While Christmas is known as the most wonderful time of the year it can also be a time of stress and pressure. A stress free Christmas may seem impossible but I’ve put together a list of tips to help you achieve an enjoyable Christmas season from beginning to end making sure you are treating yourself with some serious self-care.

Make a plan- plan ahead and make a list of all the things you need to do and all of the things you would like to do. Make a gift list before you go shopping and stick to it. Cross off each task as you go along, that little tick mark will give you a sense of accomplishment.

Take some time out for yourself- it’s so important to take care of your own health and wellbeing. Schedule some time to do some exercise, take a walk, have a relaxing bath or watch your favourite Christmas film. Use mindfulness techniques to help you feel calmer and less stressed, a really simple way to get you started with this is to sit quietly in front of a lighted candle while you breathe in and out focusing on how the candle flame moves, each time your mind wanders bring it back to the flame.  Try using a candle with a calming scent such as jasmine or sandalwood.

Throw out the idea of the ‘perfect Christmas’- the vision of a perfect Christmas only increases anxiety. The children may get sick, the tree may be decorated unevenly and the Christmas dinner may not turn out exactly as you had hoped but this is the charm of Christmas, embrace the mistakes!

Ask for some Christmas helpers- It’s not always up to one person to bring Christmas to life, you are not Santa! This year enlist your own tribe of elves to help with decorating the tree (sure, the children may not put each decoration where you would like it to be but these are the moments that make the fondest memories) ask for help with the wrapping and tidying the house for all of those lovely Christmas visitors.

Talk – Christmas brings lots of different emotions for us all. Feelings of nostalgia from Christmas’ past can make us more sensitive. Talking about those who are not with us anymore keeps their spirit alive, remember the fond memories and share them with others.

Help others this Christmas- Christmas is the season of goodwill and although it is very easy to get caught up in the commercialisation of it all, take some time to allow yourself to remember the real reason behind it. According to the Mental Health foundation, doing good deeds promotes changes in the brain that make you feel happier and calmer. Free up some time to volunteer at a local charity or spend some time visiting a neighbour who may be lonely. Some of the best gifts aren’t ‘things’, the festive season is a good time to reflect on good things that have happened over the past year and to give something good back.

 

By Laura Pugh

Images by Pixabay

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