Dodge the stress this Christmas

We all know that Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of year. Triggers can include everything from preparing Christmas dinner to buying the perfect gift to waiting in longer than usual-queues.

When dealing with all these worries we can forget to embrace the time of year and even feel glad when it’s all over.

Here are eight simple tips to a stress-free Christmas:

First things first, decide your budget

Don’t stay up all night thinking about how you’re going to afford this Christmas, budget! This allows you to plan exactly how much you want to spend on each person and helps you to avoid buying unnecessary and overly expensive presents.

Lower expectations, bigger surprises

Many people feel the pressure of having the ‘perfect’ Christmas. Especially when they see others’ picturesque Christmas posted all over social media. Take these images at face value – they’re probably having just as stressful a time as you. Lower your expectations and let’s face it things rarely go to plan. This leaves less room for disappointment when things don’t go the way you planned.

Family rules

Spending time with your family at Christmas can be very rewarding and can be a lot of fun. That said, if there is family conflict or different political stances, it can turn into a game of who is right and who is wrong. Creating a few family rules can help ease the tension and keep the festive vibe alive.

This may also be the first Christmas without someone significant in your family, a nice way of bringing the family together is to create new rituals, for example, lighting a candle in their honour.

Create a Christmas to do list

Create two lists, one with everything that you need to do before Christmas, such as present buying, and on the second list, write down all the things that you’d like to do such as holiday baking.

This will help you to plan the most important things you need to get done and help you find time for the fun activities.

Take a breather

During the lead up to Christmas you can feel constantly on the go. Remember to take a second to sit down and unwind, whether it’s a relaxing bubble bath or watching a cheesy festive film.

Sleep off the grump

Having a low amount of sleep can make the best of us tired and grumpy, Christmas season or not. Try to get plenty of sleep to stay energised for the busy days and late nights.

Exercise away the excessive eating

Remember to keep moving through the Christmas period whether it’s going out for a walk, dedicating a bit of time to going to the gym or even walking up and down the stairs a few times. Exercising will release endorphins which will help you to stay calm and feel more energised.

If you’re aware of putting on weight across the Christmas period try to opting for healthier snacks like pretzels, carrot sticks, nuts and dried fruit over crisps and chocolate.

Ask for help and share the load

If you feel like you have been made solely responsible for the smooth running of Christmas, don’t be afraid to ask family members for help. You could divide up the tasks so that everyone has something to contribute and you do not feel like you are burdened with everything.

Most of all, remember that the Christmas season only comes once a year, so embrace all the good things you enjoy about this time of year and take the rest as it comes.