Take the stress out of Christmas.
What causes the anxiety to rise up in your chest at Christmas time? Some people love baking mince pies, throwing ten Christmas parties and buying everyone the perfect gift. But if that’s not you, here are some suggestions to simplify the season and ditch the stress.
Prioritise people over everything else. Your friends and family will not remember the hours you spent cooking in the kitchen. They will remember the laughter you shared over a Christmas drink.
Reduce your expectations of yourself. If you have perfectionist tendencies, ask yourself why. When my eldest daughter was 4, I had a three week old baby and I just had to make 24 flower fairy cupcakes for her Preschool. When she was at school I did the same thing. A parent sidled up to me to say a mum had brought in homemade cupcakes and how much that increases the pressure, (she didn’t know I was the culprit!) A friend gently pointed out that perhaps I was trying to impress people. Maybe I was. Now I just buy chocolate buttons for the class instead. It’s a healthy question to ask ourselves about anything we do, why? Make ten side dishes for your Christmas dinner if that’s what you love to do, but check yourself before uploading the photo to Instagram!
Lower your standards. Done, is better than perfect. Your home doesn’t need to be spotless, it needs to be welcoming. If someone loves you, they don’t want to arrive at your home to find you frazzled from hours of cleaning. They are coming to see you!
Give everyone a gift voucher! Your friends and family will appreciate it and you don’t need to trail the shops.
Switch home made for shop bought. Friends won’t judge you for buying your Christmas cake. A few Christmases ago a friend of mine had just been through a divorce and had a parent with dementia. She spent a bit extra and bought everything from ‘Cook’. All she needed to do was turn the oven on, genius. Try Iceland for a budget friendly option.
Choose to opt-out. Accepting every Christmas drinks invite may seem like fun at the time, but if you’re feeling exhausted, just say no. Choose a few parties to go to and enjoy them to the full.
Enjoy the present moment. Don’t think about what meal you need to cook next, just enjoy the now.
What is it you would like to do this Christmas? Read a book? Enjoy sitting down and playing a game? Work out what to simplify or let go of, so you can have the Christmas season you wish for.
Merry Christmas everyone!
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