The 12 days of stress-free Christmas

stress at christmas

We’ve had a sprinkling of snow, the German market is back and the Dome has its lights up (since October!). It can only mean one thing: Christmas is fast approaching.

Christmas can be a stressful time of year with many people experiencing stress, anxiety and depression during the festive season. From writing cards, buying presents, visiting family and friends, office parties and financial pressures Christmas is a time of extra responsibility and we can all feel the strain. If nothing else, reassure yourself that these feelings are normal.

To help ease the stress read our tips for surviving the ‘12 days of Christmas’….

12 heads are drumming

Feeling run down can make us more susceptible to colds and flu. Stock up on cold remedies and vitamin C to keep you fighting fit this festive season.

11 lists are writing

Getting organised can really help to alleviate the stress of Christmas. Write a list of everyone you need to buy presents for, decide on a budget and write gift ideas next to everyone’s names. Inspiration doesn’t strike standing in a packed shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon – go with a plan.

10 lords-a-eating

Diet and exercise can take a back seat in December as we all overindulge but don’t forget the stress busting benefits of exercise. You might not have time to go to the gym but try other activities such as connecting with friends and family by going for a walk.

9 merry ladies dancing

Christmas brings office parties and increased socialising. It’s easy to over indulgence on alcohol and food. Keep hydrated and have a few alcohol free days per week. Don’t use alcohol or food as a way to cope with the stress.

8 maids-a-stressing

In general women take on the majority of the preparation involved in Christmas. You’re not superwoman and no one expects you to do it all. Asking for help from your partner, friends or family can help ease the burden.

7 crowds avoiding

Avoid the crowds: if you can, do your shopping online with a cup of tea and a mince pie. All of the major supermarkets offer home delivery and many things found on the high street can be ordered online – take into account delivery times and speeds.

6 engagements pending

Before you find yourself tight up with too many activities and commitments, decide what activities have a positive influence on you and you enjoy, and which are superfluous. Choose to spend time with people you like and do things you that are important to you, leave aside those you don’t.

5 gold credit cards

Set a budget and stick to it! With the less money than ever it’s important not to get into massive debt for just one day. Big families could consider buying only for the children. Would you really miss another generic gift set? Don’t forget to budget for ‘hidden’ costs such as overseas phone calls and travel expenses.

4 families fighting

The majority of people will be calling on family over the festive season. Spending time with the family can be stressful especially if not everyone gets along. Don’t expect miracles: If your family argue and bicker this isn’t going to change at Christmas. Don’t feel that you have to be a peacemaker. Disagreements, fights and arguments happen over Christmas –that’s life in a real family. Help ease your stress by avoiding known triggers in your family. If you know that Uncle Andrew is sore loser than stay away from games of Pictionary!

3 French chefs

Don’t panic, it’s only dinner! Putting pressure on yourself to prepare and cook the perfect meal won’t help stress levels. Delegate some of the preparation to others. If they are going to eat the dinner then they can help to prepare it too.

2 minutes for me

Take time out for a bit of peace and quiet. It’s easy to run ourselves into the ground rushing around by it’s important to take some time out. Get plenty of sleep and try some relaxation exercises to ease tension in the body.

And a partridge in a pear tree – get some perspective and remember that Christmas is just one day!

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