Christmas, it’s that ‘most wonderful time of the year’ – but hands up who is feeling a little… stressed this season?
In this week’s blog post I wanted to give you some super fast tips that you can use instantly, to start to put your stress about Christmas on the naughtly list.
- Accept that stress is kinda inevitable – stress, Christmas, did someone say stress? In some ways, stress at Christmas is inevitable. By becoming aware of it, you stop it from taking over. So, when you feel stressed, LAUGH at it – no seriously. Stop what you are doing and LAUGH at it. Laughing releases endorphins, and you cannot feel stress and joy at the exact same moment.
- Create a plan, set clear boundaries – Make a list of the 3 things that are non negotiable for you, that you want to have time to do, that are important in YOUR life. Then, set clear boundaries, let family members know that you will only be visiting for an hour for example, BEFORE arriving there, so that you can relax and enjoy your time there, rather than sitting anxiously clock watching.
- Let go of tradition, do things your way How many times have you watched your Mum slave away in the kitchen for hours, too busy cooking to have time to enjoy Christmas? You don’t need three kinds of meat, and ten types of chocolate. Break away from tradition and do things YOUR way, and if that means smoked salmon on bagels instead of cooking a Turkey, then go for it! Spend time RELAXING and ENJOYING it.
- Have a clear exit strategy – Has it ever felt like the time just ran away from you, and you spent the entire few days of Christmas, doing nothing but things for others? Have you found yourself at the mercy of your family’s plans, and not known how to make an exit? Define in your own head, a very clear exit strategy. Migraine, need to feed the cat, you can think of something – and then make your exit. YOU get to choose when things end for you.
- In the words of Elsa, ‘let it go, let it go’ – If something or someone really gets the better of you, get your theatrical voice on and sing in your head ‘let it go, let it go’…. You’ll be amazed at how effective this fun but fast technique is. In the therapy world we would call it a pattern interrupt, it stops your mind from analysing things and it makes you smile in the process.
And – I couldn’t write a Christmas post without addressing the situation around Covid. Things are going to be a little more stressful than usual this year, that is sadly inevitable. BUT, you again, get to CHOOSE how you respond to things. Set your boundaries, let others be very clear on them, and only do things where you feel ‘safe; this Christmas.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you ALL a very merry Christmas, have a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to speaking to you again next year!
All The Best!