Tips for a stress-free Christmas

07 Dec, 2018

Christmas is nearly upon us once again and many of us are looking forward to spending time with our family and friends, sharing laughter and gifts, while making fond memories.

However, although it is meant to be a happy and joyful time, for some Christmas can be a stressful and depressing time.

So how can we ensure that we can manage these stresses and enjoy the holiday season?

  • Discuss your Christmas plans as a family and be open to being flexible and open to doing things differently, as your and the family’s needs change over the years.
  • Write prioritised “to do by” lists and delegate tasks amongst family members
  • Learn to say no. “Thank you for asking us, but we are sorry we won’t be able to fit that in this year” Thank you for asking, but that won’t work for us this year”.
  • Make the most difficult decisions early on - such as where the children spend Christmas in step-families, or whose house Christmas dinner will be held.
  • Set a budget for the day, stick to your shopping list and resist temptation to deviate from it.
  • Online shopping can be a blessing, check out sites like Book Depository and Etsy for books and gifts. Some of these have free postage.
  • Ensure there is some time set aside for just you or you and your partner to relax.
  • Give voice to your thoughts – don’t assume your partner or family can mind read.
  • Try to avoid over-indulging in alcohol. The less we have had to drink, the less likely we are to contribute to or cause an unnecessary argument.
  • Be kind to yourself. Don’t label yourself as a failure if Christmas does not work out as you planned. Don’t compare yourself and your celebrations with others. DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE.
  • Noticing when you are stressed, and taking three deep breaths in and out, helps the mind and body to ‘re-set’.

Support services such as mediation and counselling can help people to come up with their own solutions to problems. If Christmas is a particularly painful and difficult time, don’t be afraid to seek professional support.

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