‘Tis the season to be stressed out, tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laaaa!
It’s official. Christmas can be hard work! It’s the one time of the year where many of us place so much stress on our own shoulders- with gifts to buy, people to visit, deadlines to meet and parties to attend. It’s little wonder that stress levels rise with the pressure of it all, and the later nights, early mornings and cold weather doesn’t help much either. So how to make sure you don’t burn out and have a stress-free little Christmas this year? Easy. Follow our simple tips.
With just 12 days to go, if you aren’t organised yet then it’s time to make small steps to get there. The last thing you need is to spend the few precious days off work running around like a loon trying to cram everything in. Lists are good here. And so is help, so delegate the things that can be delegated. Don’t try to do it all.
Do you really need to fold the Christmas napkins into swans like you do every year? Will a shop bought Christmas cake (that nobody really eats anyway) really not do over a home made one? Will those relatives overseas that you’ve never met really miss a card from you this year, when a festive email could do the job just as well? When you write those lists, try to order them with the most important tasks first and then go back through to see what you can eliminate altogether. Make life easy for yourself!
Ask for help
If you don’t finish work until Christmas Eve, or you’ve given yourself too much to do, or you’ve left present buying far too late this year- panic not. Help is always just around the corner, if only you ask for it. There is no surer way to get that blood pressure rising than becoming overwhelmed with everything that you have yet to do to make Christmas special.
Remember it is only one day
It really is just ONE day. So the house isn’t immaculate. Pick it up on Boxing Day morning. Nobody will notice! And if you’re thinking you need to spend lots of money that you just don’t have (and the thought of that is stressing you out) then remember- IT’S ONLY ONE DAY! Take a moment to take stock and remember that Christmas should really be about presence, not presents. If you’re too stressed to enjoy it all, what’s the point?
Make a budget and stick to it
So here’s how we suggest you follow the last tip: budget. Agree with friends and family how much you’ll spend and stick to it. Chances are, you’ll put more thought into a present that costs less than if you splash out on expensive generic items.
Don’t take on too much
Deadlines loom at work, kids want the latest toys, Uncle Albert demands his annual visit… sometimes it can be too much. If your life is busy enough already, make sure you tell those around you, and spread the responsibilities out across the whole holiday if you can. Christmas can last a while, so no need to cram it all into one day.
Take time for YOU
We saved the best for last. Christmas is not just for other people, it’s for you too. So you need to take time for yourself, and do things that make you happy too. Here are some festive suggestions to try:
- Run a herbal bath and light a festive candle or two… then relax. Take an hour to yourself to unwind after a busy shopping session, or that office party. Rejuvenate and recharge ready for the next round.
- Meditate. Turn off the Christmas lights, dim the music and shut the door for just fifteen minutes each day. This is the perfect way to re-centre yourself amidst the choas.
- Hydrate yourself. We always recommend lots of water, and during Christmas there are even more reasons to do so. Cold weather coupled with hot central heating can dry our your skin and give you headaches. Stress can also play havoc with your skin, so drinking water can help to combat this too.
- Eat well. When we’re busy, or stressed, often our appetite disappears and we tend to either snack, or grab easy things to eat. At Christmas this can be dangerous, with all the over indulgent food around. Make sure you have plenty of healthy foods in this year and limit the treats if you can. You will feel better for it, and more able to deal with the stresses that the festive season can bring.
- Say no. Just once in a while. Know when to stop and say enough is enough and you’re taking back some time for yourself.
What are your plans this Christmas, and how do you intend to stay stress-free?