The Christmas holiday can be an amazing time of the year. But it can also be one of the most stressful periods as increased spending, busy schedules and extra time with extended family all work together to create a harrowing ordeal. We have a few tips on how to deal with this time of the year, so that you can make the most of the holiday season, without feeling overwhelmed.
Keep your morning schedule
Between extended family visits, multiple social engagements and taking time off from work, it is easy to break from your routine. Are you used to starting your morning with a cup of coffee and the newspaper? Try to keep those habits going! Use your mornings as quiet time, and reflect on your own needs and priorities for the day. Then you can tackle the rest of the day, feeling like you are in control.
If mornings feel a little chaotic, consider waking up an hour earlier. Use this time while everyone is still sleeping to focus on your own well-being. As a bonus effect, waking up earlier has been linked to improved moods for some!
Learn to say no
Ever feel stretched or over-committed during the holiday season? Learn to say no without feeling bad about it. All of those events, gatherings and parties have a cost. Don’t stretch your resources too far. You only have a finite supply of time, money and energy, so give yourself permission to say no. If you still feel guilty, make plans for a month or two after the holidays to see your friends or family.
Take a break
While trying to be a great host, or a gracious guest, don’t forget to look after yourself! Take a nap, go for a short walk, read a book or watch a movie. Think of fun things to do with your friends and family and enjoy the time together. Your family members might notice what you are doing and join you for a relaxing walk, or grab their own book and enjoy a chapter or two.
Ditch the ‘holiday of a lifetime’ idea
Are you planning the perfect holiday, a fantastic trip, with time to relax, to explore, achieve things, and more? If you take the idea and write it down and start planning it, you might realise that your ideal holiday isn’t physically possible. There is only so much time, and some people take one large holiday, hoping it will tide them over for an entire year. If you can, rather take several smaller breaks. This reduces the pressure on your holiday to be perfect, and you have more occasions to look forward to. The smaller breaks can be focused on a single objective too, like reading a book or tidying the mess in your garage.
While considering your holiday, remember that things don’t have to be perfect to be memorable or enjoyable. Reduce your expectations a bit and accept that some things won’t go according to your plan. Find one thing that you want to be truly memorable, like a task or event with loved ones, and put your energy into making that activity special.
Don’t compare this holiday to past holidays, or yourself to past versions. You might not be the person you were back then anymore, and life has an ebb and flow to it. Just like the ocean’s tides or trees changing for the seasons, sometimes your life might be at a different point in the cycle.
Prepare what you can
There is a lot that needs to be done in the holiday season. Buying and wrapping gifts, preparing feasts, decorating, cleaning the house and preparing the guest room. Try to do some of these things in advance. Those minutes you spend beforehand will help you to avoid the stress of a looming deadline. Buying non-perishable foods, linen, or gifts beforehand could also help with the financial burden of the holiday period. If you can, get your family involved. Adding stickers to cards, licking envelopes or buying a bag of ice from the store will ease the pressure off your prep.
Make space for relaxation
There are several ways that you can show that a space is designed for relaxing in. Light some candles, play music or fill the room with a pleasant scent. Remove harsh, bright lights from areas that don’t need them. Just think of all the touches that a spa or resort uses to make a room enjoyable to relax in. Considering the temperatures, you probably want a fan or two as well as a refreshing breeze flowing through your space. You can also add some festive lights to the garden so that you can enjoy the space in the evenings.
You aren’t the only person dealing with the holiday stress, spending time with extended family or looking back on a tough year. If your family has been through a loss, consider changing up some of your holiday traditions to ease the grief. Consider taking some time to discuss those loved ones and your feelings. Sharing with others can help with processing the feelings and realising you aren’t alone.
If you have been working on your diet or figure, keep it up for the holidays! You might not be able to spend as much time at the gym, but some is better than none. Lastly, even though it is a time of feasts and treats, consider limiting how many snacks and sweets you eat. Try to include a few healthy snacks so that you aren’t dealing with sleepless nights after having too much sugar.Keep an eye out for more handy Christmas tips and guides, or head to your nearest ACDC Express store for festive lights, fans, and ways to keep the lights on this Christmas!