According to the popular lyrics, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Many people would agree with this. While others dread the start of the festive season and the chaos and stress that ensues. If you fall into the latter camp, read our simple tips to keep stress to a minimum and enjoy the festivities.

Don’t Be A Slave To The List

Often, stress is self-enforced, and we don’t even realise it. When it comes to holidays and Christmas, there’s a tendency to operate on autopilot. We do things without questions because that’s we do every year. But is is really necessary? When making a to-do list, question whether you have to do all of the items. Are there things you could cross off the list to make life easier? For example, if visit both your parents and your partner’s parents every Christmas Day, is it necessary to do it this year? If it causes stress and stands in the way of your enjoyment, could you swap things around? Perhaps visit one set of parents on Christmas Day and the other on Boxing Day?

Another example is Christmas gifts. Do you really have to buy a gift for the couple who lived next door to you ten years ago? These type of decisions are not always easy to make as they have an emotional element. But, making changes can be freeing. You don’t have to be a slave to tradition and to-do lists. If you cut back, you can save time and as a result, reduce your stress levels.

Struggling With Gift Ideas

If you’re struggling to find unusual present ideas for men or something for your best friend’s partner, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you know about that person?
  • Do they have any hobbies?
  • Do they travel and, if so, where to?
  • Are they sports fans?
  • Are they struggling with anything at the moment? Eg are they complaining about working in a cold office, etc.?
  • What do they do in their spare time?

Working through a mental list can provide some creative gift ideas that will be appreciated for their thoughtfulness.

Don’t Try To Be Perfect

If you’re striving for perfection, you’re setting yourself up for failure. No-one can do everything. You don’t have to buy the perfect presents, have the perfect home or cook the perfect Christmas dinner. You just have to do the best you can.

Don’t be afraid to say no to people. Your happiness and enjoyment are just as important as theirs. Establishing barriers is healthy.

If things go wrong, shrug it off and figure out either how to fix it or what to do next. Dwelling on small mishaps will only make you miserable.


Take Short Cuts

You have permission to take shortcuts and cut as many corners as necessary to remain sane. This includes:

  • Shopping online
  • Doing the majority of the food shopping online
  • Buying shop-bought mince pies
  • Making your own mince pies with ready-made pastry
  • Suggesting Secret Santa
  • Buying a turkey crown or a pre-cooked bird
  • Buying ready-made roasting vegetables
  • Eating at a restaurant on Christmas Day

Do anything you can to make it a little easier. Ditch the list, forget perfection and cut corners. Forget stress and chaos and think merry and bright.

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