How to cope with Christmas: Part One

Do you feel like this at Christmas?

Do you want to tear your hair out and retreat into your cave or is it a time of friends, family and fun? Although Christmas is the time for many to unwind and relax, it can be a very stressful and lonely time for a lot of people.

In this two part series I’ll be sharing with you some of my favourite tips of how to cope during the silly season, for your body and your mind.

This week we‘ll be looking at how to cope in the lead up to Christmas:

1. Don’t over stretch the credit card.

Pay by debit card as much as possible. Gifts don’t need to be expensive. There are plenty of home-made options such as bath salts, pure-fume made from essential oils or a jar of home-made granola or chutney. You could even gift a plant, some veggies or home grown sauerkraut!

What about my blueberry chia jam recipe; an ideal Christmas present:

2. Buy local

After living in the UK I don’t think I can visit the big shopping centres at Christmas ever again. It is far too stressful for me. But the great thing nowadays is that you can shop local-this is a win-win as it reduces the stress and you can support small family businesses. Don’t forget also to ask your friends what they sell-and be sure to support them as much as possible.

3. Do what makes you happy

Remember it is not possible to please everyone. So many people don’t think about what they want to do and end up rushing around all day from the parents to the in-laws and more. Think about what is best for you and your family, not what is best for everyone else.

4. Stop rushing around 

Instead of trying to go everywhere, why not have an open house one day when all your friends and family can pop in throughout the day to see you- Works great also if you have a lot of mutual friends, but if you don’t it doesn’t matter. Over the years our friends got to know each other from parties we had.

5. Drop the expectations

Don’t try to have an idea of what Christmas is supposed to be like. Let go of these thoughts and go with the flow.

6. Ask for help

Friends and family are often more than willing to help but sometimes they need to be asked. If you are the one that is hosting, ask people to bring a dish such as salad or dessert. You could even ask the kids to set the table, or wash up? Ok, maybe that’s asking too much!

7. Don’t buy for everyone

Think about doing a secret santa so that you are all only buying for one person on Christmas day.

8. Try to take some time off if possible.

It is tempting to think that it is an ideal time to catch up on paperwork in the office because nobody else is around. I’ve been there! When I worked in the corporate world and started working for a new company in 2011, they had a Christmas shut down. I was pretty annoyed at first that I would have to use a few days leave when I didn’t want to. But the following year I embraced it and came back in the new year totally refreshed. Not only that, but so did everyone else so it created a great working environment to start off the new year.

9. Be realistic.

If you don’t get along well with your family, this probably won’t change ‘just because it is Christmas’. Avoid controversial topics and definitely don’t rely on the alcohol to get you through; that will probably make the situation worse. Instead think about bringing the family together over a board game, cricket game or a funny movie.

10. Remember there are no rules for Christmas

If traditional gatherings are not suiting you, jump on a plane and take off for a different type of Christmas. There is no such thing as the right way to do things, only your way.

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