Updated: Sep 10, 2019
Question: Why Less Stressful not Stress Free? Answer: Because I'm a realist. In an ideal world I, you and everyone else would be able to follow these tips to the letter and we'd all float around having a blissful, film-like, idyllic Christmas. However, we all know that probably won't happen. If you would, though, like to reduce your Christmas stress to a do-able, actual real life person level, keep reading!
Stress 1 - Changes during the Christmas Season
The Christmas Season is now in full swing and the insanity is set to begin any moment. Below are some tips for dealing with stress is change is hard for you.
Keep up with routine
Be this your kids bed time routine, your personal routine - yoga on Tuesdays, coffee with friends on Fridays etc; keeping up with what you usually do gives the festive season a sense of normality and makes us all feel a little calmer.
If changes to routine can't be helped and begin to become overwhelming take some time for self care. Read for 15 mins before you go to bed, take a slightly longer bath, go for a walk during your lunch break. Simple, small things can make a big difference to your mood.
Stress 2 - Monetary stresses
Money can be a big stress factor at Christmas time. This year my family and I have decided to go for a minimal Christmas. Simeon & I are about to get married (and that don't come cheap) and my sister is about to move into her first home. Minimalising Christmas this year using some of the tips below has been a great stress-reliever.
Family Secret Santa
Why not set up secret Santa with your close family? Firstly, set a budget. For example, if you'd spent £40 per person when buying gifts for everyone set the Secret Santa budget to £80. That way everyone gets a slightly more substantial gift but everyone still spends less.
Just buying for children
If you and your siblings all have children then buying for just the children is also a good way to save the pennies at Christmas time.
Crafting gifts is another way to make Christmas a little friendly on your wallet. I've put together a board on Pinterest of some east DIY gifts. If you're not a crafter why not bake cakes or biscuits to give as gifts instead?
Giving experiences is another great way to save money. Dinner gifts cards, cinema gifts cards etc. Giving experiences also cuts down on a clutter which can be another problem at Christmas.
Stress 3 - Intensity
Though spending time with family at Christmas is lovely it can also be exhausting. Too many people cooped up together, children hyped up on Christmas chocolate, the pressure of entertaining - it can become intense!
Get out and about
Be that on your own or as a group head out for a walk. Getting some fresh air can clear your head and give everyone some time to burn off pent up energy.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
Hosting a big family gathering can be stressful. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you're having lots of people round why not ask them to bring a side dish or dessert each? There's also no shame in asking the prepared food section of M&S, Iceland etc for help either!
It's OK to say no
No - the word no-one wants to use at Christmas. However, its OK to say no. If you've been visiting friends and family for 3 days straight and its beginning to take its toll its OK to say no to Day 4 of Christmas parties and have a day at home in your PJs watching TV eating leftovers.
When all's said and done remember its just another day. Though we all want Christmas to be special and memorable it's a day like any other - and certainly not a day worth sacrificing your sanity for.