You know the scene. It’s Christmas Eve. You have a half frozen turkey in the sink, a tray of mince pies burning in the oven, a crumpled heap of wrapping paper in front of you; and you’re holding up a mug and a pair of socks, wondering desperately which would be better for Great Uncle John. You’re exhausted, irritable and knocking back yet another glass of eggnog without even noticing what you’re doing. You find yourself looking forward to when Christmas is over…
That is the last thing you need this year. With all of the increased challenges we are facing right now, it is more important than ever to let go of unnecessary stress and enjoy as much of life as we can. That’s why we’ve put together these 5 simple tips to help you avoid burnout (and burnt mince pies) this holiday season. And what better time to embrace them than at the start of the holiday season…
Gifts for one and all
There is a lot of pressure to buy people the ‘perfect’ gift. However, more often than not, we just don’t have the time and resources to achieve this unrealistic expectation. Instead of trying to think of a hundred different personal gifts, why not spend your time coming up with a gift which many people will love. For example, a Christmas hamper can make an ideal gift for in-laws, friends, cousins and colleagues. Throw in a bottle of mulled wine, some Christmas-flavoured macaroons (we’ve seen some mouth-watering Christmas flavour ideas from Miss Macaroon including Irish Cream, Cinnamon and White Chocolate, Gingerbread Spice – divine) and a pretty tree ornament; and you have a beautiful and thoughtful gift for them all. With the restrictions on gatherings this year, they’ll never even know they got the same thing!
Get Christmas Dinner Wrapped and Ready
Cooking Christmas dinner is one of the most likely causes of stress and burnout during the holidays because of the preparation, time management and cleaning up involved. This stress means that it’s often not just the food, which can get heated in the kitchen, as people often end up bickering over gravy and sprouts. Instead of cooking dinner this year, why not try having Christmas dinner delivered? You could buy in some ready-made food from a supermarket (England has some of the best pre-prepared food in the world) or even order in from a local restaurant (just remember to book in advance). This will not only mean that you have far more time for relaxing and spending quality time with your family, but you will also be helping out your local economy too during these challenging times.
Spread Christmas Cheer
Sadly, the national charity Reengage, estimate that ‘more than 250,000 people aged 75 and over aren’t looking forward to Christmas’ this year. However, you could help to spread some hope and Christmas cheer by volunteering to help someone like this. For example, you could become a ‘call companion’ and speak to someone on Christmas day who would otherwise not have anyone to talk to. This wouldn’t take up much of your time, and it would definitely remind you of the real meaning of Christmas and give you some extra warm and fuzzy feelings.
Write your own Christmas list
If you want to feel less stressed and enjoy Christmas more, we highly recommend making yourself a Christmas list. We don’t mean a list of gifts you want from Santa. We mean a list of things that you can do for yourself over the holiday period. From taking a bubble bath, to going on a crisp walk in the fields, to re-watching your favourite film; making yourself a list of all the nice things you would like to do can help to ensure that you take the necessary time for yourself to relax and feel revitalised for next year.
Share the day with those you love
With the restrictions on how many people can gather for celebrations this year, there are many ways that we can share the day with people we love. Arrange for video calls, drinks or quizzes with family and friends you love to ensure that you don’t miss out on sharing your holidays together. Yet, don’t just accept invitations from anyone. This year, you can have more control over who you share your day with. Make the most of this novel situation and make time only for those who are truly special to you. You never know, this respite might even make you pleased to see creepy Cousin George next year.
Are you stressed about the holidays? Here’s what you need to do: Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation on how we can best help you or book online now.
Evelyn James is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist based in the UK. She is a tea drinker, a Ravenclaw, and loves the outdoors.