Christmas is a time to relax and enjoy ourselves. However, for many of us, the build up to Christmas can be very stressful. There’s shopping to be done, gifts to buy, family to contact, cards to be written, presents to wrap, decorations to put up, meals to prepare, homes to be cleaned …
Aaarhh! There’s just too much to do!
Instead of stressing out this Christmas, apply these seven steps for a merry stress free Christmas!
Step 1 to a Stress Free Christmas: Plan Ahead
Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Ask your family what they would like to do over Christmas and plan accordingly.
Write out a ‘Plan of Action’—what needs to be done on Christmas Eve? What needs to be done one week before? What needs to be done two weeks before? Three weeks before? What needs to be done today?
Step 2 to a Stress Free Christmas: Get Your Family Involved
Family members often think, “Mum will take care of everything!” Well, not this year!
Getting the family involved and encouraging the spirit of co-operation will have a positive effect on the entire family.
Write a list of all the things that need to be done and assign activities to each member of the family. Being part of the build-up to Christmas will make Christmas Day more enjoyable for everyone.
Step 3 to a Stress Free Christmas: Prioritise, Simplify & be Organised
Only do what’s necessary. We tend to waste a lot of time doing non-essential stuff. Stick to your ‘Plan of Action’ and keep on track.
One of the ways to help clear the clutter and keep everything streamlined is to clean out your cupboards and wardrobe one month before Christmas. Think of those in need and box up whatever you can donate to charity. Thinking of others first is a great way to start the festive season.
Step 4 to a Stress Free Christmas: Be Realistic & Avoid disappointment
Never over-exceed your capacity. This will only end in frustration. Always ask for help. Most people are only too willing to help.
One of the most important and practical steps to take is to lower your expectations. Don’t expect too much from others or yourself. Realise that each one has their own nature, talents and capacities. By understanding that they, like you, cannot be anything other than who they are, you will avoid disappointment and unhappiness.
Step 5 to a Stress Free Christmas: Watch your spending
Only spend what you can afford. Be creative—homemade gifts are a great way to personalise your presents and save money. Here are some simple ideas:
- Homemade truffles, cookies or spiced nuts in creatively decorate boxes or jars.
- Create a mini recipe book, containing a collection of your favorite recipes. Include an assortment of samples.
- Gift baskets are a great idea for Christmas. Use a colander for a basket, add some garlic bulbs, gourmet noodles, and a wooden spoon for a little taste of Italy. For the man of the house, consider a gardening basket. Use a pot for the basket, add a trowel, a pair of gardening gloves, a gardening hat and some packets of seeds.
- If you’re arty, create tiny paintings and personalised gift cards.
These are just a few ideas. There are many more on the internet. Have fun!
Step 6 to a Stress Free Christmas: Let it go and Allow Everyone to be Themselves
Remember, everything passes and Christmas is only one day so don’t sweat the small stuff. Even if someone has an annoying habit, simply accept it. Take a deep breath and let it go.
Enjoy the variety of experiences that Christmas brings.
Step 7 to a Stress Free Christmas: Be in The Present
Give yourself a present this Christmas—the present moment.
Forget the past. Forget the future and keep focused on what is happening NOW. This is where you find the true spirit of Christmas – your inner joy. It’s right here, right NOW!
Thanks for reading! Do you know someone who might benefit from reading this? Then please share it.