The last blog was about Christmas, and this one is about Christmas too as it is looming big on the horizon. I heard someone say the other day they were hosting Christmas this year for family, and also New Year’s Eve. They will be tired! Another said they could afford presents this year, but not food. Very stressul. Someone else said they have to see all their family, and are worried about interactions with one person in particular. So Christmas can be a time of many joys and challenges.
Do you have a lot on and stress on the way? Are you wondering how you will fit it all in, manage your time and energy, or fund everything? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these, it is a good time to remember the 10 tips to relieve Christmas stress that I wrote in the last blog. I will expand on them here:
- Remember what Christmas means to you. Is it seeing family or friends that you value, going to Church or having a quiet time? Focus your time and effort on what is important to you.
- Work out your priorities for Christmas. Is your priority finishing work so that you can have a break, is it having a wonderful meal with family, is it travelling away on a holiday or is it surviving financially? Set some priorities, and ask yourself “what is the most important priority to attend to and what can I shed?
- Lessen expectations on yourself. Sometimes we set high expectations for ourselves. Watching a TV show the other night about food and table settings for Christmas reminded me of this. Remember whatever you are doing at Christmas does not have to be perfect, and that you can say ‘no’ to things too.
- Keep things as simple as possible. This follows on from the previous few tips. Simple is often the best, and children don’t need to much fuss and bother to enjoy Christmas. Keep presents and food simple and fun.
- Don’t compare your celebrations and gifts to what others have. We are hard-wired to compare, but this does not mean it is always helpful. Families come in all forms, celebrations and gifts do too. Remember that whatever is right for you, is right for you, and doesn’t have to be the same as the next person.
- With Christmas meals, share the load. Ask others to help by bringing food, bon-bons, wine and so on. On the day, ask yourself and others; “Who can do what?”
- Connect with others. Do you have neighbours, friends or family to see, or people at Church, or can you volunteer to help in the community on Christmas Day if you are alone. Or maybe go along to a meal at a charitable organization.
- Always take a moment to breathe and relax. Can you take some time over Christmas to have a holiday? Another person recently said to me that they were going on a cruise over Christmas and New Year – they had booked at the last minute and fares were reduced. So there may be some good opportunities out there to take advantage of.
- Smile, laugh and have some fun. Watch children on the day, a funny Christmas movie or tell some corny jokes.
- Enjoy the festive season!
Wishing you a blessed and happy Christmas in 2012, and all the best in the New Year!