HOW TO STAY CALM AT CHRISTMAS: TIPS TO EASE STRESS AND ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS
Christmas can be magical and meaningful, but unfortunately, it can also be a very busy time of year. Let’s simplify the holidays with these ideas on how to stay calm at Christmas. Simple tips to ease stress, enjoy the holidays and look after your body and mind.
A SIMPLER, CALMER CHRISTMAS
Christmas can be a stressful time. Not only are there plenty of things to do, buy and remember but we can also be feeling the pressure in other ways.
- We might remember loved ones that are no longer with us
- Have extra clutter, noise and people in our homes
- Struggle with finances
- Find ourselves in situations or with people that we would normally not have to deal with
Christmas and the holidays can bring mixed emotions and challenges. It might not be like this every year or all the time, but I’m sure most of us can relate to feeling ‘all the feels’ at Christmas, for both good and bad reasons.
So, if you’re struggling in the lead up to or during the holiday season, or find Christmas particularly emotional or tough, I hope you find this article helpful to ease your stress, simplify your holiday schedule, get organised and take care of yourself.
HOW TO STAY CALM AT CHRISTMAS
Here are some ideas on how to stay calm at Christmas and some tips to ease stress and help you enjoy the holidays.
1. Get organised
Much of life is easier if you’re not chasing your tail or winging it. Here are some tips on how to get organised for Christmas. This could be around gift-giving, making sure you’ve bought everything you might need (from food to medicines!), or just simplifying your traditions and schedule so you can do less but focus more on other things, such as family.
Grab a notebook and make a list of things you could do to get prepared and organised using the ideas I mention in the following articles:
- Clutter-free gift ideas
- Useful things to have in the home at Christmas
- 30 things to plan and organise for Christmas
- How to simplify Christmas and the holidays for less stress and more joy
2. Prioritise self-care
Practice regular self-care and find time for yourself each day. It doesn’t need to take a long time or be expensive. Create some habits around consistent and practical self-care that you can start now and keep up through the holidays and beyond.
Remind yourself that self-care isn’t selfish. It’s essential for a healthy, balanced body and mind and will benefit you and also those around you. Doing things for yourself (and not just everyone else!) will help you enjoy the holidays more and be more calm and present for sharing it with your loved ones.
Here are some tips:
3. Carve out time for yourself
One of the most important features of self-care is that it’s time for yourself. That’s time away from your To Do list, watching your time, managing your schedule and rushing from A to B. Time for yourself is whatever you need it to be, whether that’s curling up with a book or following a karate tutorial on YouTube.
Can you find just 10 minutes out of your busy day just for you? You could try getting up a little bit earlier and enjoy a warm drink whilst you contemplate the day ahead? No need to fill your mornings with 100 things to do but just what feels right to set you up for the day ahead in a calm, no-pressure way.
Here are some tips on how to carve out time for yourself:
- How to make time for yourself without feeling guilty or selfish
- How to create a simple morning routine
- How to maintain healthy habits during the holidays
4. Listen to your body
You know your body better than anyone so be mindful of what it’s saying to you.
- Don’t overindulge when your body is saying no more.
- If you feel tired, take a nap.
- If you need some downtime, say no (more about that later!).
- If you really want that extra mince pie, enjoy it but just have the one.
The holidays are not a time to make big and radical changes to your eating or drinking habits unless you have the motivation and mindset to follow them through. Instead, heed your body’s signals for needing more or less of something and if you want to make big changes, plan to start them after the holidays are over. Be kind and gentle to your body and treat it with respect and love.
Do you recognise any of these 18 signs you are too busy?
5. Create a calm space
One of the things that helps me find a little peace is to have a quiet place in my home where I can retreat to if I need to recharge and wind down. For me, this is my bedroom.
Can you create a calm place where you could have time and space for yourself? It may be a room, or just your favourite chair in the living room. Have the things you need around you to help you feel calm and relaxed.
You could try putting together a little self-care box. I have one of these where I put my current book, some headphones, a notepad and pen, a candle and extra sweater or small blanket. I can grab it when I have time or need to have some space for myself, and I can carry it to where I need to be in the house and it’s got everything I use to create a little calm bubble around me! You might want to add in other things too.
6. Declutter your home
Less clutter on the outside means less clutter on the inside which is a great way to stay calm at Christmas! For many of us, our homes can be a big source of stress, especially during the holidays when there is festive clutter of decorations, presents, food and people (!) on top of the usual everyday household clutter. To make your home calmer on the outside so you’re calmer on the inside, try to make extra space at home in the lead up to Christmas.
Get your copy of my free Declutter Starter Kit – a free guide and workbook to help you clear your clutter and keep it away.
7. Get outside
Sometimes it helps to find a change of scene so you might like to get outside. Go for a walk, feel the fresh air and move your body. Nature has such a calming influence and it might make a good antidote to the hustle and bustle of a busy, festively chaotic home.
Keep it realistic and practical. For example, can you try to make a pact with yourself to spend 10 minutes outside each day? You could jog or power-walk if you want to, but just a gentle stroll will still move your body and calm your mind.
You could walk or cycle to work, drive half way to the shops and walk the rest, walk with a friend or just yourself for company or take the kids out on scooters and let them burn off some energy!
A little bit of fresh air and exercise and a walk in nature has amazing health benefits!
8. Set boundaries
I wrote this article on how to set boundaries which may help you stay calm at Christmas. They could be boundaries around how much screen time you give yourself or how many invitations you’ll accept, but of all the boundaries you could set, there is one that helps me beyond all others… saying no.
Saying no to an invitation, opportunity or activity isn’t necessarily no forever. It could just mean no for now. The more you practice saying no, the more you’ll feel confident in saying it. You won’t feel like you’re missing out, or that you’ll never receive the invitation, opportunity or activity again.
It’s more about what you’re saying yes to instead and how that’s more important for you right now. You could be saying yes to time with your kids, time for meeting that work deadline so you’re work-free for Christmas. It could be no to that party because you’ve had a busy day the day before. Say no, without feeling guilty. You can explain why you’re saying no if you want to but you don’t have to justify yourself if you don’t want to. What can you say no to this Christmas?
This is just a friendly little reminder that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Everyone in your home can contribute and help in different ways. What can you do to delegate some festive To Dos this year?
10. Forget perfection
Much of my own stress around the holidays was because I was trying to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas. Actually, when I thought about it (or asked my family what makes Christmas special to them), we didn’t need to have or do as much as I thought in order to have a memorable and meaningful Christmas. Forget the ‘perfect’ Christmas. Focus on a few, simple traditions to build those special memories and give yourself the gift of less (stress) to have more (ease, joy, calm, magic and meaning).
STAY CALM AT CHRISTMAS WITH THIS FREE PLANNER!
To help you simplify Christmas a little more, pop your details in the box below to receive a free guide and printable planner for a simpler, less stressful holiday season…