CHRISTMAS STRESS SURVIVAL GUIDE
9 Top Tips to Surviving Christmas Stress
1. Make a List
Write down all the things that need to be done. Cross off everything which isn’t important, including items that are only for tradition’s sake but you don’t enjoy.
2. Write a Timetable
Draw up a timetable of what needs to be done, and when. If you’re in charge of dinner, add cooking and start times.
Stick it somewhere visible, such as on the fridge.
3. Start Early
Don’t leave everything to the last minute – there’s nothing like a deadline to create stress. Finish shopping and complete chores in the run-up, to leave you free on Christmas Day.
For those cooking, some foods can be made several days in advance, and the table can be laid, the turkey cooked and vegetables prepped, on Christmas Eve.
4. Ask for Help
If everything normally falls to you, this year distribute age-appropriate tasks among the family and tick items off your timetable as you go. This way, you get to share the workload and everyone else contributes to making Christmas enjoyable.
You’ll also feel a boost as the list gets shorter.
5. Make an Escape Plan
If you’re already feeling stressed at the thought of spending time with people you would rather avoid, have a pre-prepared plan of excuses for taking time out. This might be making a phone call to check on a friend or going for a walk after dinner. Even a five-minute break will help.
Have an ace up your sleeve to leave early if things get too much.
6. Avoid Excess Alcohol
It can be tempting to use alcohol to numb stress but it makes your body work harder and shortens your fuse. Keep a clear head to strengthen resilience by limiting alcoholic beverages and drinking water in between.
7. Recognise the Signs
Realising that you’re stressed means you can take action.
✔️ Upset stomach
✔️ Muscle tension
✔️ Shallow breathing
✔️ Inability to concentrate
If stress feels overwhelming don’t hesitate to ask for help or implement your escape plan.
Take some deep breaths and reduce stress with a breathing exercise like this
9. Relax and Have Fun
Finally, if things don’t work out quite as you’d hoped, try to see the funny side and be grateful for what you have.
Avoid awkward conversation topics, reject unrealistic expectations and focus on what makes you happy, so you can relax and enjoy this special time of year.