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Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Right? It’s full of family, festive food, good cheer, and magic. Sometimes aspiring to all of this and feeling you have to have a good time is quite stressful. Add to that mounting costs, busy shops and family dramas. For many people, this is a recipe for rocketing anxiety levels and burnout. Fortunately, there are ways you can ease the burden and approach the holidays feeling happy and calm.
Find Out What’s Stressing You
You go through this process each year. And each year you gradually become more stressed and tired. To break the cycle, you need to work out exactly what is stressing you. At this time of year there’s lots to choose from.
- Bearing Gifts
A common concern in the run up to Christmas is money. You want to make a good Christmas for your family. You want everyone to have gifts they’ll love and a feast fit for a king. Unfortunately, your wallet is groaning under the strain.
Firstly, work out what you can afford. If you’re a little short, are there any short-term solutions to raise a little extra cash? Can you pick up a few extra hours at work? Or are there items at home you could sell? Set yourself a budget and stick to it. This may mean economizing in certain areas. But, if you shop around you’ll find that there are massive savings to be found. For example, rather than buying a turkey, consider a turkey crown. Or a different bird. Party foods also add a significant sum to your food budget. Give these a miss and make your own canapes instead. There are lots of ways to save money if you’re creative.
It’s also important to remember that Christmas isn’t about buying more stuff. It’s about being with family and enjoying each other’s company. Coming up with unique Christmas gift ideas for your loved ones takes thought. But it needn’t cost a fortune.
Try going through your Christmas list and seeing if there are any names you can remove. Speak to those people and suggest exchanging cards instead. Or, suggest meeting for a mulled wine or hot chocolate as an alternative to doing gifts. Another option is to make a small donation to charity in lieu of buying gifts.
- Peace And Good Cheer
Though Christmas is all about family, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Having everyone under the same roof for hours or days on end can be a challenge. Try to plan the day ahead of time. Think about how people will be feeling at different points and what they will need. If arguments usually ensue after a few drinks, perhaps schedule in a walk to re-energize everyone. Or distract them with party games.
If your family is staying for a few days, make sure you have lots of time to take a break. Make sure everyone has exactly what they need. That way you don’t need to be around 24/7.
Don’t get drawn into the usual family dramas. They repeat themselves year after year but resist becoming entangled. Remove yourself from the situation if necessary by doing something in the kitchen or making coffee.
- Be Merry
Christmas is for everyone, and that includes you. Delegate tasks wherever possible. You don’t have to do everything. Make sure you also have time to relax and enjoy the festivities. Light a few candles, enjoy the festive fragrances, and relax.
It’s the buildup to Christmas that seems long and drawn out. The holiday itself is over in a day or two. Keep hold of that thought and make the most of those days. Make this year the one where you break the cycle and enjoy the fun.