The countdown has begun to that wonderful time of the year when we all get together to eat, drink and be merry. Wouldn’t it be lovely if this was all there was to this most joyous of seasons?!
Christmas can be a very stressful time of year that can bring with it an overwhelming feeling of dread as the bills mount up, perfect presents need to be purchased, family members have to be placated, food needs to be prepared and usually with a bit of travel thrown into the mix. It’s no wonder Christmas is listed as one of the most stressful times of the year!
So what can you do to reduce your stress at Christmas in Hertfordshire and give yourself the head space to really enjoy the holiday season? Here are our top 5 tips for stress at Christmas in Hertfordshire
- Breathe! It seems simple enough, but this can be overlooked which can add to stress. We don’t mean you completely forget to breathe, this means simply taking a few minutes out of your day to stop and mindfully breathe. Just ten slow, relaxed breaths can make all the difference when everything seems to be getting on top of you. A longer out breath will help you to reduce your pulse rate and take control of challenging situations. If you can try to remember to do this a few times throughout the day before you feel stressed you will be setting yourself up to cope with any stressors that pop up throughout your day.
- Make a list and check it twice. All of those tasks that need to be completed for Christmas can begin to feel overwhelming if they are left to swim around your head especially if you are worried you might forget to do something. There’s nothing worse than the feeling that you have forgotten to do something! Here at APT, we do love a good list or five! Start with the big picture and list all that needs to be done then break these into time frames. This week, next week and the week before Christmas is a good place to start but feel free to add other time periods in as you go along if they are needed. Remember to add in any key dates such as pay days or bill days as these can really affect the scheduling of shopping and other activities that will need to be paid for. Now you should be able to break these weekly lists into more manageable daily lists, there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing off tasks as they are completed! Remember to make these lists manageable, a list of 100 tasks is more likely to be seen as overwhelming and put off so try to stick to a manageable amount to fit around your life.
- Delegate tasks to others. Once you have your lists it will be easier to see what you could as others to help with. There is no point in trying to complete everything yourself and being too stressed to enjoy the festivities if others could take some of the pressure off you as you go along. You will find that your loved ones will be more than happy to help if they can, children might need some persuading in assisting with chores but persevere as the resentment of feeling like you are doing everything without any help can eat away at the happiness that Christmas brings.
- Perfection is a perception that can seldom be achieved. If you are worrying about this Christmas being perfect are you putting unattainably high expectations on yourself? Usually children are happy with any presents they get even if it isn’t the latest high priced gadget and yet parents push their financial and emotional limits making sure their child has all they could ever want and more! Try not to worry about what you want and appreciate what you have. The Christmas tree, the decorations and tableware should be there to enhance the experience, not add unnecessary anxiety so will it really matter if things aren’t perfect? If you do your best, that’s all others can ask for and all you should ask of yourself. Go through your lists and take off anything that you could do without, anything that isn’t important and anything that would be more stress than it’s worth.
- And last but definitely not least, take time to appreciate being with loved ones. Laughter is the best medicine is an old saying that is still true, laughing with friends and family this Christmas could be just the right way to reduce your stress and anxieties. Take time to relax and socialise with your friends and family, if you have visitors but still have a list of tasks to get done ask them to get involved. It’s amazing how many people love wrapping presents, get together with friends and wrap together or ask a friend to wrap as you get other tasks done and talk while you work. Don’t avoid socialising because you are too busy planning Christmas, this is the complete opposite of what Christmas is really about so live, love, eat, drink and be merry!
Please check back soon for our next Christmas themed blog full of tips to reduce stress at Christmas. Also come and say hello on our Facebook page and Twitter feed and let us know if there are any situations you need help with this season. We look forward to hearing from you!