“Christmas makes me so stressed!”

How are you enjoying Christmas?

Enjoying it? How on earth you’re meant to enjoy it I don’t know. I’m completely stressed and I don’t know how anybody can’t be.

Your Christmas sounds terrible.

Partly it’s the sheer amount of stuff that I have to do. Just think about Christmas cards – I have to make sure I’ve got last year’s list, make sure it’s up to date, choose and buy all the cards, write a message in each one, go to the Post Office early to post some of them out, buy Brian‘s cards, make sure he sends them to people at work. I mean there’s a whole job in itself.

There’s a lot of pressure that people feel at Christmas that it has to be perfect, but it doesn’t really. Even if you think the card isn’t quite what you want, the person getting it will still appreciate it. And that goes for a lot of other things at Christmas as well.

But there’s still so much to do every year.

There can be, but that can be the pressure to have a perfect Christmas. Ask yourself honestly where your ideas of a perfect Christmas come from. Ask yourself as well what it is about Christmas that you find important and worthwhile – and then concentrate on those.

I’ll certainly be doing that next year, but it seems a bit late to have those conversations with people now. What else can I do?

Besides making sure that you don’t feel pressured for everything to be perfect, and to think that it doesn’t count if you haven’t done it all yourself? My advice would be to make some time for yourself, and whether you can do that or not stop trying to do everything at once.

How do you mean?

If you’re Christmas shopping don’t keep checking your phone for messages and replying to them. If you’re watching TV don’t try and wrap presents at the same time. You won’t enjoy doing either, and you won’t concentrate properly on either of them – and that will only make you more stressed.

I’ll give it a go – I certainly can’t feel any more stressed.


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