‘Tis the season not to be stressed

Christmas stress - busy santa woman

Unfortunately, in practice, it can be a time of great stress and unhappiness as there is so much to do and organise. Sometimes getting together with your extended family can be uncomfortable and even painful.
These tips will help you to relax a little more this Christmas and hopefully ensure that a good time will be had by all.
* Christmas shopping. Don’t leave everything until the last minute. Rushing will just make you tired and more stressed.
Get your Christmas shopping done early so you don’t have to spend hours fighting other shoppers for the last doll or Christmas turkey.
* Don’t overspend. It is very easy to spend too much over Christmas and put yourself in a financial hole for a good part of the New Year. Decide before you go shopping how much you can afford to spend and stick to your budget.
Shopping early will help you stick to a budget because you will not be in a last minute panic, picking up anything that may be suitable regardless of the cost.
* If money is a little tight for you or your family there are ways you can reduce your spending costs. Together you could decide that all gifts should be handmade or second-hand. Or you could all decide that each of you will only buy for one person. Decide between yourselves on an amount that everyone is to spend and then draw names out of a hat to see who you will shop for.
* Shop online from the comfort of your own home as you’ll not only save time and be less stressed but will probably save money too. Always make sure you buy from reputable online retailers and check that they can deliver before the big day.
* Wrap presents as soon as you can as this will leave one less thing to do on Christmas Eve.
* Christmas cooking. Again planning is very important and you don’t have to do it all yourself. Ask your guests to bring something along. This way the chore is shared among many and everyone can feel like they have contributed.
See what preparations can be made a few days before hand. The plum pudding and mince tarts can be made weeks before. Do what you can but make sure everything is stored at a safe temperature.
* Dealing with the unpleasant relatives. At Christmas time we can be thrown together with people we are uncomfortable with. Do your best to be pleasant to them. Alcohol can increase your emotional reactions to any situation so only drink in moderation.
* Make sure that you look after yourself with appropriate exercise, relaxation, sleep and a healthy diet on the days leading up to Christmas. When we feel fit and energetic we are able to cope more easily with the ups and downs of life. However, if we are already feeling tired and stressed any little thing can overwhelm us and this can make Christmas more tense and tiresome.
Remember it’s your Christmas too so try to relax and have fun, laugh and be merry. If you do find others around you difficult then try to rise above the situation. If things don’t go to plan try not to worry too much, instead laugh about them and make them into fun memories that you can talk about at future Christmases.

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