Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year....
For many, however, that is not the reality. In fact, in the UK it has been rated as one of the most stressful life events alongside divorce, moving house & changing jobs. But why is that? For some, it's the pressure of creating the perfect day. For others, it is a time fraught with difficult social interactions and family relationships.
So, here are a few tips to help you stay calm amidst the madness!
1/ Write a List
Rather than having the overwhelming feeling of thoughts flying around your head, write down everything you want to get done. Then go back through it and really prioritise what NEEDS to be done. Be a bit ruthless and scrub off things that are creating extra hassle but perhaps you don't really need. Ask yourself 'what will happen if I didn't do it?'. Chances are no-one would notice, so why stress yourself? Once you have your list of must do's, focus on one at a time & tick them off.
2/ Ask for help
You won't acheive some sort of award by doing everything by yourself, so don't feel afraid to rope in your family/friends to help!
3/ Take the pressure off
The pressure we create to have a 'perfect day' often causes the exact opposite to be true. Reality will often not live up to our expectation if we are stiving for perfection. Try focussing instead on what makes your Christmas unique. Is it Grandma being grumpy or the roast potatoes being a bit hard? These are the imperfections that make our day special to us.
4/ Be Grateful
If you are feeling frazzled stop for a moment and think of the reasons you have to be really grateful. It will give you an instant feeling of calm & will motivate you to carry on!
5/ Learn to say No
If you are feeling overwhelmed by how much you have to do then try saying no to a few things. For example, say no to mince pies at a neighbours house if you don't really have time. No-one will mind, it is a busy time of year for most people. It will help take the load off.
Most of all keep a bit of persepctive. It is just a few days every year and will be over before you know it. So make sure you take time to stop and enjoy it.