“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
50 Ways to De-Stress This Holiday Season
It’s Christmas time. It’s joyous, warm, sentimental, comforting, exciting, and it reminds us of how important those special people in our lives really are. The holiday season is amazing. It can also be super stressful.
Maybe you’re working in retail and this time of year is filled with long hours, stressed out and irritable customers, low stock, leaving the house in the dark and coming home in the dark… maybe you’re a parent of teenagers and this year they all want the new iPhone 7 and there’s just no way you can afford to please everyone… Maybe you’re hosting your extended family for Christmas Dinner and your kitchen just isn’t big enough and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to sort everything out. I get it. Christmas is stressful.
One year, on Christmas Day, we had to call the ambulance because my mum was showing symptoms of having a heart attack… turns out she was actually experiencing a stress-induced panic attack. She had been working so hard to make Christmas perfect for us, that she’d worked herself up so much to the point of us calling 999! If that’s not a wake up call, I don’t know what is. We all need to chill out a bit, forgive ourselves.. breathe more this time of year, and here’s 50 little things that you can do to help yourself to do just that.
- Talk to people: be honest with your family about how you’re feeling – talking about things always makes us feel so much better.
- Delegate!!! Hosting Christmas Dinner? Give people jobs to do, food to bring, ingredients to buy, etc. You cannot be expected to do everything alone!
- Schedule out your day, and write it down – it reassures you that you do have enough time to do everything, and allows you to focus on each task as you’re doing it without your mind wandering over to all of the other things that need doing.
- Make sure to schedule chill out time, too. It’s important to allow yourself to rest and enjoy yourself
- Shop online!!! This is a biggy, get your Christmas presents online and you’ll save the hassle of driving through traffic, queueing up for ages, and wandering around trying to find something specific.
- Don’t forget to have proper meals. When we’re feeding ourselves healthy food (and making sure we’re eating enough! healthy does not equal less) our bodies will function much better and we’ll feel less stressed.
- Start each day by taking 5 deep, slow breaths, in and out.
- Do 5 minutes of yoga each morning when you wake up.
- Do another 5 minutes of yoga each evening before you get into bed.
- Pray. Bring God into everything.
- Take photographs of your friends, family, yourself, your food – help yourself to focus on the good things in each day by documenting them.
- Look through photographs of happy times, past christmases growing up, etc.
- Book a holiday for the summer!! Ok, I know Christmas is an expensive time, but if you can afford to pre-book a holiday for the summer (or maybe for the New Year??) This will give you something to look forward to when the stress starts to creep in.
- Treat yourself! Sit down with a cuppa and some chocolate – you deserve it!
- On that note, limit caffeine intake if you can, excess caffeine causes anxiousness.
- Exercise! Schedule some time to go to the gym or do a home workout at least 3 times per week, your body and mind will thank you for it.
- Watch Christmas movies – instant mood lifter.
- Make a home video, it’s so fun to look back on.
- Watch home videos from previous years, get together as a family and laugh at each other’s questionable early 2000’s fashion choices!
- Get the family together for a cozy night in with hot chocolate.
- Have down time with your family – play board games and enjoy each other’s company (and some wine, too!)
- Listen to music that encourages and relaxes you.
- Read the Christmas story in the Bible (Luke 2:1-20) and remind yourself of what Christmas is all about.
- Go on Pinterest and have a look at some cute Christmas decoration DIY’s.
- Decorate your home for Christmas!
- Tidy up your living space!! A clean and tidy living space will do absolute wonders for your mental clarity and overall mindset.
- Give your parents a call and thank them for making all of your Christmases amazing whilst you were growing up.
- Stay hydrated!! not drinking enough water = irritability and stress.
- Chamomile tea is your best friend.
- Do something creative. Being creative makes us happier, it’s science. 😉
- Go to a carol service at a local church – the atmosphere is always so lovely and Christmassy (and there’s often free mince pies, too)
- Do some Christmas baking! (and let yourself eat it)
- Wear a Christmas jumper. When we’re dressed Christmassy, everything is better. fact.
- Get a mini Christmas tree for your office or desk or wherever it is you spend time during your working day (even if it’s your car!! wrap some tinsel around your steering wheel or something!)
- Buy a hot drink or meal for a homeless person. Being generous makes us happier and feel more fulfilled.
- On that note, maybe donate some money to charity as a Christmas gift, or ask family to do it on your behalf instead of buying you a gift this year.
- Make some plans for next year that are exciting – what are your planning to do in the new year? What are your goals for the year to come?
- Call/facebook messagenger/Skype/text/whatsapp an old friend who you haven’t seen in a while – see if you can meet up over Christmas! reconnecting with old friends reminds us of really happy times in our lives, and is a lovely break from the craziness and busyness of our present lives.
- Change up your hair – I don’t know about you, but when I get a hair cut I feel 1,000,000 times better, like I’m a new woman 😉
- Get yourself that cute clothing piece you’ve been wanting for a while. It’s Christmas, you deserve it.
- Get some fuzzy pyjamas!!!! fuzzy pyjamas are life.
- DIY some Christmas cards. You’ll have fun doing them and they’ll be extra special to your friends and family because of the love and time that went into producing them.
- Ask friends and family what they do to de-stress this time of year, you can all rant about it together and get everything off your chest – we’re all in the same boat here.
- Turn off the TV and phones and tablets and have a night in with those closest to you just chatting, playing games, eating good food and drinking good wine (or juice, whatever you prefer).
- Make a Christmas tradition. Whether that’s eating a certain meal on Christmas Eve, watching a certain movie (I always watch the Grinch on Christmas Eve), drinking hot chocolate, going to a 24/7 drive through Starbucks (I have to confess, I went to McDonald’s drive through last Christmas Eve haha), or whatever it is, starting (or continuing) a Christmas Tradition makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
- Tell your spouse/parents/bestie how much you love and appreciate them and all that they do. Acknowledging the beauty and brilliance in others helps us to see it in ourselves, too.
- Eat some dark Chocolate. It contains tryptophan, which releases serotonin, which makes us happier. It’s science.
- Wake up early, wrap up warm, and watch the sun rise. It’s absolutely hands down the best mood lifter at the start of the day, and following it your day will shine with the amber and golden hues of that sunrise.
- You guessed it, set an alarm for around 3:30pm (If you’re in England like me), because that’s when the sun starts to set and blankets everything you can see in pinks, purples, oranges, reds, and the richest gold you have ever seen. It makes even the streets of Stoke-on-Trent look majestic.
- Lastly, forgive yourself, don’t hold yourself to impeccable standards. The happiness of your family this Christmas time does not rest upon your shoulders. It’s going to be absolutely fine, and everyone is going to have a great time in each other’s company. People will argue and fall out and complain and kids will cry, but that’s just how family life goes. Christmas time is all about God’s amazing, incomprehensible gift to us. He gave us His own son, so that we could live a life of freedom and happiness and connection with God. That’s amazing, so let’s celebrate that this Christmas time, because when we focus on God and put Him above it all, everything else will slot itself into place.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.“