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Closeup portrait of a cute Christmas woman with a red Santa Claus hat, white dress, screaming out loud, frustrated, eyes shut in rage. Negative human emotion on an isolated grey background.

Christmas can increase stress for all sorts of reasons.  Here are some hints and tips to help you keep calm during the festive season and beyond.

  1.  One too many invitations? In one Christmas episode of The Vicar of Dibley, the vicar ended up eating countless sprouts because did not want to say no to anyone.  If you do find yourself with clashing invitations remember that January is often a quiet month and a great time to catch-up with friends too. Saying thank you for the invitation, giving apologies whilst suggesting a date to meet up in January can be a great way of spreading festive cheer into the new year.
  2. Keep to your budget.  The third Monday in January is known as Blue Monday as credit card statements land on our doormats.  Set a budget and keep to it to avoid yourself worrying and stress in the New Year.
  3. Be a great present giver by not choosing things you would buy yourself! Think about the person you are buying for and choose what you know they want or an everyday item that is more luxurious then the person would ever buy for themselves.
  4. Ask for help, many of us do not regularly have a house full of guests and provide a day of entertainment and feasting.  If you are hosting then have a rota of small jobs that everyone can help out.  Many hands make light work.
  5. Plan your day including time when you are with everyone else and not in the kitchen.
  6. Spend your Christmas how you wish.  We are bombarded by images and commercials selling us the idea of the perfect Christmas.  Choosing how you spend the festive season and doing what makes you happy will make it your festive time.
  7. Make some space for you.  If it is all getting too much have an escape plan, a walk around the block, taking the dog out, taking a “call” from a friend in another room.
  8. Remember to breathe.  In for seven and out for eleven.  When we are stressed our breath becomes more shallow and our heart rate increases. Take some time out and slow your breathing.
  9. Stop, relax and enjoy.  Make a clear time when you stop preparing and start enjoying.
  10. Give yourself the gift of being able to be fully present and enjoy those special moments the season brings.