For some people, the Christmas season is anything but merry. It can be a time of stress, loneliness and even disappointment.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right tips and advice, you can have the jolly Christmas season you’ve always dreamed of.

Manage expectations early

Christmas comes with a lot of expectations. Movies and TV shows would have us believe that Christmas is a time where families enjoy expensive celebrations and gifts in perfect settings. But this is not the case for everyone.

Some people may be dealing with the recent loss of a loved one, be financially stressed, or have to deal with family tension around the holiday season.

We always recommend that people learn to manage expectations early as a way to cope with Christmas stress. By identifying that your Christmas may not be the picture of perfect, it actually allows you the freedom to enjoy what you do have.

Manage costs with a Kris Kringle

Financial stress is one of the leading causes of Christmas stress. Manage this by opting to have a Kris Kringle where everyone draws a name out of a hat and buys a present only for that person.

Not only does this reduce the costs involved with buying gifts, but it ensures that everyone receives a gift of equal value.

Alternatively, you can manage costs by opting to only buy presents for the children in attendance or shopping during sales in the lead up to Christmas.

Manage family tension with activities

If your family tend to fight during the year, there is a high chance they will do so at Christmas – get around this stress by recognising the possibility and planning for it.

We recommend involving all family members in an after-lunch activities such as a game of backyard cricket or a long walk. By keeping people occupied they’re less likely to bicker or get into arguments.

It’s also a great way to get your metabolism moving again after a big meal!

Manage your food and alcohol intake

It’s very common to turn to stress-reducing acts such as eating and drinking during the Christmas season. However, these are a short-term fix that will often leave you feeling worse off than before.

Rather than indulge in these behaviours, try and incorporate some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing into your daily routine. You may even find that you want to keep these behaviours in your life year-round.

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