Copyright 2017 © Michael Beeson
Battling the Christmas Blues
Christmas: spending time with the family, watching the faces of others light up with amazing gifts and of course enjoying a wonderful feast… At least that’s how I’m told it’s supposed to be!
Why, oh why does the very thought of Christmas fill us with dred? Everything above sounds like such a wonderful thing, something we all aspire to achieve. If it’s all so positive then why is there so much negative as well?
The simple answer as it appears to me is EXPECTATION. We expect Christmas to be this wonderful magical little holiday where everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately for most of us somewhere along the line there will be a spanner thrown in the works from family feuds, not knowing whether the kids will like their presents, realising you don’t have enough ovens to cook 7 things at once!
Now I wouldn’t want you to lower the expectation of a happy Christmas based on what I’ve just said above so here is some advice on reducing your stress and anxiety over the festive period.
Stay ahead of the schedule
Is it any surprise you might feel at the very least slightly stressed if you’ve left everything to the last minute? Take a piece of paper and write down everything you need to do between now and the big day, from completing the food shopping to buying those last presents. Map out the latest time you want these things completed by. You can now order the tasks by the date which you want them completed and just by tackling a couple of tasks per day, everything should be ready for the big day and you can reserve that all important “you time” in healthy doses.
I’ll put my hands up and say honestly from time to time I could really do with someone reminding me that I don’t have to do everything, neither do you!
We’ve discussed that Christmas is a family occasion, why not get the family involved in preparations? Especially the kids, it’s a little known secret that kids love being given a little responsibility from time to time and keeping them busy for the 2 weeks they’re off school can at times seem an impossible task. Whether helping to wrap the presents, decorating the tree or even helping in the kitchen on the big day, trust me when I say a kids enthusiasm can be very productive if used in the right way. In short getting the family involved with Christmas is an absolute win win for all involved, things will get done quicker, you can keep the kids occupied and I’ve no doubts you’ll appreciate the bonding time.
Remember. Christmas shouldn’t be sorted by one person, you have plenty of people all around you who stand to benefit from helping out a little, please don’t forget to use them.
Keep up the exercise
Yes, I know this doesn’t seem to fit in as well as the other two and yes Christmas is a holiday which you may want to take a break from exercise but never forget the wonders which exercise can do for reducing your stress that now may be an even more crucial time than ever to stay on top of it.
Those of you who exercise frequently will be familiar with that wonderful feeling you get after a good workout. You feel incredibly motivated, positive and your mind is as sharp as ever, it’s no accident that you feel this way. Endorphins are amazing chemicals produced by the body during exercise which cause those good positive feelings. If there is a time you’re feeling a little down over Christmas, although you may not feel like exercising, just think of how wonderful you will feel afterwards.
To finish this up I’d like to refer back to what I said at the beginning regarding expectation being the cause of the majority of our Christmas worries. There is no right or wrong way to do Christmas but I can assure you one thing, there will be your way! Some things will run like clockwork, other things unfortunately the opposite, but at the end of it is all it’s part of the package. If you do feel stressed then the likely reasons are because you want the best for everyone, if you have that expectation then believe me when I say “you’re doing something right”.
If you would like any more advice on handing the stress/anxiety of Christmas then do reach out to me…