Most of us agree that Christmas is probably the most loved holiday of the year. The charm of it, the gathering of one’s family, even the culinary treats we enjoy then, the gifts, all make Christmas a time of joy. Yet, it can also be stressful taking into account all the planning that needs to be made, the complex social interactions, the expectations many of us have and the effort to rise to them, even choosing the right Christmas menu and the outfits to wear. In order to avoid all that stress and to enjoy what’s great about this time of the year, there are some tips to follow in order to beat stress this Christmas, and that’s what we focus on today.
To many people, Christmas is more stressful than being burgled or getting divorced. Still, there are ways to stop the festive season from getting you down and make it as stress-free as possible. Here are a few steps to take in order to make things go smoothly and enjoy yourself and your dear ones this Christmas.
Make plans ahead
One of the most important things, whenever there’s a big event or holiday in your life, is to plan ahead. You can do that in October or November so you can have enough time to put that plan into practice. Get your bloc notes and write down all the things you need for your Christmas gathering, travel, activities, and even menu.
The shopping you need to do including presents for the people you care about, food for your menu, decorations for your place, and even a seating scheme for the Christmas Eve dinner. The list can also include travel arrangements and booking. Your list can be as complex and as detailed as needed. It will take a bit of time to write everything down but it will make things way easier when it comes to taking care of all the things on the list. You can even include the contact details of the people you will invite to your place or meet.
Once you’ve made the list, think of what needs to be done early and what can wait until before Christmas. It’s not enough to make the list and then forget about it and remember it when Christmas is already around the corner. Its purpose is to help you plan your holiday and make certain things ahead so you can eliminate any stress or tiredness.
For instance, you can opt for recipes that can be made ahead of time and then frozen in order to reduce your tasks in the days before Christmas. Turkey and pheasant are great choices thanks to the tryptophan they contain. The body uses it to make serotonin which helps one relax.
Ask your family members to help you with all the work that needs to be done. This way you won’t get exhausted and everything will be done on time.
Shop gifts online
We all know how stores look like before Christmas. Everybody wants a perfect gift for the special people in their lives. This means stores will get crowded and you might wait a lot to pay for your gifts. If that’s not your idea of gift shopping, try the more comfortable way of online shopping. You will get to buy from the comfort of your home and save time as well as money. Go for reputable online retailers in order to avoid any unpleasant experience by shopping from unknown online stores. Make sure your order will be delivered before Christmas, though.
If you usually complete your gifts with Christmas cards, you can start writing them early. Write one or even more each day so they don’t pile up for December. The whole idea of planning ahead is to make sure you will actually get to enjoy Christmas, too. Know when to stop your preparations. Put that, too, on the list we’ve mentioned. This way you will be able to stop your to-dos and enjoy the holiday.
Get in harmony with yourself
Once Christmas arrives, make sure you treat yourself to relaxing therapies like a hot bath. Create the perfect ambiance to unwind. Play your favorite music or carols, burn scented candles, have a tea or a decaffeinated coffee. They are all meant to help you reduce your stress levels.
Don’t forget about practicing breathing and exercising. Deep breathing will help you reduce stress. Try to breathe in deeply through your nose and hold it for 15 seconds or so. Breathe slowly through your mouth after that. Repeat that a few times and you will notice the difference.
Many of us tend to forget about exercising during Christmas. It’s more about eating. January is well-known as a diet month. Don’t skip your sports activities, though, as they will keep your body balanced, help you reduce stress and boost your mood. If you can’t have your regular workouts, go for a walk after dinner.
Mind the alcohol
You may run into articles telling you to eliminate alcohol from your Christmas menu. Well, it’s Christmas and many of us will want to have at least some quality wine. Have it in moderate quantities, though, and make sure you stay hydrated. Drinking excessively will only make your liver work overtime to process the alcohol you had and dehydrate you. All that will have a negative impact on how you will feel overall. Don’t forget about moderation in anything you do, alcohol included.
Keep in mind that Christmas should be a time of relaxation, rejoicing your dear ones, and enjoying yourself. If you do plan ahead and take care of all the tasks when you need to, you should be able to enjoy Christmas as that’s all it is about. And even if things don’t go the way you’d like or planned them to, see at least the funny side of them and turn them into fun memories that will make great stories in the years to come. Seize this holiday to have a break and charge your batteries.