The Christmas Countdown

Christmas is such a joyful time, as is the Christmas countdown! But for those in charge of most of the planning and organising, it can also be stressful. With presents to buy, beds to prepare and food shopping to do. In addition to food prep, cooking and hosting, it can all become a little bit overwhelming. Those with full-time jobs and kids to ferry around will know that things can get on top of you a little at this time of year.

The festive season should be enjoyed by all though. Here are 7 ways to help you have a stress free (almost) Christmas countdown…

1. Lists

Lists are key to helping you feel like you’re on top of everything, thus reducing stress. Rather than trying to remember everything you have to do, create lists to get everything out of your head and clear your mind. Break down everything into separate lists e.g. food shopping, presents shopping, to-do lists. But try to avoid overwhelming yourself with your lists! Once you have written all of your lists, tackle one first, putting the rest away and moving onto the next when you are ready.

2. Shop online

The beauty of online shopping makes keeping things under control  easier. No commuting to the shops, standing in lines waiting to pay and squeezing through masses of people. Do the bulk of your present shopping and food shopping online. Try and arrange so that most of your presents come on the same day to avoid having to hang around in the house. And do the same for your food nearer the big day!

3. Cut down alcohol

The festive period makes us reach for the mulled wine and prosseco far more frequently, but try and keep a clear head in the run up to Christmas. Alcohol can cause dehydration making you feel low on energy and less able to deal with stress. So cut down on the alcohol while you are getting everything ready, and then enjoy a few tipples on and after the big day.

4. Christmas Countdown Chill

Christmas movies are a great way to keep the kids happy, and count the days down until Christmas! Take time to sit down and enjoy them too.Your mind doesn’t have to be on festive prep 24/7 to get it all done, so try to relax a little.

5. Budget for Christmas

Money can be a big cause of stress over the festive season. Creating a budget and sticking to it will make money feel like less of a worry. It can help to set a contingency so that if you do need to spend a little bit extra you’ve already allocated that. This means it won’t be a big cause of stress.

6. Forget about perfection

We are all so obsessed with trying to achieve perfection. But perfection isn’t really achievable as we never feel like things are quite good enough anyway (for a great article on this, take a look at How To Conquer Perfectionism Before It Conquers You from Psychology Today). Focus on the fact that Christmas is all about spending time together as a family, enjoying some food and chilling out. Try to worry less about what everyone will think of the day you’ve put on for them. Also consider the fact that they are just happy to be spending time with you.

7. Let your hair down

In the Christmas Countdown, don’t forget about yourself and your own enjoyment. It’s easy to get so wrapped up with everything that needs doing that you forget to have fun! Accept at least one invite to Christmas parties, meet up with your girlfriends for coffee or lunch, or just take some time to yourself – run a bath, light some candles and just chill. Whatever you enjoy, make sure you plan some time to do it, to keep yourself happy and relaxed.

The festive season is one to be embraced and enjoyed, but for some it can get crazy busy. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture, making a few simple changes to make Christmas less stressful and more enjoyable this year. For more inspiration on how to cope with Christmas stress, head to our other blog 5 Tips to Cope with Christmas Stress.

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