Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Find Christmas that bit too stressful – here are my top tips on how to deal with it...

Find Christmas that bit too stressful – here are my top tips on how to deal with it...

As we have officially started eating the chocolates out of our advent calenders (I say officially because no doubt there will be some of you that will have had a cheeky few before the 1st), I think it is officially ok to start getting excited about Christmas!!!

As we steadily creep into December, many of us are well and truly into the Christmas spirit.

Christmas is meant to be the time of year when there is laughter and joy filling our houses, we gleefully smile to strangers and our generosity and good will is in abundance. We might even fancy partaking in a spot of carolling. Who am I kidding! Christmas can be a dam right headache! 

Clashing family members, juggling party invites and Christmas do’s, buying presents for people with fussy taste (and you know it will then go on to be half price as of Boxing Day just to rub salt into the wound!)... you’re forgiven if you’re not in the mood to shout love and joy, but in the mood to tell people where to shove it! 

The build up to the 25th is pretty manic but it is also the actual day that can tread a bit fat boot on festive tidings.

According to an article in The Telegraph (2012), the average family first rows at just 10.13am!!!  From your mum moaning at your for setting the table the "correct" way, accusing your sister of nicking all the good chocolates from the celebration tin and debating the rules to charades. 

I could go on but I won’t. What I will do though, is share with you my top tips that will stop you from pulling your hair out, relax and actually enjoy the Christmas season. 

picture from

Don’t overdo it
Firstly, don’t overdo it. Either learn to say no or learn how to leave a party early (even just an hour earlier will help you in getting more shut eye). In that way you’ll stop yourself from burning out before Christmas even starts! Everyone’s diaries are back to back during this time of the year so perhaps schedule some of your parties and Christmas do’s in January.

Plan ahead
Having a plan written down automatically makes me feel 10 times calmer as I can clearly see what needs to be done and when. I have already written down what I will be cooking and serving on Christmas day and nearer the time, I will even write down a hour by hour of what needs to be cooked and when to ensure I can enjoy myself and not be a slave to the Christmas dinner. Might sound OTT but it saves me the drama on the day!
Plan as much as you possible can – even plan what you are going to wear to what party to ensure you don’t have any last minute stresses.

Try and eat your 5 a day still
With all the mince pies, mulled wines and celebration chocolate boxes, you’re forgiven if you over indulge! Who doesn’t! According to The Huffington Post the average person will put on up to half a stone in weight over the festive season! Whilst it is ok to eat chocolate, panetone and a glass of champers for breakfast on Christmas day, try not to do this on a normal day! When you can, stay healthy and try to get your 5 a day! I know it is hard when you are out and about, but try to make a few sensible choices. Nibble on lean meat like turkey rather than sausage rolls, or got for pitta and hummus rather than tortilla chips and creamy dips. Easier said than done of course, I know cos I accidentally ate two massive chocolate biscuits that someone brought into work today, but let's pretend and try! 

Write a to do list
In the same vain as planning ahead, curb the potential for stress and write a to-do list. Firstly seeing it written down will help you assess what needs to be done (helping your poor brain get round it all) and secondly, you’ll get the satisfaction of ticking it off, one by one!   

Presents are another big stress and I seriously advise not leaving this to the last minute! However even if you can’t get to the shops until the eleventh hour, still plan a list and know what you want to get your loved ones. This will help reduce the stress when it comes to shopping. Same with the food shop for the day when you suddenly find yourself feeding the 5,000.

Rope in help!
You don’t have to do all of the hard work. Don’t break your back to get a pat on the back!  Rope in hep with the Christmas preparations and tasks on the day. Perhaps you could invite a friend over whilst you're doing a spot of baking or perhaps have a get together with some mulled wine and mince pies when putting up the decorations. Don’t be the martyr by doing it all yourself. You’ll also have more fun if you do it with someone.

Give yourself me time
When you’re running around making preparations and putting plans in place then make sure you schedule in some “me” time, whether that is the evening to yourself, a massage or catching up with Breaking Bad. I have a pretty full on December thanks to a promotion, my dad coming to visit from Cambodia, the Boy returning from a 4 month deployment plus organising Christmas for the family. I have my plan and my to-do lists but I also have a massage booked in a few days before Christmas to ensure I have a bit of quiet time.

If you have any more tips, please share them!

X x X

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