Merry Stressmas: How to avoid overwhelm this holiday season

Is stress is wearing down your Christmas spirit? Find out how you can breeze through this holiday period – you deserve to enjoy yourself.

Unwrapping Christmas gift

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. But there’s no denying. It’s also the most stressful time of the year. With the magic of the festive season comes expectations – usually set on ourselves. Whether you’re expecting yourself to find the “perfect gift” for every family member, or to make it to every event you’re invited to. The festive season can feel a lot like ‘Stressmas’.

So, what can you do to glide through the holiday season as smoothly as Santa Claus on a sleigh? Here are our top tips.

Learn to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty

This time of the year is known for being the silly season for a reason. With December and January comes an influx of invites. From work drinks to backyard barbecues, Kris Kringles and school concerts – you’re bound to have at least a few social commitments (if not more) to attend. But guess what? You don’t have to go to all of them.

That’s right. It’s perfectly OK to say ‘no’ to an invite. Whether you’re feeling like you have too much on, or just need some time to get your shopping list sorted, it is perfectly acceptable to assess the situation and turn it down if it feels like too much.

Make space for feelings like grief

The holiday season is a time of wide smiles and bright eyes. But what if it’s your first December without a loved one? Or your first in a new city?

Feelings of grief or sadness are normal at this time of year. In fact, they are often exacerbated – given that it’s a time in which we’re all expected to be surrounded by our near and dear.

If this season brings up some less-than-happy feelings, know that you’re not alone.

Set aside time for you

December is all about giving. And that means giving to yourself too.

The most valuable gift you can give yourself over the holidays is time to achieve the things you want to – whether that be cleaning out the fridge, having some down-time, or getting on top of some holiday study.

Remember, your holidays are for you just as much as they’re for everyone else.

Accept that there is no “perfect” festive season

It’s perfectly normal to envision the fun times ahead with each social event you’re invited to. But it’s important to go into each situation knowing that, no matter what you do, it likely won’t be perfect.

You may forget a present for someone, or smash a champagne glass. Uncle Gavin may not like his pair of socks, or Mum may burn the turkey. And that’s OK. Like everything in life, this season is messy and never perfect. Preparing yourself for this can help you avoid unrealistic expectations and enjoy the time for what it is.

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