The Christmas season is well known for its spirit of gratitude and giving. As kids, it all seemed like a magical time where we get all the gifts we dream of. However, as we become adults we automatically fall victim to Christmas stress. Christmas is a time of high expectations. It is a period where we have complex social interactions with friends and relatives. Creating a wonderful holiday season can bring a lot of stress for us if the activities are not well planned.
Here are some tips you can use to manage the Christmas stress:
- Be realistic: Christmas holiday expectations vary from year to year. In most cases, it is usually on the rise as families grow and traditions and rituals changes. Be open to creating new ways to spend the Christmas season. For example if your children live away from home or are now married and cannot come home for Christmas this year, celebrate with new ways such as sharing pictures or Skype calls.
- Set aside differences: Every family member has their personal attributes and demeanor. There is a tendency that a family member can upset you this period, so set aside any grievance until it is appropriate to discuss. Also try to raise your tolerance and understanding level this season if people around you get distressed. Chances are that they are feeling the effects of the holiday stress too.
- Set a budget: This is the first step you have to take before you start any spending and shopping this season. Decide on how much money you have available for shopping this season in order to avoid post-Christmas financial limbo. Happiness can be shown in various cost effective ways such as making homemade gifts, having a family gift exchange or donating to a charity in someone’s name.
- Plan ahead: If there’s any season where you should make good use of time, it’s Christmas. Ensure you plan your days for shopping, visiting and going for events to avoid last minute rush. This will avoid you scrambling for gifts and forgetting to buy some much needed items. Also, make adequate plans for help if you need human resource to organise events this season.
- Avoid over commitment: There are lots of commitments needed from friends, family and even work this season. Learn to say no if you have other things lined up at that time. Friends and family will understand if it’s not possible for you to make it or help out. Too much commitment can leave you lagging in your personal plans, thus resulting in stress.
- Acknowledge changes: Sometimes, the holiday season can bring some bad memories. This occurs if you have had bereavement in the past year. It is normal to feel sadness by the loss of a loved one who would have made Christmas more fun. Showing emotion once in a while this season is perfectly OK.
- Reach out: The Christmas season can be a lonely and isolated time for people who have little or no family around. You do not have to feel left out. Seek out community, religious and other social events in your local area. There are various events organised in every local community that can lighten you up and make you feel the love and care you desire.
- Take a break: While you are running around trying to make Christmas perfect this year, take some time to relax without distractions in order to clear your mind and re-energise. Activities that can help you relax include getting a massage, reading a book and listening to music.
Christmas is a season of sharing, fun and laughter. It is also a season where we show love, care and also expect family and friends to reciprocate it. These few steps above will ensure that we do not fall victim to Christmas stress this season while trying to make it a memorable one.