I love Christmas. I love coming together with family, sharing stories and giving presents. I even enjoy the Christmas shopping.
But, this magical time of the year can also be pretty stressful with end-of-year functions, food to make and people to please. And then there are the challenging presents for the men in the family – I really can’t bring myself to give socks or hankies so they usually get books. Add to that the stress of staying with family for a few days. By the time I sit down for Christmas dinner, I’m often quite frazzled.
Here are 3 simple ways to make Christmas less stressful:
Shop online or go for homemade options
The other day, I decided to drive into the Canberra Centre because I thought it would make a quick shopping trip even quicker. After I had circled the carpark a few times, I felt so stressed out that my urge to shop had passed and I was running late for my next appointment. Add to that the queues and not being able to find what I’m looking for, and maybe it’s not worth the hassle. I love the buzz of the shops at christmas, but I don’t like the queues and I don’t like it when I can’t find what I’m looking for. So, I’ve turned to online shopping. It’s quick and easy. There are no queues and you know instantly whether things are in-stock or not.
And, if you are doing online shopping, do your groceries too. We’ve been doing this since my son was born. It saves time and you avoid the demands of a toddler at the checkout.
If you happen to have lots of time, you could also go for homemade options or homemade gift cards for experiences rather than things. Last year, I received a homemade gift voucher for a dinner out, including baby-sitting – best present ever!
2. Try not to overdo the caffeine
It can be tempting to increase your intake of coffee, tea and energy drinks just to get through the huge ‘to do’ list at this time of year. You feel like you need that buzz to get everything done. Unfortunately, as well as pepping you up, caffeine can increase your irritability and make it difficult to sleep. Try swapping some of these drinks for de-caffeinated or herbal alternatives to keep your stress levels down and make it easier to sleep. Or, better yet, try a guided relaxation.
3. Make time for yourself
Whether it’s Netflix or novels, phoning a friend or having a girls’ night out, make sure you schedule in some ‘me time’ before your crazy schedule swallows every available moment. You can de-stress with a few minutes of yoga a few times a week—whether in our studio or at home. You can check out our holiday timetable here.
When you look back on this Christmas in years to come, you won’t remember the things that went wrong or the dishes that were burnt or the tantrum your toddler had (or, if you do, you’ll be able to laugh about it). Christmas is only as complicated as we choose to make it.
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