Christmas and the summer holidays are the most stressful times of the year for many parents. The Christmas holiday period is a mass of social interactions and buying everything to create the perfect day. It is no wonder us parents are stressed to the hills! We buy gifts for their school teachers, club leaders and mountains of cards for their friends, and that even before we get close to the big day. I dread the annual trudge through town and all those last-minute panics trying to get my hands on that must-have but sold out toy. This year, I can come up with a plan to make this all manageable.
Make a list of things you need to do early; food shopping, gifts, decorations, posts, seating arrangements and invites. Prioritise the items on your list; can they be done now and most importantly, are they essential?
Don’t forget to delegate tasks to family and friends especially if they will be with you over the Christmas period.
Now, I am not saying do not shop locally, I am saying that with the larger chain stores you can save time by ordering online and having your items delivered/collect in store.
If you haven’t already, start now! Write a few each day and keep them in a pile for when you are ready to post and distribute them.
Know When to Stop
Pick a date when you will stop preparations and start to actually enjoy the holiday. Use your plan to make this achievable.
Christmas Day and Beyond
Play some relaxing music, take time out to gather your thoughts or do some mindfulness. At the end of the day maybe light a nice candle and take a relaxing bath.
Avoid caffeinated drinks as this will raise your cortisol levels- fight or flight.
Have an Escape Plan
It is a good idea to have some pre-planned excuses to escape to when things become a little too stressful. Use your imagination; say you need to phone a friend or check on a neighbour, anything to give you those precious ten minutes of silent calm.
Avoid Drinking Too Much
Most articles will tell you to avoid alcohol but let’s face it, it’s Christmas! Enjoy a few spaced-out drinks just don’t go overboard.
Finally, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!
Remember it is your Christmas too so try and relax enough to enjoy it. If things do not turn out exactly as you had planned, don’t worry, I bet no one noticed.