5 Tips to Cope with Christmas Stress

Its Christmas time! Time off work, gifts to give and receive, eating and drinking as much as you like!  Seeing friends, family, loved ones. The atmosphere of goodwill and cheer. What’s not to like? 

Although the Christmas season is supposed to be a time of joy, for many, Christmas (and the lead up to Christmas) can be a time of stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and loneliness.  

For those who have recently lost a loved one, Christmas can intensify feelings of grief and sadness. Some people experience feelings of isolation, financial pressures or increased family conflict that can make this a very stressful time of year. 

However, there are some steps you can take to help manage stress and anxiety during the festive period. Here are 5 tips to take to reduce your stress in the lead up to Christmas: 

Taking care of money worries 

For many people the number one stress during Christmas is the financial burden of buying gifts and attending social functions! Here are some tips for managing your Christmas finances and reducing your financial stress during the silly season: 

  • Create a budget and stick to it. Budgeting helps reduce stress because it gives you a plan for your money. Work out how much you can afford for gifts and celebrations and stick to this budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Click here to use our free budgeting planner and here for our gift planner.  
  • Suggest alternatives to buying everyone gifts e.g. Secret Santa 
  • Instead of organising functions at restaurants, organise a BBQ in the park or a party where everyone brings a plate

     

Dealing with family tension 

  • Drink in moderation: It may be tempting to overindulge in alcohol during a family Christmas however alcohol can often contribute to heightened stress, anxiety, and depression.  
  • Avoid sensitive and political topics: if you know your family has differing opinions on certain topics, Christmas is not the time to bring this up. Now is not the time to talk about your political beliefs and ideologies. Avoid these topics at all costs!

     

Managing loneliness 

  • Connect with family and friends! Even if you physically are unable to be with your family during Christmas, make the effort to stay in touch with a quick facetime or phone call. Plan the call-in advance with your family so you all set aside time to talk to each other. 
  • Attend community events – find local events taking place in your neighbourhood. There is always plenty of Christmas carols or markets on. 
  • Volunteer – Why not lend a hand at a local charity over Christmas? There are so many that need the extra help and you’ll connect with people and know that you’ve made a positive contribution.

     

Staying healthy to avoid Christmas anxiety 

  • You really can have too much of a good thing. When it comes to the holidays that often looks like late nights of hot chocolate and mums fresh baked cookies. The overload of sugar mixed with all the alcohol, caffeine, lack of sleep and a packed schedule is the perfect recipe for a rush of anxiety. Although it may be tempting to indulge in all the delicious Christmas food and alcohol over the December period, do so in moderation. Remember to balance your food and alcohol intake and ensure you are still getting adequate nutrition, enough exercise and sleep to feel your very best and avoid stress and anxiety.
     

Protect your downtime 

  • It is so important to have some down time! Plan this into your daily tasks to make sure you are looking after your body and mind. Weather downtime for you is going to the gym, watching your favourite tv show, reading a book, meditating, journaling, or practicing self-care and your beauty regime, make sure you do not neglect yourself!

If you found these tips helpful, we have a more in-depth course available to learn how to deal with stress! 

Find out more here https://hiddenworldofyou.com.au/courses/dealing-with-stress/  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!