Christmas Eve. You’ve got the family coming round early in the morning. You’ve still not wrapped half the presents and you’ve forgotten the cranberry sauce, again.
Sound a bit like you? At Christmas time we can all get wrapped up in making everything perfect such that we forget to enjoy ourselves, and can even put our mental health at risk. Make this the year that doesn’t have to happen. Follow these 5 steps to stay stress-free on the big day.
1. Forget Timings
Whether you’re cooking the dinner or just trying to work out when you’re going to fit everything in, time can feel like it’s against you at Christmas. This year, forget what time everything ‘needs’ to happen, and remember that regardless of whether everything gets done when you planned, today will be a great day to remember. If you’ve got family coming over, realise that in reality they won’t care what time they sit down to eat, or whether you’ve managed to play every board game you had lined up. What’ll really matter is that you’re there and spending time with your loved ones.
2.Avoid filling up on sugar
As tempting as it is to eat the last of the quality street chocolates for breakfast, resist the urge and make the effort to eat or drink something proper when you first wake up. As cliché as it sounds, a good breakfast is the best way to set yourself up for a good day, and is less likely to leave you feeling depleted and overwhelmed by lunchtime. For some feel good breakfast ideas that will still make you feel like you’re treating yourself, try smoked salmon and cream cheese on toast with some fresh chilli, or yogurt topped with honey and frozen berries.
3. Let people help
Next time someone offers to help with the washing up, say yes. It’s important to remember that being a good host doesn’t mean putting yourself under strain, and that other people are likely grateful to be given the chance to pay you back for all you’ve done. Plus, often having someone to talk to while you cook or clean up can turn into a much needed catch up, or an opportunity for bonding. So, turn up the Christmas music and turn the boring parts of Christmas into a game for the whole family.
4. Get outside
For a lot of people a Christmas walk is part of tradition, but if this isn’t the case in your house perhaps try and incorporate it into the day. Fresh air and exercise are both free and a proven highly effective stress reliever, so can really help if you’re feeling flushed or overwhelmed. Christmas day is the perfect excuse to get out and moving, just chuck on a scarf and a coat and get walking – whether it’s around the block or further. If a walk is already part of your Christmas tradition, try adding an extra kilometre to your normal route, or pick up the pace – you may be surprised what a difference it can make to your mood and energy levels.
5. Focus on what really matters
Rather than getting bogged down with the little things this year, remind yourself to focus on what truly matters. Whether it’s the warmth of your home, the sparkle of the decorations, the frost on the ground or simply the faces of loved ones sharing food and drinks around you. When you are beginning to feel the strain, or can feel yourself becoming stressed, remind yourself to breathe, take a break, and appreciate all the people around you. Remember, it’s okay to feel stressed or anxious sometimes, even at Christmas, but it’s important not to keep things bottled up. Your loved ones aren’t just there for the festivities, they’re there for you. Talk to someone, and have a wonderful Christmas.
Source: Dr julian