One month to go until it’s Christmas!!

Christopher Paul Jones in the PressFor some of us, it’s the happiest time of the year. But for others, it can be nothing but one big headache.

If YOU find that Christmas fills you with stress and dread, then here are my top 10 tips on how to take control back this Christmas.

 

1. Cancel Christmas. Yep. Cancel Christmas.

What I mean by that is tell the ADULTS in your life that you don’t want to spend what you do not have this Christmas, and so apart from the kids, you are not spending a lot of money on presents this year. Say ‘please dont buy for me because I cannot afford to buy for you…. it’s about spending time together, not getting into debt’.

2. Choose who YOU want to spend Christmas with then arrange that.

You can’t be with everyone on the same day, and so don’t sweat the small stuff. Make a decision about who YOU want to hang out with and then stick to that and if anyone else then asks you to go to theirs for dinner, you simply say ‘sorry, I am going to XXX’.

3. Put Christmas dinner into perspective.

You don’t need to buy a weeks work of food and drink for 24 hours. Really, you don’t. No last minute stock piling… this is no different to doing a fancy Sunday dinner. Get your meat, your veg and the trimmings, and that’s that. Yes, add on a desert, some wine, but you don’t need enough food to sink a battle ship, and we don’t need to stuff our faces so that we feel like a roly poly.

4. Skip the boxing day sales and shop online.

If you love a good bargain, shop online. Stay in the warm, and be realistic about buying things. Do you really need those shoes or that Mohair jumper? Don’t be pulled into the hype and overspending when you have done so well not to overspend at Christmas.

5. It’s okay to be anti-social.

If you find that you drink too much at Christmas, or that you wind up not remembering things that you have said (or done) because of it, or you find that you always get into arguments with your family, then take yourself out of the equation. It’s okay to stay at home and keep yourself out of the way of temptation if that will be better for you (and for others) in the long run.

Christmas is about spending time with those that we love. But sometimes, those that we love may not be good for us. Take the pressure off yourself this Christmas and choose who you want to be with, how much you want to spend and what you want to eat. The only reason any one of us needs to be STRESSED at Christmas is because we create these ridiculous ‘should do’ lists for ourselves.

Chances are, everyone else around you feels the same as you do….. most of us worry about the expense at Christmas for example. So be the one who has the balls this Christmas to say ‘hey shall we all curb the spending?’. Be the one who states an opinion and you’ll probably be surprised to find that a LOT of people around you say ‘phew thank god that one of us said that’.

Go back to the basics of what Christmas is really supposed to be about and take a stand against consumerism and the pressure to have all the whistles and bells and then some. I am not saying be Ebenzer Scrooge about it all…… but.. well.. you know what I am saying.

So, look to the month ahead with a whole weight lifted off your shoulders, and plan the Christmas that isn’t stress filled.

I’ll be in touch soon with more tips on how to cope with stress and anxiety during the festive season.

Until then,

Enjoy your week!

Chris.

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