Ways to Reduce Christmas Stress
We all look back fondly on our memories of Christmas as children, filled with an exuberance and excitement that only age and cynicism can dampen! While we had little to worry about as kids, other than unwrapping those presents under the tree, being adults presents us with a whole different set of problems, especially during the festive season. From the materialistic and superficial competitiveness of socialites trying to outdo each other with their parties to friends and lovers agonizing over the gifts they should give, the gifts they receive and even about the gifts they did not receive, Christmas can be quite a harrowing experience! So here are 11 ways to reduce holiday stress:
1. Say no to unnecessary obligations - You cannot possibly attend every party you are invited to so sometimes itís necessary to politely tell someone that you have a prior engagement. Donít try to spread yourself too thin as this just adds to your Christmas stress.
2. Plan your finances - Plan all your expenditure, especially for your food, gifts and decorations. Leave enough wiggle room in your budget for smaller items you have probably overlooked and for other last-minute expenses.
3. Control your urge to splurge - If you see a gift thatís ďperfectĒ for someone but is way out of your price range, let it go. Donít try to work your budget around it and donít try to compensate for it by buying something cheaper for someone else.
4. Create detailed shopping lists - Decide what you want to buy for each person in your family and friends circle and start to pick up these gifts in advance to avoid the seasonal shopping rush. Shopping Stress is completely unnecessary and it makes the entire process a chore, so donít try to pick up all your gifts at one time.
5. Be firm with unwanted houseguests - Itís not unusual for distant relatives to try to use your home as a motel while they visit their friends ďin the areaĒ so make it very clear that you will not be able to accommodate them. The persistent ones may ask your parents to intervene and this can lead to a lot of unnecessary friction within the family. Take a stand and be firm to avoid this kind of family stress at Christmas.
6. Spend 10 minutes in meditation before you go to bed - It may sound trite but donít knock it off until youíve tried it. You donít need to have the perfect technique; all you require is a few minutes of quiet time each night to de-stress and let all the anxieties of your day just melt away. After a few days, you will notice that you fall asleep sooner and you feel refreshed and energetic when you wake up.
7. Get enough sleep - This is one of the simplest and yet the most overlooked methods of Christmas stress relief. As we get pressed for time, we sacrifice our regular sleep schedule and the problem just escalates from there. We start to feel tired and pressured and soon we canít seem to handle even simple tasks, which in turn means that we need to sacrifice even more of our sleep time and so the vicious cycle continues. Sleep deprivation results in higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression. It is one of the main reasons why so many people experience bouts of depression at Christmas.
8. Minimize workplace stress - With all the distractions of the season, itís no wonder that work productivity goes down a notch or two at Christmas. In addition to the general chaos, co-workers on leave means additional workload and this just adds to a personís Christmas stress levels. Buy a couple of Christmas stress balls and keep them on your desk, they will not only help to reduce your stress levels but will also add a nice festive touch to your workstation.
9. Do not take on more work than you need to - Do not try to shoulder the entire burden of preparing an elaborate feast for Christmas and instead make sure that everyone contributes equally. Sometimes, family members might try to suggest that you manage it all after all you are the ďbest cook in the familyĒ but you can use a humorous come-back to politely refuse.
10. Put regular ďmeĒ time in your schedule Ė you wonít regret it! Donít try to make do with a few minutes of rest in between Christmas shopping and cleaning and cooking and all the rest of the tasks youíre trying to juggle! Decide on a specific time slot that is meant specifically for you to de-stress and relax and you will find that coping with Christmas stress will no longer be an issue.
11. Avoid hangovers like the plague - Avoiding a hangover does not mean that you have to avoid alcohol; it simply means that you will need to drink responsibly. You might be tempted to enjoy a well-deserved break or you might be trying to drink away your blues Ė alcohol cannot provide any Christmas stress relief and if anything, it will increase it. A hangover will ruin your entire day and can throw your plans completely out of the window, so avoid it at all costs.
Apart from these tips for a stress free Christmas, you can ask your family and friends for suggestions on how to avoid Christmas stress. Even something as simple as listening to carols while cooking can chase away your holiday blues.
- Say "No" to Holiday Stress - (http://www.womenshealth.gov/blog/no-holiday-stress.html)
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