29 Nov 2018

14 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas



This time of year can be exceptionally stressful. Many of us are much busier than usual at work. We’re trying to get it all done before taking a little time off for the holidays. We’re trying to save money, buy presents, arrange to see all of our friends and family and cope with the cold weather. You might be worried about looking after yourself and staying healthy or even trying to lose a little weight in preparation for some holiday indulgence. Many of us are also battling rising winter utility costs and continuously keeping our eyes open for the best money saving deals on gifts and festive treats.

If you are lucky, you might be getting a few days or even weeks over the holidays. Unfortunately, however many of us spend the first few days of this precious time cleaning our homes up ready for Santa, visiting family, wrapping gifts and braving last minute shopping. Few of us actually get the chance to relax until well after the big day itself. All of this stress can mean that we are incapable of actually enjoying Christmas. It’s not magical. It’s not a time of joy and excitement. It’s stressful and rushed. It’s expensive and tiring, and all too many of us can’t wait for it to be over. But, it doesn’t need to be like this. Christmas should be fun and exciting. It should be magical. Most of all it should be a time to enjoy spending time with people that you love. So, if you want a stress-free and enjoyable Christmas, it’s essential that you find ways to de-stress and limit the stressful situations of the next few weeks. Here are some tips to help you to do just that.


Remember to Treat Yourself


When we are kids, Christmas is all about presents and excitement. We don’t have any responsibilities, and simply spend our time writing lists and letters to Santa and looking forward to what the day may bring. As we get older, the gifts get smaller, and we start to focus instead of finding the perfect presents for others. We have more to do, more to prepare and more to think about, and while receiving gifts is always lovely, Christmas starts to become so much more. So, why not treat yourself in the build-up? Instead of spending all of your money on everyone else, why not buy yourself a small gift, book yourself a Psychic Reading, or sign up for a course that you’ve wanted to go on? You could even book yourself a break for the New Year so that you’ve got something to look forward to when it’s all over.


Set a Budget


One of the main stresses of Christmas is money. We want to make each year better than the last. Buying bigger and better gifts, cooking more adventurous meals and bettering our previous efforts in any way that we can. This generally means spending more money. Even though Christmas comes at the same time each year, it’s always a bit of a shock when it begins its final approach, and most of us worry that we haven’t saved enough to do everything that we want to. But, the truth is, whatever you’ve got, you’d be more comfortable with more. Sit down and take a look at what you can afford to spend on Christmas this year. Set yourself a budget and divide it into food, presents, decorations, and any other expenses that come at this time of the year. Simply taking control of your finances and knowing where you stand, can ease your stress.


Get Prepared


Whenever there’s a lot that you need to do, lists are your friend. Make lists of the gifts that you want to buy, the cards that you need to write, cleaning jobs that you want to do and any other tasks that you’ve got. Cross things off when you are done, and make yourself daily to-do lists when you are especially busy. Seeing your jobs all written down like this can feel overwhelming at first, but once you start crossing things off, you’ll begin to feel satisfied, and everything will feel much more manageable.


Spread it Out


Most of us start shopping earlier now that there are sales and offers from November. But, many of us are still guilty of leaving everything else until the last minute. Spread everything out. Start writing cards as soon as you’ve got them. Wrap your presents as you buy them and start adding Christmas food and treats to your weekly shops.


Don’t Buy Too Much


Do you buy a gift for every member of your family? For your friends and your children? For the postman and your window cleaner? Many of us do, but there’s really no need. Most of what we buy for people that we don’t know that well they don’t particularly want. Think of how many gift-sets you get each year, are they wanted? Make agreements with your friends and family not to buy so much, or set a price limit. Other options include a secret Santa arrangement or making gifts. If you chose to make presents, just make sure this doesn’t stress you out even more.


Watch Your Diet


It can be so tempting to start overindulging as soon as the mince pies appear in the stores, and a little fun in your diet is great. But, too much can leave you feeling sluggish and tired. Try to stick to a balanced diet most of the time and just let the odd treat sneak in.


Get Some Sleep


When we’re rushed around trying to do everything, it can feel as though we don’t have time to sleep. We want to go out and enjoy ourselves. We’re up early for work. We’re trying to fit in shopping and wrapping around everything else. We’re up late and awake early. Feeling tired only makes your stress feel worse, and the tired you get, the harder you will find it to keep up with your to-do lists. Try to get as much sleep, and rest as you can, when you can. The odd late night won’t hurt you, as long as you catch up when you can.


Limit Your Alcohol


Drinking too much is something that many of us are guilty of over the holidays, and like your diet, a little overindulgence won’t hurt you long-term. But, too much too soon can make everything much harder. Try to limit yourself to at least a few days a week when you stick to alcohol-free drinks to give your body a break.


Get More Exercise


Shopping burns off a surprising amount of calories, but it isn’t exactly relaxing. Try to spend some time exercising, even if it’s just with a long winter walk out in the fresh air or a run on the treadmill at the gym. Exercise can help you to feel calm and relaxed, and it gives you a great chance to get away from it’s all and get your thoughts in order.


Have a Good Old Soak


Sometimes, there’s nothing more relaxing than a long soak in a hot bubble bath, especially after a long and busy day.


Light Some Candles


Candles can also be very relaxing. Buy some in your favourite winter scents and make the most of the dark afternoons by lighting them early to make the most of the soft lighting, romantic atmosphere and gorgeous smells.


Read a Book


Reading is often one of the most relaxing things that you can do. Curl up with a good book, or even take it in the bath with your candles and bubbles. Lose yourself in someone else story for a while as you leave your own in the real world. Reading is fantastic escapism and often the best way to give your mind a rest, other than sleep.


Stop Striving for Perfection


Stop trying to make it the perfect Christmas. Stop reading gift guides and looking at Pinterest perfect Christmases online. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and it’s ok that it isn’t. Each family has their own traditions and own things that they like. Don’t try so hard to make it perfect, and certainly don’t waste time comparing your celebrations to other peoples. Do what you can, and enjoy yourself. Forget perfection.


Plan in Some Alone Time


Christmas is a time for family and friends. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend the whole period surrounded by them. You don’t even have to spend Christmas Day in constant company if that doesn’t make you happy. As much as we love our families, sometimes being around them all of the time can be incredibly stressful, especially in a period of high tension. It’s ok to take some time on your own if you need to, and it’s certainly ok to say no to trekking between houses to see everyone that you are close to on the day itself. Plan a walk after lunch, or to have the evening at home with just your partner.

What are your plans for the Christmas break, will you be stressed or just excited for some festivity?

Lauren Eliza x

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Check out my post from last week here!

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