Christmas is nearly here! Are you ready? Or have you still got shopping to do? Are you finding it harder to get into the Christmas mood as each year rolls around?
You are not alone. And you could be suffering from stress. Coping with work and getting everything ready, thinking of all the things you’ve still got to do.
What matters most to you? Having fun and socialising with your family and friends? Cooking the main meal and having it at your place? Giving and receiving presents?
We want to help you to have the most stress-free time, filled with whatever this time of year means to you. If you are stressed and overwhelmed, it makes sense that if would help if you could be calmer and more relaxed about things. And to do that, having the right mindset can definitely help.
Got too much to do?
Only by looking after yourself, giving yourself this brief time each day, will you be much more able to cope with things. Not to put too fine a point on it… your health depends on your looking after yourself!
Here are our tips for a stress-free, Christmas season!
- Gifts for kids… There is a lot of pressure to buy the toys, games, etc that your children want. They get the marketing pressure too. But kids remember experiences as they grow up, not the presents. Make sure you plan some great experiences, rather than going all out on gifts.
- Secret Santa… Instead of buying big gifts for adults, start up a new tradition of having a Secret Santa gift. Each person brings a gift costing no more than $10 or set your limit (keep it low) It can be a lot of fun and can huge pressure off
- Set Your Priorities… to help you stay in touch with what matters to you most, make a list of your top priorities during the holiday season. For example, if spending time with your family is your top priority, then make the most time for this!
- Adjust your expectations… there is no such thing as the perfect Christmas. Make sure you are not setting your expectations too high. If the unexpected happens, (and let’s face it, it usually does during the holiday season!) then there are usually ways to work around it. Don’t stress over the little things.
- Be grateful… find the little things which bring you joy and focus on them. These could be watching your favourite Christmas movie or that first cup of coffee or tea. Sitting outside and looking at the stars on Christmas eve, or even the chill of that first summer dip in the ocean. Allow yourself to feel the good feelings!
- Simplify your traditions… sit down with your family and work out what you enjoy most about Christmas. You can choose to keep the ones that you enjoy, quit the ones that take up too much time, energy and/or money. E.g. If the thought of cooking a huge roast dinner is just too much, maybe go for a cold meal.
- Get others to help… Share the food preparation/cooking with those who’ll share your Christmas meal. Get everyone to bring a “plate” of food – something for the main or dessert, so that you are not having to do it all. Or asking them to bring their favourite Christmas dish and have a “pot -luck” meal can be fun. Involve the children… get them to help with the meal preparation and/or cooking.
Focus on creating memories instead of getting caught up in commercialism of it all. Christmas is also a perfect time to rest and reflect on the year that has been. Take time to reflect on previous Christmases and the fun times you have shared with family and friends. And if it’s all already organised this year, you can plan to simplify it next year.
Remember the Christmas season is meant to be a special time of the year, filled with love and meaning, not something to stress over.
Best Wishes from Roger and Sue