5 Simple Steps to take the Stress out of the Holidays

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree by Syd Delicious
Some people love Christmas, they wait all year for the special holiday, an occasion when they get to spend quality time with family and friends. A time to laugh, to love and to spread joy. But there are others for whom Christmas is a chore, a stress and a financial burden. So for those of you who see the Christmas period as the latter, here are a few simple tips that may help you to feel less of the stress and more of the joy.

1. Start by Planning

Planning your days and what still needs to be done will assist you in reducing stress and will give you a feeling of being more in control. If you can see written down all the things that still need to be done, you can plan out when you are going to get them done. So if you haven’t done so already take out a pen and paper and make a list. The list can include the shopping that still needs to be done, the presents that need to be wrapped, the rooms that still need to be decorated, the people who need to be invited. Whatever the task write it down. When it’s all down on paper your brain no longer has the responsibility of trying to remember all the things that still have to be done.

2. Clean as you Go

My mother’s best advice, don’t allow things to get on top of you. Create little routines and rituals to ensure that the house is kept in a respectable manner over the next few weeks. Don’t go overboard and try to start painting or redecorating, just attempt to keep it neat and tidy, ready for the unexpected Christmas visitors. Be prepared they always arrive. Clean a bit of the kitchen when you wait for the kettle to boil. If you are bathing the children, clean the bathroom sink while you wait. Sort out your desk while you are waiting on hold on the telephone.

3. Call in Help

Advise the family in advance. If they want a wonderful and peaceful Christmas everyone has to do their bit. Distribute jobs and ensure everyone is clear about their responsibilities. If you are the chef this Christmas, share out the dishes or the courses, don’t take it all on. This is not an occasion to try and show everyone how talented you are in the kitchen, your guests will prefer to help out and spend more time with you rather than see you sweat and stress in the kitchen. Ask for help!

4. Keep some space in your diary

Don’t arrange too much. If you have a million parties to go to, choose the ones you’d hate to miss, you can always say you are double booked for the ones you want to avoid. Don’t tire yourself out before Christmas has even arrived.

5. Don’t Overspend

If you can’t afford a present, don’t buy it, remember to remind Children that Santa isn’t bringing as many big presents this year. I have heard that the Elves don’t have the same budget as last year for some reason.

Before you allow one day to cause you any strain ask yourself what does Christmas time mean to you? For me it’s a time of gratitude, being thankful for all that I have, a time for connecting with family and friends and reminding them how much I love them. Share the message with your family and make sure they know that the presents are not important, what’s important is the opportunity to create precious memories together.

Wishing you a Wonderful, peaceful and stress free Holiday.

Comments (2)

Useful list, Ciara, especially about the planning and delegating and not overspending. I would add to #1: after you make your list, consider what things on it you actually want to do, either because you get pleasure out of them or you know they bring great pleasure to others and consider eliminating things in neither category. Maybe even talk with friends and family members about what holiday traditions they value. For me, it’s about the music, traditional foods, having a tree in the house and expressing generosity and appreciation.

That’s a great idea Sharyn, often we stress ourselves out doing work that we really don’t want to do or that doesn’t need to be done at all. Looking forward to your Christmas recipes

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