While Christmas is supposed to be a calming time of year, for reflection and family, the preparations for it and the period surrounding it can, counterintuitively, be wholly stressful. As a matter of fact, over 40% of the UK population admit to feeling stressed around Christmas. So, how can you guarantee yourself a relaxed Christmas period?
Avoid Social Burnout
The festive period is a time of increased social interaction for just about everybody; work Christmas parties, last-minute get togethers for friends, Secret Santa arrangements and family visits throughout the Christmas break make for a packed calendar with regard to making time and mental space for people. Social burnout is a real phenomenon, and, if unchecked, you could find yourself struggling to have the energy for your loved ones during the most important days of the holiday period. Careful planning can ensure you have the energy for the right people, while learning how to say ‘no’ can save you from expending unnecessary energy on events and activities you aren’t as interested in attending.
Keep Christmas Dinner Simple
Christmas Day presents its own challenges, especially if you are hosting family or friends in your home. Christmas dinner is traditionally multifarious, and so complex to pull together alone. Rather than spending your Christmas afternoon preparing sides and monitoring multiple egg timers while trying to entertain your guests, invite said guests to bring their own side dishes. By turning Christmas dinner into a collaborative exercise, you can remove a lot of pressure from delivering the perfect dinner – and enjoy the fruits of each other’s labour.
Temper Your Christmas Shopping
Financial worries make up a significant portion of stress for many people in the UK, as buying gifts for friends and extended family can quickly balloon in cost. By being judicious with your gift plans, you can rein in your expenditure without snubbing any family members. For starters, you could set a price limit for gifts to anyone outside of immediate family. By aiming for stocking fillers, or simply purchasing giftsunder £5, you can keep your Christmas spending on a leash and still give thoughtfully.
Make the Most of Online
One of the major contributors to stress over Christmas can be found in the rush to shopping for gifts on the high street. Jostling for space and goods is not a fun way to spend an afternoon or weekend for anyone, and you also run the risk of struggling to find exactly what you’re looking for – resulting in even more high street shopping, and even more stress. With online shopping a new normal for purchasing goods, you can avoid the crowds and potential stock issues altogether, instead receiving everything at home well in advance – giving you ample time to wrap them ahead of the big day.
Ultimately, Christmas is about family, and sharing valuable time with them – giving thanks, breaking bread, and sharing a beautiful day. While Christmas can be a stressful time of year, stress can only end up distracting you from what is really important. With that in mind, be sure to do what you can to make your Christmas a relaxing one.