For many people, Christmas stress is right up there with major life events such as moving house or changing jobs. The endless planning, shopping and cooking are both immensely tiring and stressful to an already overloaded system. To those folk already suffering from stress, Christmas can turn out to be the last straw, pushing them over the edge and into full-scale meltdown. In order to prevent this happening, you need to set up strategies well in advance of the festive season that will enable you to cope.
First and most important thing is to plan for everything while remaining flexible with your arrangements. This may sound contradictory but it really helps to have set up structures such as present buying lists, food shopping lists and a rough timetable of events while also bearing in mind that any and all of these can be adapted or changed. Keeping a flexible mindset reduces stress and anxiety and encourages you to let things flow over you rather than fight inevitable obstacles and changes to plans.
This ties up neatly with my other top Christmas stress busting tip which is to keep your expectations at a realistic level. All too often, we expect everything to be perfect at Christmas time. Why? Because the media bombards us with images telling us that is how it is meant to be. The trouble is that nothing is ever perfect and that is where problems arise. We place too much of a burden of expectation on ourselves and, when we fail to match up to those expectations, we become stressed.
Tell yourself firmly that all you can do is your best. The other key point is to understand that we can only control our own behavior and not that of other people. While you can try your utmost, those around you might not be so accommodating. Family squabbles, aggravating relatives and friends can all conspire to ruin Christmas if you let it. By adopting the right attitude, however, you can ensure that none of these situations stress you out.
The best way to do this is to remain detached from other people’s efforts to be disruptive. Again, simply let things flow over you and refuse to react. By not reacting you are showing the person concerned that their behavior does not have the desired impact upon you. Keep telling yourself that this is their problem and not yours and you will find it far easier to remain stress free.
Another great Christmas stress busting tip is to make sure you take enough time out for yourself, preferably on a daily basis. This can be something as simple as soaking in a hot tub or taking a walk or you can indulge yourself with a seasonal treat such as a massage or manicure. When it all seems overwhelming and you feel stress symptoms coming on then the only thing to do is retreat in this way. Remove yourself from the source of stress and you will be able to come back refreshed and able to enjoy all the joys of the holiday season. Which, after all, is what Christmas is all about!