GLOSS Issue 19 DEC 2014-JAN 2015 - Page 53

The human stress response to threat is well known. It's our fight, flight or freeze reaction. Which response we adopt can vary though you may have noticed we quite often respond to a particular threat in a certain way. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It's time to look at how we can make Christmas, our holidays or anything different to our normal routine easier and more enjoyable, simply by adopting a Brain Fit approach. 1 Be prepared. While I was never a boy scout (for the jolly good reason that I wasn't a boy) taking the time out to think about "how do I want this to happen", takes away the stress of running around like a headless chook buying three circles of Brie that you'll end up eating until Easter and a pile of unwanted "spare" presents you bought in case you forgot someone. A couple of hours put aside to think and talk over with your other half (if he's interested or vaguely listening) helps you to clarify what you will need and to start to plan accordingly. 2 Indulge in moderation. If like me you're wondering why last year's cocktail dress has managed to shrink in the wardrobe and you've got nothing else suitable for that work event tomorrow night, it's probably a reminder to travel light (and suck it in). There are only so many Christmas parties, drinks and meals we can go to without suffering a surfeit of greasy sausage rolls, cardboard mince pies and too much booze. So make sure you keep your exercise schedule happening, even if that means walking to an event. Choose to alternate alcoholic drinks with aqua pura. No one will notice that that sparkling beverage is actually water. Avoid turning up hungry to an event, a light snack before hand makes it easier to forego that deep fried wonton or bucket of chips. 3 Sleep easy. With so much to do and so much on, it’s easy to end up exhausted and without enough sleep. That makes surviving the next day not just a headache, but much harder to do things well to the level you know you're capable of. We all need roughly 7-8 hours of good quality uninterrupted sleep every night for mood regulation, better memory, better decisions, greater insight and time to flush out all the trash that accumulates in our brain during the day. So, while it's fun to party, be a Cinderella and make sure you're up tucked in bed in reasonable time, with or without your shoes on.