Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration, merriment, and fun, but all too often it can become a stress-inducing nightmare. Organising the presents for everyone in the family, shopping for the Christmas dinner and getting all those decorations sorted can leave many people feeling more than a little bit frazzled during the silly season.
Many of us may not even recognise the amount of pressure we’re under during what is supposed to be a holiday. What you might think is just general tiredness or a hangover could actually be a sign that you’re suffering from an escalating level of stress.
If you’d like to enjoy the holidays this year without getting overwhelmed, here are some important tips to ensure you can still come out the other side with a smile on your face.
Preparation is key
Planning ahead is one of the keys to a worry free Christmas holiday. After all, the sooner you start writing things down and ticking off items on your to-do list, the more you can feel prepared.
Even just getting it all down can be helpful for making a start. Once you’ve done all the Christmas planning you need to, you can start delegating tasks and responsibilities to take some of the burden off your shoulders. You might be surprised at how helpful your family could be. For example, your children might enjoy taking on the duties of organising the Christmas decorations and dressing the tree, while your partner can offer invaluable help with the present shopping.
Looking after your health and wellbeing
It can be tempting to over indulge during Christmas parties, but the effects of too much food and drink on your body won’t help make the season any more joyful.
Making sure you look after your body with plenty of sleep, a sensible diet and some regular exercise will help you enjoy the festivities to the full.
Of course, a great source of stress during the holidays is the financial aspect of the occasion. To avoid a big blowout, realistic Christmas budgeting is vital.
As early as you can, work out a rough outline of the anticipated costs (including indirect expenses such as food and overseas postal charges) and assess how much of your disposable income between now and the big day can be allocated towards these costs.
Even just a small amount put aside every week can build up significantly, especially if you start early. If your costs start to exceed your budget, it may be time to think about scaling down the scope of your celebrations.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to get your Christmas budgeting organised this year, you plan the next year ahead and use the time wisely to get your financial plans in place. Not only can you look at your Christmas budget, but you can also include financial planning for any upcoming holidays, savings and life insurance.
- Christmas – tips to reduce the stress, Better Health Channel
- Christmas stress is often ignored, say psychologists, theguardian.com
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