Coping with the Stress of Christmas

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” or so goes the song.

Sadly, for many of us the holiday season can be a time of immense stress, worry, and excessive business.

Instead of enjoying the warmth and joy of spending time with loved ones, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the added tasks that the holidays bring.

Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to cut back on seasonal stress so that you can spend less of your time rushing and more of it relaxing.

Schedule Time for Yourself

No, really! Don’t just think, “I’ll sit down and read for a while if I have time.”

Believe me, you’ll never just “have” time.

It is important to schedule specific times in your week when you will take time out for yourself to take a relaxing bath or read a favourite book.

Treat this time as you would a business appointment or a meeting with a friend; if someone asks you to do something during that time, tell them that you have a prior commitment.

Maintain Healthy Habits

During the holidays, it is easy to lag on your healthy eating and exercise patterns.

However, times of peak stress are when it is crucial to be getting adequate sleep, exercise, and the nutrients that your body needs in order to function well.

If you regularly go to a gym to exercise, keep it up during the holidays.

Regardless of prior exercise habits, everyone should work to fit more activity into their days by walking instead of driving whenever possible.

This will help you sleep better, which in turn gives your body the extra boost it needs to deal with stress.

Similarly, avoid binging on sugar and fats, which will eventually leave your body feeling rundown and exhausted. and out of shape, 

Organize Your Shopping Trips

Take the extra time to make a detailed shopping list and check it twice!

Last minute trips to shopping centres to pick up one or two items can pile on the stress.

Think carefully through your gift list or meal plans so you can get it all the first time.

Instead of trying to fight with long Christmas Eve queues, do as much of your seasonal shopping as possible well ahead of time so that you can spend more of your Christmas holiday relaxing at home or with friends.


Coping with the Stress of Christmas - Mark Darlington

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