Christmas can be a stressful occasion for many people. There are many things which can be a cause for stress and the main ones are:
- Time management
There are lots of things that you can do to make this time of year a lot easier with regards to stress and there are ten tips to consider below.
Set a Budget
Finances can be a huge problem at Christmas. There is the extra expense of gifts and food but also traveling, new clothes and parties can mean that it really adds up. It is therefore wise to make sure that you work out how much you can afford to spend before you start. It can seem a bit mean, restricting your spending at Christmas, but if you plan beforehand and make sure that you do not spend more than you can afford, then you will not get stressed about spending too much money.
It is wise to make a list of who you need to buy gifts for to start with. This will help you to plan your shopping, wrapping and delivering of gifts. You will also be able to see how your finances will stretch, remembering that you will need to allow money to pay for food, travel, wrapping paper, cards, postage, new clothes, evenings out and traveling as well. And if you are married here is a great list of ideas.
No Giving Agreements
It can be wise to talk to some of the people that you buy gifts for and see whether you can stop exchanging gifts. Although some people may frown upon this and think that it is uncaring or ungenerous, it can reduce stress on both sides. They may be really grateful to not have to spend the money, go shopping, wrap and deliver extra gifts and it will reduce the burden on you as well.
The shops get increasingly crowded towards Christmas and so it is wise to shop early to avoid this. Even if you are buying online, it is sensible to buy early too as you will then know that it is one job towards Christmas that has been completed. It also means that if things get lost in the post or are slow to arrive, there is plenty of time to chase them up.
Write Cards Early
Cards can take up quite a bit of time too and so it is sensible to start writing these early. Start with ones that you are sending abroad and then ones that you put letters in, then the rest. Even if it is too early to post, it can be really good knowing that you have completed that job.
Sort out Diary
It is good to sort your diary out early and plan what you are doing and when. Think about whom you are visiting, who is visiting you etc. Plan in some rest days so you have time to catch up with household chores, time to prepare for future events as well as time to just rest and enjoy yourself.
There can be a lot of pressure at Christmas to get the food exactly right. Christmas lunch can often be considered to be the most important meal of the year to get right and this puts a lot of pressure on the cook. Think about ways that you can make things easier for yourself and plan meals to cook that you know you will do well and are confident with. Do not worry if this means opting for frozen things and cheating a bit, it will be worth it if you can relax a bit more.
Wrap Presents Early
Wrapping gifts can take a lot longer than you may think and so it is wise to start doing this early. The quicker you get it done, the sooner it is off your mind and you can concentrate on other planning. Therefore it does not matter if it feels too early, just make a start. If you are worried you will forget what you bought, then write it down.
Food Shop Early
The supermarkets can get really crowded just before Christmas with the 22nd and 23rd December usually being the busiest days. Therefore try to get as much as you can in early. Things that will keep, such as drinks and store cupboard items can be bought early. You may be able to freeze some things and then you can just leave the fresh items to buy nearer the time. You may be able to get most things done early as long as you can find items with a good use by date.
Prepare Food in Advance
Cooking can be time consuming and stressful so try to prepare as much as you can beforehand. It is hard to enjoy your day and entertain your guests when you have lots to do in the kitchen. Have a list, with times on as to when everything needs to start cooking, when things need preparing and do what you can in advance and it should all be easier for you.