5 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas

These days, there is more pressure than ever to create the perfect Christmas. Often, this pressure starts as soon as Thanksgiving ends and lasts right until the big day. Sometimes, this even extends beyond New Year’s Eve. Each year, the holiday season seems to be prolonged. Though an enjoyable time for many, this is without a doubt a long time to remain in high spirits.

In addition to the pressure and stress you may already feel, social media can make it seem like even ordinary people have everything under control during the festive period. Scrolling through shots of beautifully decorated trees and sophisticated dinner parties can warp your sense of reality – there’s a reason they say comparison is the thief of joy.

Read on for our top five tips for a stress-free Christmas.

1. Manage Your Expectations

Before the festive period emerges, it’s a good idea to sit down with your family and discuss everyone’s expectations. In doing so, compromises can be made ahead of time, ensuring that the Christmas season runs smoothly. After all, when trying to prepare a stress-free Christmas, the last thing you want is unmet expectations causing conflict and disappointment. 

In addition to managing your family’s expectations, you also need to manage your own expectations. More than often, we are too hard on ourselves. We put pressure on ourselves, which leads to increased stress levels and even burnout.

When managing your own expectations, consider that social media only shows a curated version of people’s lives. No one is perfect. Your Christmas is unique to you, and that’s what makes it special. 

2. Preparation Is Key

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Planning ahead for the festive season and making any arrangements or preparations will help you stay in control and feel less overwhelmed. You don’t want to be running around the stores on Christmas Eve for a last-minute gift.

While it may seem obvious, preparation is an easy step to a stress-free Christmas. Preparing in advance means that your evenings won’t be spent organizing the following day. Being organized will reduce your stress levels, give you time to relax, and help you avoid having to spend the entire festive period playing catch-up.

3. Don’t Overindulge On Alcohol

As Christmas is a time to celebrate and be merry, many people often drink excessive amounts of alcohol when attending Christmas parties and other seasonal events. Even during the Christmas period, the recommended amount of alcohol units per week remains the same. If you find yourself overdoing it with the alcohol at Christmas, consider why that might be. Is it due to traditional, social pressure, or stress?

If you want to have a stress-free Christmas, why not consider staying sober over the festive period? This could mean reducing any stress that makes you want to reach for a drink. Though you may feel like you’ll be missing out if you don’t drink alcohol, a perk to not drinking is being hangover-free. This allows you to be at your best the following day.

You could get creative with drink alternatives. For example, why not give alcohol-free eggnog and mulled cider a try? You could also start new alcohol-free traditions.

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Say No

The holiday season is an excellent time for making memories with family and friends, but this does not mean you are obligated to fill up your social calendar to the point of burnout. It is okay to say no to things.

Even if you have already established your expectations before the holiday period, you might need to reassess them if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed.

5. Make Time for Yourself

Remember that you matter! While Christmas is a time for family and friends, it is also a time for relaxing. Don’t just spend the entire festive period making sure things are perfect for your friends and family. Reserve a bit of time to focus on yourself and do the things you want to do. You will regret not relaxing come January when life resumes as usual.

The best way to have a stress-free Christmas is to do it on your own terms. You could make time for relaxing activities such as arts and crafts, watch movies, or take a gentle walk around the neighborhood to see light displays. Whatever you do, please do it for yourself, not for the approval of others.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, contact us for help and more information at Ebb Tide.

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