How to Have a Stress-Free Merry Christmas
Everyone has some stress in his or her life. Some days, that stress can balloon up until it feels like you’re staggering beneath the weight. Holidays have always been a major cause of anxiety but you can finally learn how to have a stress-free Christmas.
Holiday stress comes from many different directions. It comes from wanting to travel to see extended family and having to do the million and one things to get ready for a trip – washing clothes, packing the suitcases, and finding someone to care for pets. Then there’s the shopping for gifts, food preparations, and late night holiday to-do tasks that never seem to end. Sound like you’ve been there before?
Christmas doesn’t have to be a hectic, stressful holiday. If it has been for you in years past, then it’s time to make some changes, and stop the stress before it has a chance to start this year.
Not only is stress not good for your health, but it’s also not good for others who deal with stressed out people! The holidays are meant to be slowly enjoyed, not rushed through trying to pack as much as we can into every moment and get everything just right. The meaning of Christmas has disappeared beneath an onslaught of activities and gift buying. It’s time to fix that.
Narrow your focus. We take on too many responsibilities and then feel overwhelmed (and stressed and sometimes short tempered) at all we have to accomplish within a given time limit.
Spend your time and energy on what matters to you and your family and let go of the things that don’t. There’s no such thing as a perfect holiday. If your family doesn’t care if you make every party you’re invited to, then don’t go.
Learn to delegate chores. You can’t clean an entire home alone for the arrival of company if you’re trying to get all of the cooking and baking done, too. Enlist family members to help and if they can’t, splurge on a maid service to do the holiday cleaning for you. Make it a gift you give yourself to help you maintain a stress-free Christmas.
Get organized. You need a master checklist. Knowing what you need to get done will help keep your focus. Keep all of your Christmas supplies organized and together – the tape, scissors, name tags, and gift-wrap. You’ll save time if you don’t have to constantly search for what you need. Eliminate any last minute running around for forgotten items at the store by making a list.
Throughout the year, finances can be a major cause of stress but that stress can grow during the holidays due to overspending. People don’t overspend at Christmas because they’re bad people. They overspend because they want to give. But when the holiday is over and those bills roll in, it can take a toll. Instead, stick to a spending limit this Christmas.
Just as importantly as sticking to a budget is sticking to a time limit. It’s no fun rushing around, trying to cram months’ worth of visiting loved ones into a few days. Know ahead of time who you’ll visit, on what day and what time you should leave. Making a list takes some of the spontaneity out of it, but it also helps you enjoy a stress-free Christmas too!
How to Make Christmas Day Special and Less Hectic
There’s always a lot to do on Christmas Day from the time you step foot out of bed until the moment you collapse back into it that night. It seems like you get up with on fast speed and you just don’t get to slow down even for a minute. You want to know how to make Christmas day special but it seems so hard with everything going on.
Don’t get so caught up in the social events of Christmas Day that you forget about the reason why we celebrate the holiday to start with. We celebrate Christmas Day by spending time with the people we care about, but if we’re not careful, the people who mean the most to us can get lost in the shuffle. Sure, the presents are nice and the food is great, but that’s not all there is to Christmas Day.
We get so busy visiting all the extended family members on both sides every Christmas Day that we forget to spend time with the ones in our own home. Set aside a block of time just for your family – your significant other, your children, whoever you share your home with.
Just write even an hour into your schedule. You’ll get time to spend with them as well as a break to recharge your batteries. Have a nice, simple meal together and listen to holiday music playing softly in the background.
During the time spent with your family, you can play a game, catch up on one another’s lives or spend time going through the year via the photographs you’ve taken and just reminiscing. Looking through old pictures reminds us of the good times we’ve had, the troubles we’ve overcome, and the joy of being a family.
Refuse to cave in to the stress of knowing you have a lot to get done. Instead, keep your attention focused on one step at a time. Stress happens during Christmas but you don’t have to let it take over.
Don’t rush through visiting the people you’d like to see. Make sure your schedule allows an equal amount of time for both sides of the family. Always begin your Christmas Day visiting by seeing the people you’d like to see first and then moving down the list.
Instead of gathering in large groups and centering on food and talking, get involved as a group doing something for others. If you can’t do something physically for others on Christmas Day, such as helping out at a shelter, do something financial on Christmas day.
Have each family member make a contribution to a charity, to a children’s home or to a struggling family in the community. Everyone can write a brief note and then drop the notes and the contributions off. It’ll warm the hearts of both the giver and the receiver.