There are only a couple of days to go until Christmas and many of us are running around like headless chickens, picking up last-minute gifts and frantically wrapping them to make sure we're ready for the big day.

Lottie Murphy

Lottie Murphy

With a fifth of us guilty of leaving our partner's present until the last minute, it's no surprise that the purple parcel people at Doddle found 44% of us consider Christmas to be the most stressful time of the year!

To help you relax this festive season, I've pulled together my top tips for a stress-free Christmas...

1. Avoid stressful environments - The shops can be a nightmare at this time of the year and big crowds can make even the most chilled out person anxious. I personally love to do my shopping online with a Christmas candle burning and a mug of healthy hot chocolate.

2. Be savvy with your time - Sometimes it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. This is where some clever life hacks can really help! Whether it's an app that helps me organise my hectic schedule or a service that makes sure I don't miss my online shopping being delivered, I make sure my me-time isn't swallowed up by avoidable chores.

3. Get moving - Exercise should never just be about getting a great summer bod; it's a proven means of reducing stress and raising endorphin levels, and should be a way of life. 20 minutes of yoga, Pilates or gentle stretches at home are enough to calm your body and mind.

4. Switch off - Have a digital detox for at least 30 minutes a day. I love to do this on my train journey home - jump on the train, switch off your phone and read a magazine, good book or just sit peacefully. You'll arrive home a whole new person.

5. Eat healthily - I love to spend my evenings making warming homemade soups from an array of winter veggies. There are certain ingredients that I include such as ginger, garlic and chilli because they all have incredible properties to strengthen your immune system, fighting off those unwanted winter colds. You'll go back to work each day feeling more refreshed and productive after a healthy evening meal.

6. Get the family involved - Christmas is a time for family and friends, so get them to lend a hand! According to Doddle, women anticipate Christmas preparations will take 42 hours, this is 11 hours longer than men expect the preparations will take. Whether it's decorating the tree or helping to make the stuffing, delegating some of the responsibilities can ease some of the festive pressure.

Following these simple tips will take the stress out of last minute Christmas prep and leave you feeling ready and rested for the big day. It is supposed to be the season of joy, after all!

Image courtesy of Gary Morrisroe - Instagram : @garymorrisroe

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