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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > Dec/Jan 2020 > Your most positive Christmas

Your most positive Christmas

Make this Christmas a joyful, rejuvenating and life-affirming experience with our expert guide to spending your festive break firmly on the bright side


We know that around half of you find Christmas stressful, so rather than pretend otherwise, we thought it would be useful to give you tools to manage that. Earlier in the year we interviewed doula Maddie McMahon, and something she said has really stuck with us: her one killer tip to help a stressed woman in labour is to sit on the toilet. ‘It ticks all the boxes for oxytocin, which comes when we feel private, unobserved, warm, loved, trusted and safe from predators,’ she explained. ‘We’ve trained our bodies since infancy to relax when we sit on the loo.’ We’re pretty sure that would work if you have a moment of total meltdown at Christmas too, or you could try one of these science-backed options…

USE SCENTS Research using EEGs has shown that certain scents can alter brainwave activity and decrease stress hormones in the body. Lavender, rose, lemongrass and sandalwood have been linked to significant stress reduction after just 10 minutes, so stock up.

GET OUTSIDE The evidence is irrefutable: just 20 minutes of contact with nature lowers stress hormones, so if you’re blowing a gasket, fake a last-minute trip to the post box, take the dog out for a pee, or say you need a bit of air.

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About Healthy Magazine

Welcome to the Christmas issue of healthy! In the December/January edition, we look at how to avoid stress and stay upbeat over the festive period. Plus, we’ve got some tips on making healthier choices at the Christmas party and setting achievable goals for the year ahead. Many of us suffer with stress over Christmas, so for this issue, we wanted to think about all of the positive things that come with it, too. From our fresh-thinking article on perfecting the art of getting tipsy, to advice on how to break the Christmas weight-gain/January diet cycle, we’re approaching the colder months with a positive outlook. In the name of balance, writer Laura Potter looks at why we should practise Pilates to build strength and improve posture. We also look into the benefits of art therapy, as well as offering some crafting tips for you to try. And if you’re hosting your own festive party this year, don’t forget to flip the magazine over for festive recipe inspiration in our dedicated food section. Find all of this, plus our usual expert-led content, in the latest issue of Healthy.