Sleigh farewell to Christmas anxiety with David Lloyd Gyms


Among battling the high street to buy gifts, mediating family feuds and donning the house with decorations, it’s no wonder that for many people, the Christmas season is not always a time of joy, but often a time of stress.

In fact, research by David Lloyd Clubs found that 33%1 of Brits say they experience more anxiety at Christmas than any other time of the year, with 69% of people saying they want more time to themselves during December.

Now, David Lloyd Clubs has launched a mindfulness class that’s the perfect antidote to Christmas anxiety. The newly introduced Blissmas class aims to remind people of the real meaning of the festive season which is often forgotten during today’s commercially-driven world. It switches the sounds, scents and stress of the festive season for relaxing sounds, smells and exercises that aim to calm the mind and encourage people to give themselves the gift of wellness this December.

On arrival to the 30-minute Blissmas class, participants are welcomed by the soothing sounds of the piano, providing a break from festive jingles, which are considered by psychologists to be bad for mental health when listened to repeatedly2. The studio is dimly lit with Himalayan salt lamps, which not only provide a stark contrast to the garish decorative lights found in the festive season, but also help tackle anxiety by releasing negative ions in to the air that counteract the positive ions omitted by items such as laptops and televisions.

David Lloyd Clubs has teamed up with Scentered3 to swap the festive scents of ginger and cinnamon for a blend of anxiety-busting aromas – Palmarosa, a natural muscle relaxant, lavender which helps support deep sleep and ylang ylang that helps soothe the mind. Meanwhile, each participant is given a relaxing armchair to sit in to rest weary feet that have been trailing the shops.

Once class participants have taken their seats, the instructor encourages them to let go of their Christmas stress, leave all thoughts of shopping at the door and focus on themselves for the duration of the class whilst they are taught a number of meditation and breathing techniques, which can be used throughout the festive season as pressure mounts, whether in the supermarket aisle or under a mountain of gift wrap.

Holding yoga poses such as the lotus and a seated eagle pose, the instructor encourages the class to think about the elements of Christmas such as decadently decorated trees and the rush to find that last present, then uses breathing techniques to slow down their mindset, to replace any negative or stressful thoughts with positive pictures and positive affirmations, asking class participants to make the season special again and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Marie Graham, Group Exercise Product Development Manager at David Lloyd Clubs says, ‘We know that Christmas is a busy and stressful time of year, so it’s important that people take some time for their health at a time of year where fitness and wellbeing tends to take a back seat. The Blissmas class is the perfect escape for Christmas; doesn’t take too much time out of people’s busy schedules but it provides a chance to rethink how they are feeling about the festive season and focus on themselves.’

The 30-minute classes run at David Lloyd Fulham between 11:30am – 12pm – the time at which people begin to see Christmas stress levels rise - from Wednesday December 5th until Sunday December 23rd and will be rolled out at various David Lloyd Clubs across the country throughout December.