Christmas for many of us is not always the picture-perfect celebration we dream it to be. Whether you must travel a long distance to see family, are tasked with hosting the main event, have money troubles, or are concerned about potential family conflict – there is plenty of stress to go around in the festive season. For many, these stresses can become all too consuming. With 31% of adults in a YouGov poll reporting they feel stressed entering the Christmas period, and 54% being concerned about the state of a loved one’s mental wellbeing in this period, it is vital that Christmas-related anxiety is properly talked about. Some feelings people experience in this time cannot be easily fixed, but there are many which have quick solutions. Without further ado, here are our top tips on how to take the stress out of Christmas and enjoy your time off.
If you have drawn the short straw this Christmas and have been tasked with hosting the whole family, the one key thing you can do to reduce stress is to plan early. Ensure you consider even the smallest details – from guests’ dietary requirements to the seating plan, so when it comes down to it, the day will run as smoothly as possible. Creating a good Christmas usually comes from having a clear and specific idea of what you want. To help with this, ask your guests what they feel are key components of Christmas and aim to integrate them into the celebrations. However, don’t spread yourself too thin, as catering to everyone’s ideal version of the holidays is simply impossible!
You may feel that Christmas is a particularly heat-attack inducing period – literally. Setting high expectations for the season is arguably a steadfast way to sit yourself up for disappointment. To avoid that well known ‘flat’ feeling on Christmas Day then we recommend you simply manage your expectations. Expect the unexpected – dinner running late, temper tantrums from Children, and a potential family argument. No Christmas is perfect, and it doesn’t mean that you have ‘failed’ at it. Don’t put yourself into serious debt through over-spending on lavish gifts. Another important factor is adjusting your family’s expectations, especially if you have children who may be heavily influenced by media representations of the festive season.
Many of us have to travel for Christmas to reach family and friends and need to make travel arrangements well in advance. Christmas is a busy time for travel meaning that prices are not always particularly favourable. To take further stress out of travel, if you are travelling within or across regions we recommend to book tickets for direct train services such as the Wakefield to Doncaster route. Direct services are usually quicker and will make for a stress-free journey which rapidly gets you from A to B.
One of the most helpful things you can do this Christmas period is make a budget and stick to it. This will help you steer clear of impulse purchases and over-doing the drink and food stock. It is no doubt that Christmas poses a significant financial burden even to the super scrimpers, so remember that if you feel you spend a little too much, it’s only temporary and you will pay it off with savvy planning.
Finding the balance between enjoying yourself and over-indulging
Christmas is notable for indulging in alcohol, your favourite food, and your favourite tv and films. Although you most likely are having a well-deserved break, be aware of the dangers of over-indulging as you can often make yourself feel a lot worse. High levels of sugar and lack of exercise can lead to physical and mental fatigue. To avoid falling into a slump, why not try to incorporate a walk into your Christmas routine, you’ll be able to clear your head and get your blood pumping which is guaranteed to make you feel better.
By giving Christmas that little bit extra thought, readjusting your expectations, and being wary of over-indulgence, you are guaranteed to have a Christmas which will spare you the headache.