Thursday, 20 November 2014

A stress free Christmas

Will you be having a magical Christmas this year, or a manic one? Make plans now to ensure it’s a holiday to remember, rather than one that raises your blood pressure.

Christmas is but one day a year, but nowadays the festive season seems to start as soon as Hallowe’en is over. During the run up to the big day the best tip is to plan ahead. Buy a nice notebook and write all your tasks down. Then ask yourself which are really urgent and/or important. Try and do the important things before they become urgent. Delegate any less important tasks to others. Get the family involved! Set a cut-off point by which everything will be done and you can put your feet up and enjoy yourself!

When Christmas Day arrives, aim to create a relaxing atmosphere. Carols are much more calming as background music than modern festive pop songs. Light a soothing scented candle. It’s all about creating a wonderful memory. You probably don’t recall presents from two years ago but you always remember a wonderful time spent with friends and family.

For detailed advice on stress management see my website or call to book a personal session. It may be the best present you could give yourself this Christmas.

The Stress of Christmas Q&A

What causes the stress?

When the demands of a situation exceed what we believe our available resources are to deal with it, we feel stressed. Resources can include financial or emotional, or time and energy. These are all needed in large quantities during Christmas celebrations and also during the build up to the holiday period.

Why is Christmas so stressful for some people and not for others?

There are many reasons. For example, some people may be short of money but still face the emotional pressure of others’ expectations; some simply have their own emotional deficit because of bereavement; some are just not “party” types but feel obliged to “enter the spirit” of Christmas. Reasons are many but the feeling is the same.

How can I avoid being stressed over the festive period?

Plan ahead and avoid doing anything at the last minute. Shop online, or early. Send cards early. Look forward to the nice feeling of having it all done! Delegate jobs to other family members – don’t take it all on yourself. That applies to Christmas Day too.

On the day itself, if you are the not so keen on the merriment and find the pace of it all a bit too much; plan a few 10 minute escapes to let yourself wind down. Nip out and feed the birds or drop a “forgotten” card through a neighbour’s letterbox. Have a few escape plans ready and if you feel stressed, use one of these excuses to get away for a few moments.

Does planning really help stop the feelings of stress?

Having a written plan means you are not carrying too much around in your head, and that in itself is an immediate stress reliever. Ticking off completed tasks can be a great feeling, too! A plan makes you feel more in control and less overloaded.

Happy Christmas!

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