shopping

Shop online

Try to do as much of your Christmas shopping online as you can! You can sit in the comfort of your own home, sipping a herbal tea in your PJ’s while you tackle the bulk of your shopping. You don’t have to worry about crowds or finding a parking spot, or the shop running out of the item you need. Simply buy what you can online and get it delivered to your door.

Get in early

The key to being less stressed, is to be organised. Get to the shops for opening, only enter the stores that you need to get something from, and get out of there before the mass crowds hit. Also, it’s worth noting that leaving your shopping until Christmas Eve is never a good idea. The earlier you go the better!

man giving woman gift

Secret Santa

An easy way to cut down costs this Christmas is to organise Secret Santa with your family. Rather than buying for every single person in your extended family, everyone buys one gift ‘from Santa’ and exchanges them. This strategy will save you time, money and the stress of having to organise additional gifts.

Get mineralised

Magnesium is a wonderful mineral that helps to support the nervous system, can reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. You can take a magnesium salt bath, or take a magnesium supplement to keep you calm and collected this Christmas.

Stretch it out

Stretch big and wide! Stretching can help to release tension in your muscles, release endorphins and give you an energy boost. Make sure that you are stretching regularly to stop the Christmas shopping tension from building up!

two women christmas shoppoing

Make it fun

Don’t view Christmas shopping as a chore. Where’s your Christmas spirit?! Organise for a friend or family member to go shopping with you, and once you’ve made a good dent in it, take a little time out and treat yourself to lunch.


This wonderful amino acid supports the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, helping to improve, concentration, motivation, feelings of satisfaction and to stabilise mood. Tyrosine also improves your ability to deal with stress, so it could be your best friend this Christmas.

be positive written in the sand on the beach

Change your attitude

Believe it or not, your attitude and frame of mind is one of the biggest factors when it comes to feeling stressed. If you keep telling yourself that you hate Christmas and that you don’t want to go to the shop, your whole body will believe you. Try to focus on the positive aspects of Christmas and you will be more likely to enjoy the Christmas buzz!

For more information on how to reduce stress and anxiety, see Dr Cabot’s book- Help For Depression and Anxiety.

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