Christmas can be a stress inducing time of year so here are 6 ways to ease Christmas Stress and help you have a more enjoyable holiday this year.

  1. Manage your expectations.

The perfect Christmas is a sort of mirage so don’t give yourself stress trying to create it. Christmas is about presence not presents and your company and hospitality is more than enough even if the setting isn’t picture perfect. Prepare yourself that things will go wrong, you’ll forget a present, something will be overcooked or somebody might be cross. It doesn’t matter and it will be exactly the same in everyone else’s home so try to take it all in your stride.

  1. Don’t overdo it and delegate

The core of Christmas is about friends and family so don’t take on more than you should. Too much to do and too many parties will leave you wrung out and you will have nothing left in the tank for Christmas Day. Delegating shopping, preparing meals and cooking means a shared pursuit and will lighten your load so you can all enjoy a more relaxed Christmas with those who are most important.

  1. Don’t overspend.

Even if you have managed your Christmas budget up to now it’s easy to be swept along in last minute frenzy of shopping for stuff you probably don’t need to buy and which will give you a financial headache after the holidays. Remember the shops only close briefly and if you’ve forgotten someone the world won’t end or you can pick up a little bargain when the sales begin literally a couple of days later.

  1. Manage Family relationships

Family get togethers at Christmas can often trigger old family dynamics. While all year we may be autonomous adults in charge of our own lives, at Christmas with the family of origin, the wrong buttons get pushed and before we know it we are entangled in old family dramas and conflicts. If this might spoil your Christmas, the tricks are; prepare for it, don’t take the bait, and remove yourself even briefly till you feel you are in control of how you respond. You can’t control the actions of role-playing relatives but you can control how you react and once you realise this, you can feel empowered rather than undermined.

  1. Manage loneliness and aloneness

If you need to grieve the recent loss of a loved one, then it’s important to allow that. The pain of loss feels very acute at Christmas. Include someone absent in a simple way with a picture and a candle for example. You could also include loved ones you can’t be with at Christmas in the same way. If you’re estranged from family or for some reason are on your own, remember you can still celebrate what is positive in your life. On the day do what you want to do, eat your favourite food, watch your favourite movies and treat yourself to some gifts.

  1. Don’t forget to get outdoors and exercise.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can affect people at this time of year and getting outdoors regularly helps a lot. Exercise is energising and is good for both our physical and psychological well-being. See more about this here.

And finally,every good wish for a stress free and thoroughly enjoyable Christmas from CounsellingandTherapy.com

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