Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love, and goodwill to all men. Unfortunately, however, it all too often becomes a time of immense stress. Money problems, family disputes, and the pressure of trying to cook, shop, and clean while juggling the demands of family and a full-time job can cause stress and anxiety. For many of us, going back to work in January is a relief!
If you are already stressing about buying gifts, cooking for ten people on Christmas Day, or playing host to family members you can’t stand, don’t worry because you are not alone. There are many ways to avoid a Christmas mental meltdown.
Hypnotherapy for anxiety is a valuable relaxation tool if anxiety and stress are already getting the better of you, but read on for some simple tips on how to ensure this Christmas is a festive holiday to remember, for all the right reasons!
Learn to Say “No”
We are often too quick to offer help, even when we are already stretched to breaking point. There comes a time when you must learn to say no. If the school asks you to bake a cake but you are already working over-time, or your mother-in-law asks if she can stay for a week over the holiday, say no if it is going to make you more anxious or significantly increase your stress levels. You don’t need to be rude, but you should be firm.
Don’t take on more than you can reasonably handle. Put your own health and well-being first and let others do their fair share.
Set Expectations Early
Kids expect the world on a plate these days. They are surrounded by images of wonderful things, so it is only natural that they want everything, plus a bit extra. Look at your budget and make it quite clear about what you can and cannot afford to buy. Do not let your kids guilt you into buying expensive gifts that will cause you to go into debt. Money is the root of much anxiety and stress, so be sensible and set reasonable expectations nice and early.
Schedule Some “Me Time”
We all need some “me time”. How you spend this time is up to you, but a relaxing bath, a solitary walk with the dog, or an hour with a good book without the kids hassling you are all worth considering. Try to make time for yourself at least once a week. You’re worth it!
Get Enough Sleep
Don’t burn the candle at both ends, or you will become increasingly anxious and stressed. Sleep deprivation is linked to low mood. Declutter your bedroom and make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time. It’s OK to stay up late sometimes, but not every night.
Try to be organised. Make lists and do your Christmas shopping well in advance. Buy food and freeze it, shop online, and delegate tasks where possible. You can’t do it all on your own!
Remember: it’s only one day and the world will not end if you elect not to invite the extended family for a huge Christmas lunch, but if you are struggling to cope, don’t be afraid to ask for help.