Gearing Up for a Stress-Free Christmas

Thanksgiving has come and gone, leaving us with one final festive hurdle to get over this year: Christmas.  While countless people start the countdown to Christmas on the 26th of December already, it is not an overly joyous occasion for everyone.  As many as 45% of Americans actually dread Christmas according to Psychology Today, stating that the high expectations of cooking the perfect meal, finding perfect gifts, and decorating the house for all the visitors you are expecting leads to immense amounts of anxiety and stress. If the mere thought of Christmas is giving you heart palpitations, the following tips may come in handy to help you relax and have a more enjoyable Christmas this year.

Get Enough Sleep 

As tempted as you may be to burn the midnight oil every night putting up decorations, wrapping gifts, and baking an endless supply of Christmas cookies, don’t.  With the added stress being brought on by the holidays you will need your sleep more than ever before. If you are tired, you will naturally be crankier, less productive, as well as more prone to emotional meltdowns. By getting a solid 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, you will ensure that you wake up feeling fresh and ready to face whatever the day may throw at you.

Prep in Advance

Procrastination is one of the peskiest habits of the human race and also the one that will more than likely see you wake up in a frenzy on Christmas Eve morning without a single gift wrap or ingredient bought for your festive feast. Ideally, try and complete your Christmas shopping and have your gifts wrapped and ready to put under the tree by no later than the December 15. As far as your cooking ingredients are concerned, make sure all your purchases are made by the 22nd to avoid you having to dash around over-full shops at the last minute. Apart from the obvious gifts and food, also remember to ensure that you get your camera and camcorder out of the cupboard and charge their batteries.  Being prepared will enable you to capture all your Christmas memories as they happen without having to run around looking for a camera or phone with at least a hint of battery life on it.

Don’t be Sscared to Delegate

There is no shame in asking your family and even your guests for help on Christmas Day. While being the perfect host who can manage everything by herself may sound very impressive, it is not a realistic expectation. By getting everyone involved in the preparations you will not only make them feel appreciated but will also see all the tasks being completed faster and without just one person ending up having a breakdown. Apart from being able to delegate you also need to practice saying ‘No’. If you don’t think you can manage to be somewhere or do something, say so. Don’t just ask for physical help but for support and understanding too as you have the fullest right to not feel pressured into doing things you do not have the time or energy for. 

Christmas is meant to be a joyous occasion spent with family and friends. Unfortunately, it can also be very stressful. Luckily the guidelines above will help you reduce your anxiety and allow you to fully relish in all the merriments of the festive season.



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