Christmas stress and how to handle it
It’s that time of year again! If the thought of Christmas is stressing you out already, remember that you’ve got several days to go. It’s a season as well as a day, and not everything has to be crammed in to the 24 hours of the 25th of December.
Do how do you deal with Christmas stress?
- Make a list. Make lots of lists.
Around this time of year, even my lists have sub-lists of their own. Not everything will get done, but those things probably weren’t that important anyway. Still, I think it’s a good idea to make a plan, even if you’re not normally a natural planner. Accept that not everything will follow this plan, but the earth is unlikely to end and you’ll be fine.
There may be many things that have to be done, but do they absolutely, positively have to be done by you? Prize your fingers off the control stick and let somebody else have a go. Make it a team effort and say a big thank you to anyone who helps.
- If you’re going home for Christmas, don’t take your inner teenager too
Going to your parents’ or in-laws’ home can be challenging when you are used to running your own home as an adult. If you know from past experience that these visits are likely to be stressful, then keep them to a minimum. Accept your part in any stresses that might happen, take a lot of deep breaths and think happy thoughts. Failing that, there’s always gin.
- Get out for walks as much as you can
Staying cooped up all day isn’t great at the best of times, especially when you add in over-excited kids, confused pets, baubles and cooking sherry. Be that helpful person who offers to go out for a pint of milk and grab yourself some breathing space in the process.
- Aim for a good effort, not perfection
Life is never ever perfect, it’s always a work in progress. You probably will forget something. Each year we sit around the kitchen table and wonder which element of the Christmas dinner got left in the microwave (it’s always the peas). All of this is fine. If you aim for a perfect Christmas you most likely won’t get it, but if you aim for a pretty good one then that’s much more likely to happen.
I find it helps a lot to sit down and think about previous Christmases – what worked and what didn’t? Where were the main stress points? What needs to be different next time? Why did I bust a gut hand making 500 mince pies when nobody likes them and the ones from Lidl are perfectly good? Do peas even belong in a Christmas dinner?
And also – think about the parts of Christmas that you love, and do more of these. Fill it up with the good stuff and the stress inevitably gets squeezed to the sides.
How do you deal with Christmas stress? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you
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