10 tips for a stress - free christmas
30th November, 20110 Comments
It is 25 days until Christmas (at the time of writing). For a lot of people it can serve to be their most stressful time of the year. We take on too much, shop, go to parties, cook lunch and catch up with friends and relatives. It can also make you feel torn between families. As the pressure mounts it is not uncommon for big rows to happen. You can constantly feel as if you are about to explode. Here are some tips to keep your blood pressure normal!
1) Don't panic. If your stressed and not enjoying Christmas the people around you will notice, particularly your children. This in turn will make them feel tense and they may end up misbehaving, resulting in the whole situation becoming even more stressful. So remember relax. Take 30 minutes a day for you time.
2) Think of yourself. It is impossible to please everyone. It is important that you enjoy Christmas too, so think about how you would like to spend Christmas. How about eating out or going abroad one year?
3) Factor your children into the equation when making plans. Children are notoriously badly behaved on long journey's and at their very best they will find them boring. It is also really difficult for them to maintain first rate behaviour when doing the rounds of Great grandparents, Great Aunt Maude and long lost cousins.
4) Limit travel if you can. No one likes long car journeys. If you have to see both yours and your partners families and a plethora of relatives to boot, why not arrange to see one set a few weeks before/after Christmas.
5) Shop online. The internet has huge benefits when it comes to shopping, no crowds or queues for one. Instead of having to trudge through shops with a grumpy two year old in tow do all your Christmas shopping online. It's quick and you can do it in the comfort of your own home whilst the children are in bed. If you do brave the shops, think of what you need to get and for whom, first. This will mean you avoid walking around aimlessly for hours and only ending up buying a pair of socks.
6) Get organised. It's not rocket science. We often fall in to the trap of leaving things to the last minute. Write lists of what you need to do and buy. Buy presents early, wrap them and then forget about it. Prepare as much of the Christmas lunch the day before.
7) Christmas Cards. Writing Christmas cards is a laborious task by anyone's standards. So instead how about sending an email to friends/extended family with a Christmas picture of the family attached. It's quicker, you save money, and it is a better for the environment. You could perhaps think of giving the money saved from buying cards/stamps to a charity of your choice which means something. Obviously sending cards to close family is always a good idea, particularly people you do not get to see that often.
8) Delegate. You can't do everything (unless you want to end up in bed all of Boxing Day exhausted). Divide chores between you family and if you have visitors on Christmas Day get them to bring a dish to share the burden. Give jobs to your husband/partner e.g send them out to do the food shopping, let them organize the tree, older kids can wrap presents.
9) Don't be afraid to say NO. Say yes when you can and no when you have to. If you receive endless invitations to Christmas gatherings, Christmas meals, kids parties, only say yes to one or two, to keep things manageable. You don't have to do everything it is quality not quantity that matters most.
10) Don't take on too much. Relax by looking at what you can and can't do. Instead of having Pre-Christmas drinks how about pushing it back to January, when it can feel a little depressing and people report needing a pick me up and something to look forward to.
Related articles from our experts
Virginia Sherborne MBACP (Accred.)May 4th, 2017
Amanda Perl MSc Psychotherapist Counsellor MBPsS BACP (Accred) CBT PractitionerMay 16th, 2017
Jane Hughes (Reg MBACP)May 12th, 2017
Andrea Harrn Psychotherapist and Author of The Mood CardsMay 13th, 2011
Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Supervisor (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,MBPsS)March 29th, 2015
Keeley Townsend BA (Hons), Ad.Dip.CP with Distinction, MNCS (Acc)December 14th, 2009
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.