There’s a lot going on at this time of year. Last-minute panic buying of presents and organising a huge Christmas dinner for a party of 30 (including your aunt’s new boyfriend, their dog and your sister’s neighbour).
Then there’s second-guessing the dress code for the impending work-do, taking the morning off work to see Billy’s nativity play, all while trying to inhale a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine – that you don’t even really like, only doing it to show willing.
It’s enough to cause you to burnout, if not give you a serious headache.
But, we’ve come up with some simple ways to help you keep calm and as stress-free as humanly possible, this festive season.
As the old saying goes, ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’. Plan your time, plan your presents, plan your shopping. Know exactly what you need to buy, who you need to buy for – and when you’ll need it by.
Having a note to hand can make hectic shopping trips flow more smoothly, and help to prevent you forgetting any of those essential stocking fillers.
Stay at home
And by this, we mean shop online. All those rammed shopping centres and high streets, filled with hundreds of angsty shoppers and queues out of the shop door are a guaranteed recipe for increased Christmas stress.
While it’s still early enough to be guaranteed delivery before Christmas, get what you can online. Prices are often cheaper, you can do it from the comfort of your own sofa – and you can often collect your shopping in-store, if delivery to work or home is a problem.
Set budget limits
The thought of huge spends and being left with next to no money in January is a stressful one. But why not suggest a budget, or even introduce the idea of a secret Santa?
It means you have the chance to put your thinking cap on and buy one or two presents which actually mean something to someone – rather than giving out 10 hat and gloves sets (that’ll probably end up in the rubbish pile come Boxing Day).
Hand out responsibility
If you’re hosting a party, or the actual Christmas dinner itself, accept help. If someone asks you if they can bring anything, or do anything to help, don’t politely pass up the offer. Write a list of everything you need and ask every guest to bring something – that way you end up with everything you need and don’t double up on anything either!
Delegating responsibility will help to make your loved ones feel useful and will do you a favour, too!
For more tips to keep stress-free and enjoy the festivities this year, read our advice for avoiding the Christmas blues.