All too often we hear people bemoaning that Christmas is far too hectic and causes too much stress. It can put a huge financial burden on families trying to ‘keep up with the joneses’, and this magical time of peace and celebration has somehow transformed into an exhausting whirlwind of trouble and worry. Christmas is supposed to be a time for rejoicing, for giving thanks and for spending precious time with loved ones. So where did it all go so wrong!?
What can we do to fix this and return Christmas to the peaceful and enjoyable time it was always intended to be? Take a look through our tips of how to enjoy a peaceful and stress-free Christmas… hopefully they’ll offer you some joy and relief this yuletide!
1) Don’t Buy Presents (Yes Really!)
Worrying about what to buy family members for Christmas can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be if you try to remember that they will love whatever you choose to gift them, it’s the thought that counts after all. Wrestling the Christmas shopping crowds is a sure fire way to send your stress levels soaring so keep sanity levels in check by remembering that thoughtful, handmade presents are often the most warmly received. Why not make a big batch of festive chutney and individually jar it with personalised labels bearing a message for each recipient? Or create some ‘gift vouchers’ promising special times with your loved one? The warm feeling when giving and receiving a thoughtful handmade present is second-to-none and will dispel Christmas anxiety once and for all, giving you the stress-free Christmas you always dreamed of.
2) Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
So what if the house isn’t as clean and tidy as you’d like – aim for warm and cosy, no one expects ‘house beautiful’. So what if you haven’t found the perfect stocking filler for grandad- he’ll just be pleased to have your company. So what if the in-laws are running an hour late- all the more time to relax before they arrive! It’s all too easy to get immersed in the tiny details which can cause us stress but it’s important to step back and look at the bigger picture. If you let the small details take over you’ll become unnecessarily bogged down with numerous annoyances when really- does the colour of the napkins matter? As long as you have all your loved ones together that’s all that matters.
3) Practice Relaxing and Take Some Time Out
Even the most chilled out of people have their breaking point, so remember to make time for YOU, be kind to yourself and relax as much as you can this Christmas. You can’t give your all to others if you don’t look after your own health and wellbeing first. Make sure that you take time to have a walk in the countryside, go for a swim, enjoy a peaceful lunch with friends, have a deep bubble bath … whatever it takes to make you feel re-energized to alleviate stress. Stress and anxiety activates the ‘fight or flight’ hormones in your body which makes you feel a surge of adrenaline, can make the heart pound and breathing quicken, not to mention the tensing of muscles and opening your body to illness. Ensuring you make time for activities which slow down this hormonal response is important to make sure that you remain well and healthy during the Christmas period.
4) Be Grateful
Easier to say than do sometimes when everything around you seems to be whirling out of control, but taking the time to remember what you’re thankful for will help warm your heart and remember what Christmas is all about. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, taking 5 minutes to jot down all of the things you’re grateful for really helps you to feel happier and less stressed. William Penn said, “The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles” and this is a vital lesson to remember when feeling stressed, anxious or worried. Cultivating appreciation for others by letting them know that you are grateful for them and for what they do for you is also a warming way to feel less stressed over the Christmas period. Gratitude feeds gratitude so don’t forget to remember all those little blessings which make us feel fortunate.
5) Know When to Stop
Probably the best way to enjoy a stress-free Christmas is knowing when to stop! Make sure that you know when to stop shopping, know when to stop preparing, know when to stop fussing… give yourself adequate start enjoying yourself and relaxing! Set a cut off date when you’ll begin to start enjoying yourself and let the festive season naturally unfold. Learning when to stop is probably the best advice we can offer for a truly relaxing, enjoyable and stress-free Christmas. Stop worrying, stop over-thinking the non-important stuff and just enjoy the warmth and love of your family and friends.
And with that, we would like to wish each and every one of you a restful, rejuvenating and peaceful Christmas and New Year. We can’t wait to see what soulventures 2019 will bring… !