10 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas
The most common thing I hear about Christmas these days is how stressful it is!
It makes me a bit sad to hear this, because it’s supposed to be a fun celebration. Having a chat with some of you over at Facebook, I learnt that the major issues seem to be family dynamics, financial considerations, excessive consumerism, pressure for everything to be perfect and unrealistic expectations.
I reckon it’s time to reclaim the Christmas fun! Get rid of the stress and enjoy the celebrations. What do you think?
Here are my 10 tips for a stress-free Christmas.
♥ Get Clear
What sort of Christmas do you really want? Who do you want to spend it with? What do you want to do? How do you want to feel? How much do you want to spend? Are you doing things you hate just to please other people? Are you trying to live up to other people’s expectations or even your own about what makes a perfect Christmas?
Lots to think about! Although there is always room for compromise, your needs are important too.
♥ Get Simple
Unless you have the time, inclination and energy, you don’t have to have a designer tree, a gourmet banquet or a Pinterest-worthy selection of decorations. Scale it down, make it simple and fuss free. You don’t even have to cook – just make platters of cold meat, salads and fruit.
*HOT TIP: Buy or make some santa sacks and your Christmas wrapping will take approximately 30 seconds and you are being an eco-hero at the same time.
♥ Get Organised
Make up some lists – menu plans, food shopping lists, gift lists and start early. Lists can also help you get clear on what is important and what you can give the flick. Mark down on a calendar or diary everywhere you need to be so you don’t forget. Don’t leave everything until the last minute – pace yourself!
HOT TIP: Bake a few things early and pop them in the freezer. If your kids are old enough, get them onto the Christmas baking while they are on holidays!
♥ Get Online
One of the biggest stresses at this time of year is going shopping! It can be time-consuming and exhausting trying to find a park and battling the crowds. I swear by shopping online for gifts and food.
You can get it all done and all delivered to your door without getting out of your pyjamas. There are loads of discounts and free shipping deals around at the moment, so use them to your advantage.
HOT TIP: Check out my Christmas Gift Guides for some gorgeous online presents.
♥ Get Delegating
Don’t do everything yourself. Get the rest of the family pitching in with some of the jobs in advance and on the day. If you are entertaining at your house, get people to bring a plate and help with the clean up. For the perfectionists amongst us, learn to let go.
♥ Get Calm
Stay centred and take time out for yourself during the holiday season. You might want to schedule in a massage, pampering or some yoga classes. You can also use tools like meditation, essential oils and flower essences to help you feel zen. Keep up your sleep, healthy food and exercise so you can cope with the extra demands.
♥ Get Grateful
Whenever I get overwhelmed or stressed, practicing gratitude always works to calm me down. When so many people do not have a home or food or gifts for Christmas, it can make our worries and stress over little things seem inconsequential. Finding a little time to do some charity work over the festive season is also a great way to put things into perspective.
♥ Get Frugal
Nothing is more stressful than getting a massive credit card bill in January, right when school is going back!
There really is no need to spend a fortune on gifts and food, even though the media likes to tell us differently. Challenge yourself to spend as little as possible, put a dollar value on gifts and stick to it, make simple gifts, buy second-hand (vintage) things, do a family Secret Santa or print up some vouchers for things like babysitting.
Get back to basics and give from the heart.
♥ Get in the Habit of Saying No
You really don’t have to attend every function and gathering you are invited to – be selective and go to the ones you will enjoy. You don’t have to catch up with every person you know before Christmas – schedule them in for January. You also don’t have to visit every family member on Christmas Day – share the love and spread out the visits over a few days.
Set realistic expectations of what you can do and want to do and ditch the rest!
HOT TIP: Check out Kirri White’s tips on how to say no.
♥ Get in the Present Moment
If you are just struggling to get through the holiday season and looking forward to it all being over, you are doing it wrong! Focus on the present moment, enjoy it and have fun. Thinking about all the things you have to do just leads to anxiety and overwhelm. And if things don’t get done, will it really matter?
What are your tips?
You might also like to read :
What to do when your family and friends don’t support your lifestyle choices.