Christmas and New Year can be a stressful time. That stress can come from money worries, relationship issues, family problems, or the weight of peoples’ expectations. Stress by its very nature makes it hard to gather your thoughts and see things clearly – so how can you achieve this over Christmas and New Year?
Firstly be realistic about yourself and about the holidays. Don’t expect yourself or your Christmas to be perfect, and accept that things change – and just as you change over time so your Christmas traditions can change over time as well.
Practice saying no, so that you don’t end up organising your Christmas around everyone’s wishes but your own. That will just leave you open to feeling resentful or overwhelmed, and both of those emotions will only add to any stress that you’re feeling.
When it comes to Christmas shopping, whether it’s for food or presents, set a budget, make a list, and stick to them both. Buying people presents that you can’t afford only causes more stress, and would take away all the pleasure for the people receiving them if they knew.
If you are buying a present because you feel guilty or obliged to then stop and ask yourself if those feelings are actually appropriate. If they are then ask yourself a second question – is the present you’re buying really the best or only way of expressing those feelings?
The other element to managing stress is to keep looking after yourself – make sure that you continue to eat healthily, that you get enough sleep, and that you exercise. Make sure as well that you make time for yourself, whether it be reading, walking or relaxing some other way.