We’re officially in the holiday season and it can be a CRAZY time of year!
There’s lots to do and the expectations to be organised, decorate the house, buy presents, create the perfect Christmas menu and visit friends and family, can be VERY stressful. Then add Covid into the mix and it can feel even more stressful with anxiety levels rising even further.
Sometimes we’re so busy creating ‘the perfect Christmas’ we miss out on the importance of the holidays. Spending quality time with the people we love; laughing, reminiscing, having fun. And if Christmas 2020 taught us anything, it should be how valuable spending time together is. In the grand scheme of things who cares if there’s dust on the mantle or Christmas dinner’s a little late, pour another Sherry and go with the flow!
With all the added stress and chaos the holidays bring, it’s important to create your own bubble of calm where you can retreat to when you require time out.
First let’s start with how you can reduce or eradicate any holiday season stress.
1. On a piece of paper create two columns. Write out everything that normally ‘stresses’ you out over the holiday season in one column and in the other what you could do to reduce the stress.
2. Set a budget!
First things first, there is no point overstretching yourself financially for a few days of the year. Budget for food, presents, socialising and anything else that’s important to you.
3. Create an overall plan
Work backwards and write out what you need to do and when. Include everything from buying gifts, social events, wrapping gifts, food shopping, decorating the tree etc
4. Share the chores
You don’t have to do everything. Ask for help. Put on your favourite tunes and have a sing-song as you all muck in together.
5. Create mini plans
For example, a plan for Christmas dinner, decide what time you want to sit down to dinner and write down timings of when everything goes in and out of the oven to achieve this.
I also recommend creating a self-care plan. When are you going to enjoy some ‘ME’ time away from all the chaos and expectations? If you can build in at least 30 minutes a day to unwind and relax. You’ll feel the benefit and will have more energy to tackle your to-do list the following day.
If you’re unable to dedicate 30 minutes a day, how about 15? Your stress levels will reduce the more time out you take. Maybe you can escape for a hot bubble bath once the children have gone to bed? Or sneak up to bed 30 minutes early and read your favourite book? Whatever way to like to practice self-care is, enjoy factoring it in to your day and most importantly, DON’T FEEL GUILTY about doing so.
Reframe how you think about the holidays, if your normal go-to thought makes your blood pressure rise, flip it on its head. Go back to your list of what stresses you out and re-read what you could do differently.
Lastly, have some fun with your plans and the lists you create. See if you can get away without doing everything yourself. Set yourself a challenge to reduce your stress and remember to enjoy each moment. Practice mindfulness throughout the preparations and the big day itself. And practice gratitude. Be grateful for what you have, for those around you and raise a glass to absent friends and loved ones. Most importantly, take ALL pressure off yourself, take big deep breaths when you need to and ENJOY the season.
If you feel your energy sapping as you move through the month, book in for an energy healing session or an EFT tapping session to feel revived and energised. Both can be enjoyed and are just as effective either in person or online.