Soon Christmas will be around the corner and so will the Christmas stress that goes with it. A little help.
The time before Christmas and New Year is the time when things get especially hectic. The stress is mostly homemade, because we sometimes break our own expectations. Fortunately, there are ways to escape this stress.
Five tips to get a grip on stress:
In fact, some of these can be so effective that you’ll use them throughout the year to help you be less stressed – not just during the holidays.
Arguing under the Christmas tree Image: toggenburg24/web/free use
Accept that not everything has to be perfect
The commercials and movies on TV around the holidays really miss the mark when it comes to realistically portraying the holiday season.
Accept that you have many wonderful times to enjoy with your loved ones. Regardless of whether something gets spilled, you can’t find your favorite napkins or the Christmas tree is crooked.
Besides, most people will hardly notice if the cakes were baked a little too long, or if you forgot the cranberry sauce. Christmas stress is not worth it.
Start preparing earlier
Can you imagine how much less stressed you would feel if all the presents were already bought and wrapped a month before Christmas?? Or if you had already decided on the festive menu together with the whole family beforehand?
In this way, shopping lists are made in peace and quiet. As the holidays approach, review them and make only minor adjustments that may have become necessary.
Spreading holiday tasks over a longer period of time means that Christmas stress doesn’t set in by itself.
Reduce Christmas plans
Since adults sometimes have an overly idealistic view of the holidays, stemming from their childhood experiences, this strategy can be tricky. Scaling back her plans means letting go of her “perfect dream” for Christmas.
Essentially, you know that you don’t have to repeat those particular Christmas memories or traditions that you have in your head. Yes, even can’t or won’t repeat.
You don’t have to find the perfect gift, spend the most money or have a room full of Christmas packages to show your love. Other than Christmas stress, these thoughts don’t do anything.
Instead, remember that it’s “the thought” that counts. Most friends and family will never remember the cool thing you put together for them this year. But they will have good memories of the time they spent together with you.
Cozy Christmas dinner with loved ones Image: toggenburg24/web/free use
Take shortcuts to save time
Find simpler ways to reduce the common Christmas stress-makers. For example, instead of baking the “Christmas cookies” yourself, order them from a nearby pastry chef who is known for his delicious “cookies”.
Another thing: Don’t be afraid to choose gift cards and gift certificates as Christmas gifts. The fact is, many people prefer to get a gift certificate because then they can choose exactly what they want. Gift certificates are easy to buy, satisfy almost everyone, and you don’t have to wrap them up festively.
Leave the commercialism craze behind Image: toggenburg24/web/free use
You choose what you want to do
Think about what the holidays really mean to you and then express that meaning in the celebrations. Avoid all the commercialism craziness that spans the entire Advent season and leads to true Christmas stress.
Sometimes it feels like “it’s all about shopping”. So it’s worth thinking about what ideas you want to give your friends and family during the holidays.
Let go of the feeling that you alone are responsible for planning and executing elaborate, lavish celebrations. You may also really want to have smaller, more intimate gatherings with friends that span a month or two, rather than a big event that makes it difficult to really catch up with others in privacy.
What do holidays mean to your family?
Make the decision this year to reduce your Christmas stress – by letting go of the urge to be perfect, start planning earlier, lower expectations and use shortcuts to save time. All of these will lower stress levels.
Think about what you really want the holidays to mean to you and your family. Then you can let go of past expectations and really enjoy the time together. Isn’t that what the holidays are actually for?