Stress management techniques for Christmas
Christmas has always been a time for numbers – Ye olde 12 days of Christmas, the final number of days to shop until Christmas, the countdown to New Year, marking off the days until the kids go back to school or you go back to work. Sometimes it can all be overwhelming – how many presents left to buy, how many special family recipes and special ingredients to be found and cooked perfectly (just like Mum or Grandma) and the number of people “we must catch up with” before Christmas. It can all become too much … too stressful and draining.
To help with this overwhelm I wanted to boil all of these numbers and tasks down to just 5 – 5 tips to deal with Christmas Overwhelm are possibly the best keys for us all. Christmas is supposed to be a time for enjoyment and love, not overwhelm, stress and the feeling that you want to run away.
Let’s take a look at the 5 tips that can help us get our Christmas ‘mojo’ back:
1. Breathe deeply and often
Taking several deep abdominal breaths, preferably counting 3 in and 5 out, can put a stop on that slippery slope before ” it all gets all too much”. The short version of the science of why this technique works is that when you take deep abdominal breaths your parasympathetic nervous system is calmed, and your body decreases its adrenalin levels – and in turn calms down the associated heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension and brain functions affected by the adrenalin. You can literally begin to think clearly again – so that you can make a better decision. To discover a simple 5-minute technique to breathing properly, download my free gift to you here. Breathing is easy, you can do it anywhere – even with arms full of shopping and children.
2. Be on your own Christmas Wish List
We are all very aware of having a special gift for our beloveds and friends at Christmas. We make lists and check to see that no-one is left off. I had an epiphany several years ago, when my daughter asked me to ‘double check’ my Christmas present list to make sure that I hadn’t forgotten anyone. She said to me ” who’s coming to lunch that isn’t on that list”? I replied ” no-one”. She jokingly said – “you’re not on the list”. We laughed, but is was a very telling moment. It’s important to put yourself on your gift list. Truly ask your self what you need or want to make Christmas a better time for you. If it’s assistance, ask for it openly and without blame towards you or anyone else. If it’s some time to revive – ask for it, if it’s a gift that’s achievable and it would make a difference to you – ask for it. Everyone seems busier and more stressed at Christmas, so mindreading is unlikely to occur. Breathe and ask.
3. Decide what’s critical and what’s not
Now this is a list worth making – divide a page (or computer screen) into 3 columns and on top write:
1. Critical now 2. Can wait but should be done 3. Not important, could be left
Please be honest, even a tad ruthless (whilst retaining a Christmas spirit). Fill in the columns from the mile long ‘to do’ list that you have written. Now allocate the time/day when you realistically feel that the tasks can be done. Another tip here is adding a ‘resources’ note – who can I call on, delegate to etc . Most importantly, please do not leave yourself off the list and definitely don’t put your need for rest and recuperation in column 3!
4. Grinch-proof your attitude
Most families have a grinch, grump or groaner. Is this year the time to realistically wish upon a star for the miracle it would take to turn them into the Christmas lunch angel? Basically, do not accept bad or abusive behaviour, but beyond that, it’s far better to sit next to someone you like and turn your attention to the joys of the day. Focus is the key here. Wise words have said that whatever we focus on becomes our reality.
There’s a valid reason for Christmas to be called the “silly season”, because sometimes, despite turning the other cheek and making a great 3 column list, we are just plain tired and this brief but this brief but intense period can get the better of us. You are not alone. Look for a loving friend, partner, family member or coach who really does care and will offer you a safe place to ” unwind”. We live in communities, we need connection – and after all – that is exactly what Christmas is all about. Find a connection that supports you to help manage your overwhelm. Often talking it through can give you the perspective you need to carry on!
If you are still feeling in need of help with those overwhelming feelings, and get back into the Christmas spirit download my free 5-minute guide: Ditch Overwhelm – 2 Simple Steps to Create Calm, Boost Your Energy, Anywhere, Anytime. Just enter your name and email below.
The technique I teach in Ditch Overwhelm has helped hundreds of other women and men that I have worked with.
Ditch Overwhelm is also the first step in my Revitalize You program, which helps women, feel happier, more energised and more balanced.
As you download Ditch Overwhelm I wish you luck in using it to create some more calm and energy for you in this Christmas season. Wishing you a loving, laughter-filled, balanced holiday season.
Love Tric x
Want to reduce overwhelm and start feeling more energy now?
Download our free 5 minute guide: Ditch Overwhelm – 2 Simple Steps to Get Calm and Boost Your Energy, Anywhere, Anytime