How to Keep Calm at Christmas
Stress Relief at Christmas. Avoid the Stress and survive another day.
Here are a few great ways to remain calm and not get stressed at Christmas.
- Make a plan. This is the most powerful and the most neglected by most people. Organise yourself. Write down day by day what has to be done and also
- get help from others. Organise other people to do the jobs they are capable of. This not only helps you but makes other people feel included and not just a spare part. These two will help to relieve stress on everybody.
- Consider others’ wishes. Including everyone also means consider their wishes. Even down to which jobs they feel happy doing. Get everyone busy.
- Have a timetable for Christmas day so that people know when they will be eating / playing games etc.
- Do not drink too much. Nodding off while the turkey burns can make the cook unpopular.
- Drink decaffeinated coffee. The caffeine can boost your adrenaline, get you energised but also increase the stress levels.
- If some parts of the meal are a challenge and you are struggling for time in your plan, cheat. Buy readymade brandy butter, use gravy granules etc. The taste bud s of the guests are already swamped with Christmas extras so they will not appreciate the finer improvements in taste of homemade than shop-bought anyway.
- Plan an outdoor trip for Christmas day, a walk or feed the ducks. Kids can get very worked up with all the guests and presents and there is nothing like a distraction and some exercise to cheer them up.
- Take things one step, one day at a time. Ensure your plan has daily parts. Do not write one long list.
- Rest stops. Make sure you have some rest stops built in to your plan. If you are over stressed and tired, it will be easier for you to make mistakes and forget things.
- Say “No!” This is essential. Stick to your plan and rest times and learn to let other people look after themselves and not draw you in to activities you do not have time for. Let your family know in advance that you are going to be busy and they should sort trivial problems out themselves, as a Christmas present to you.
- Create a calm environment. Play carols on the radio and burn a little incense. It will help to keep the others calm as well. If you are stressed, everyone around you will feel stressed as well. If you are calm, others will fell it.
- Escape Plan. The most important point of all is to have a bolt hole you can retire to for a few precious minutes. You might call a friend on the phone, pop out to the garden and look at the sky or, if all else fails, grab a newspaper and lock yourself in the toilet for 10 minutes. (Have a newspaper concealed, be prepared.)
There is no absolute way to avoid stress completely because it is the body’s way of helping us in a challenging situation.
With families and friends coming together and excited, boxed in, children, it is easy for challenging situations to arise.
Follow as many of the above tips as you can and you have a really good chance of cutting down the stress levels.
Print out the stress-busting list and stick it on the wall to remind yourself of the various points. Put it next to your written, daily plan and if the family question what you are doing, point to the list and say: “I’m following my written instructions, there on the list.” It is remarkable how this will shut most people up. They might even offer to help you complete your day’s plan.
I wish you a wonderful time with you and yours and hope to see you in the New Year with advice on: “New Year’s Resolutions; How to Make Them and How to Keep Them.”
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