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to be stressful

amount, say $20, or only buying something second-hand, or pulling someone's name out of a hat and just buying for that one person," she says.

"Getting together and having a meal or a picnic is lovely but that doesn't have to be expensive. Try not to stress about it. Plan well in advance if you can and plan time for yourself too. Perhaps with a good book!"

With so much racing about in the festive season, it's hard to remember Niki's sage advice: plan time for yourself. They say the best gift you can give your children is time, but what about ourselves? It doesn't cost a thing to know when to stop

Niki Wright: Plan time for yourself

all the preparations and start to relax and enjoy the season. It can be as simple as playing favourite music, having a massage, burning

scented candles or doing some deep breathing in a calm environment. When we stress our heart beat increases and our breathing shallows. Turn that round, taking time to breathe in deeply through your nose, hold it for 15 or 20 seconds and then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Do that for a few minutes and enjoy the instant stress release. That will help too when potential massive headaches erupt with some complex social interactions with family or relatives. Learn a few other relaxation techniques too and consider a herbal tea to help stay in the 'calm zone.' If none of that's going to work for you, at least have an 'escape plan' if things are just getting too much. Even a 10-minute break from what is winding you up will help you relax and clear your mind. Exercise is another way to ease stress. A short walk in the fresh air in the park, on the beach or around your neighbourhood can lift your mood and make you feel better.

Evelyn Paul, who's mum to four children under the age of 5, doesn't buy into stress or drama during the festive season. "We have a lot of family support and it's all fine. I just try to avoid worrying, not make a big deal of everything. With all the children under school-age, every day is like Christmas for me, but I know I'm lucky to have the amount of family support I do," she says. "Just enjoy things as they happen. Enjoy your family."

– Moira Kennedy The

Refreshment Room

233 Scenic Drive, Titirangi

Ken Maunder Park

Evelyn Paul: Enjoy your family GAIA Purveyors of fine Gourmet Food, Established over 20 years FOOD Confectionery and Gift Baskets

Dutch Licorice a Shop Speciality

Avondale Racecourse


Chocolate Lovers a delicious range from Belgium, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, USA plus Thorntons from England and Bennetts of Mangawhai.

Open 7 days December 1 - 24


Thank you to all our lovely locals for sharing your time and special occasions with us over 2014. It is a pleasure to serve goodness to our fabulous community.

We wish you a happy and festive Christmas with family and friends.

Come share some warmth and sunshine with us on The Refreshment Room deck over the summer. Drop on by for coffee, ice cream, our tasty fresh meals or drinks.

Dinner Wed to Sun Closed 24, 25, 26 Dec, 1 Jan Lunch

Thurs to Sun Brunch Sat and Sun please support our advertisers – they support us

Bookings: Ph 817 8655 or

The Fringe DECEMBER 2014 – JANUARY 2015 27

9a Binsted Rd, New Lynn Phone 826-0203



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