7 ways to conquer stress at Christmas
Does Christmas feel more like an assault course than a celebration? You’re not alone. If it’s your turn to take charge of the Christmas day festivities this year, don’t panic. By following these seven simple steps you will be all set up for a stress-free Christmas and come the big day you will have no idea why you ever doubted yourself.
1. Don’t try to be a hero
The most successful Christmases are those that have been created with a team effort. Don’t be a control freak and insist on doing all of the shopping, all of the decorating and all of the cooking yourself. Learn to delegate tasks to friends and family members too so that you have a chance to enjoy some of the holiday season too.
2. Be prepared for hiccups
There are some things in life that you simply can’t control, no matter how much you may want to. If Uncle Joe gets a flat tyre on his way over or if a snowstorm knocks the power out for a few hours on Christmas morning, don’t break down. It’s not your fault and it’s not the end of the world. Try and laugh these hiccups off and make the best of what you’ve got – remember, Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be special.
3. Check that everything is in working order
If you haven’t used the electric carving knife since last Christmas, test it out at Sunday lunch a couple of weeks before to check that it still works. Likewise if the blow-up bed that your nephews will be sleeping on has been left in a dark corner of the attic for twelve months, get it down the week before to check a mischievous mouse hasn’t chewed through it.
4. Make me-time mandatory
As much as Christmas is known as the jolly season, it can also be one of the most stressful. Set aside ten minutes each morning in the build up to the big day to indulge in some meditation or take a quick dip in a bath of aromatherapy oils to help keep you calm and relaxed. If you can bear to lose a whole day of frantic Christmas planning, treating yourself to a spa day is an even better idea.
5. Have an escape excuse at the ready
With so many people in one room and so much activity going on, you may find yourself needing to step out and take a breather at some point on Christmas day. If you have an excuse at the ready, this will be much easier to do. Say you’re just stepping out to take the dog for a walk or popping to the garage to get some more crackers. Or if you can’t get out of the house, take a time out in your office, garage or bedroom for ten minutes peace and quiet.
6. Keep organised
If you’ve delegated well it may be hard to keep track of who’s bringing what dish to Christmas dinner. In a notebook write a list of everything that’s going on as your plans develop to ensure there is no overlap. No one’s likely to mind if Granny brings a tray of roast potatoes and Aunt Caroline does too, but if Uncle George and cousin Amelie both bring Brussels sprouts and there’s no Christmas pud in sight there may be some unhappy faces.
7. Don’t leave everything until the last minute
As much as we’re adamant at the beginning of the year that we will have all of our Christmas shopping done and wrapped by the end of October, it never happens. But that’s okay, what’s not good for our stress levels is to leave absolutely everything until the week before Christmas. If it gets to the 21st December and you’ve still got ten presents to buy, all of the food shopping to do, a house to spring clean and fifty presents to wrap, your stress levels are going to soar.
What’s your number one tip for beating stress at Christmas? Tweet and tell us @healthymag