It comes as no surprise that Christmas can be stressful. There are pressures to eat, drink and be merry – and this can turn a joyful occasion into a trying time.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of Christmas, there are steps you can take to make the holidays feel less stressed and more relaxed.
Plan work commitments
Working long hours in the lead up to Christmas can increase stress. You may be feeling time poor or that you’ll never be able to check everything off your Christmas list. Add work commitments into the mix and it can spell a recipe for disaster – especially in the week before Christmas!
We recommend planning as many work commitments, appointments, and deadlines in advance as possible. This will give you a timeframe for completing additional Christmas tasks and allow you to stay focused on work when in the office.
Don’t over-commit to holiday parties
Next up, are holiday parties! While it can be tempting to say yes to every invitation that you receive, be sure not to over-commit yourself in the process. There is nothing more stressful than accepting numerous invitations only to feel anxious in the lead up or during the event itself. Attend those you must – and leave time to focus inwards.
Treat yourself well
During the festive season, it’s important to give yourself permission to unwind. This will look different to everyone and may include having nights at home, taking a time out, engaging in self-care, as well as ensuring you continue to eat healthy, moderate your alcohol intake and complete daily exercise.
A great stress busting tip is to go for a short brisk walk when you start to feel overwhelmed. This will often allow you time to clear your head and a chance to refocus on the task at hand.
Christmas can also be a time when feelings of loneliness arise. This may be due to split families, inability to see loved ones, grief or loss. Remember that it is ok to feel this way. A good strategy for managing these feelings is to stay connected to loved ones. This may be via phone calls, video chat, or if nearby, spending extra time with them in person. When we reach out to loved ones and share what we are going through, we are often able to find new meaning and joy during this time.
Let go of family tension
Along with this comes family stress. Christmas is a time when family conflicts arise, namely due to increases in alcohol consumption and tension around the dinner table. A simple solution can be to let go of any previously held family tension just for Christmas Day. This will allow you to enjoy the celebration without getting bogged down by any previous issues.
If this won’t work for your family – simply, lower your expectations. If there are arguments throughout the year, be prepared for them to also arise at Christmas. Slow breathing and counting to ten before responding is another stress solution worth having up your sleeve.
Enjoy the moment
Finally, try and enjoy the moment! Often when we allow ourselves permission to enjoy ourselves stress evaporates. If not, these solutions and tips should help you survive the festive season in one piece.
So, go on, enjoy the moment!
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