Christmas is a time of fun and laughter, but it also brings lots of extra things to do, presents to wrap (and hide!), decorations to hang, not to mention visits from friends and family, over excited, under-slept children and a turkey feast to prepare and cook! All these extra tasks can leave you feeling stressed out and fed up.
So, here are some tips to avoid a frazzled festive period:
Plan ahead – this can help spot potential pressure points and gives you time to come up with strategies to handle them or avoid them completely.
Manage expectations – accept you can’t please everyone all the time and talk openly with family about what they expect so you can stave off conflicts and make compromises where necessary.
Delegate, delegate, delegate – if you are hosting Christmas get everyone involved. Ask visitors to bring something to contribute to Christmas dinner, or get the kids to set the table and make drinks. If you are a Christmas guest volunteer to bring food or drink or take on a task like clearing the table or washing up.
Avoid “cabin fever” – having lots of people cooped up in one house for too long is the perfect breeding ground for disagreements and conflict. Break the tension by getting outside and going for a walk. This helps to break up the day and gives people a break from one another.
It’s your Christmas too – don’t forget to take some time out for yourself and do something you enjoy this festive period, to relieve any pressure.
Don’t expect it to be perfect- we can put way too much pressure on ourselves to have the ‘perfect Christmas’, but this kind of expectation can make everything that much more stressful. Life is messy, not perfect and sometimes it’s those quirky little imperfections that make life so beautiful. So, make peace with your wonky tree, overcooked Christmas pudding, and slightly too festive jumper. Instead, make a note of the three things you’re grateful for.
And remember at the first Christmas there was no room at the inn and Jesus had to be born in a stable – not picture perfect at the time but what we remember and celebrate around the world today!
If you want to explore more of our ‘How to survive Christmas’ series check out the other editions here:
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide and supporting everyone regardless of gender when they hit a crisis point.