It is the season of giving thanks and good will to all men, however, the Festive Season can certainly not live up to it’s name and in fact it can become one of the most stressful times of the year.
We are full steam ahead for the Festive Season and I can see everyone starting to feel a little agitated. Carpark rage is in full swing as we battle for the elusive parking spot. Shopping hours are being extended and there is a feeling of anxiety and stress pervading our lives.
It doesn’t have to be this way and this year is the year to make the changes so you can enjoy the Festive Season with family and friends. If you are hosting a lunch or dinner don’t despair, you can conquer the stress and anxiety associated with this special time of year with these simple stress busters.
Here are 7 Stress Busters that will make the Festive Season Fun
1. Planning is the Key
- Make a list of all you have to do and then plan what needs to be done each week leading up to the day.
- Check what you may have left over from last year such as unused Christmas Cards, decorations, wrapping paper etc so you don’t spend unnecessarily.
- Decide what you will wear a few weeks ahead so you aren’t adding the stress of the day by not knowing what to wear.
2. Make a budget
This time of year can be dangerous for our finances. Unfortunately, pressure to provide expensive toys, gifts for friends and family plus food and drink can certainly dent your savings. Budget concerns can stress you out especially when you receive the credit card statement in January!
It doesn’t have to be this way….
- Make a budget for gifts, food, alcohol, decorations and any other expenses AND STICK TO IT!
- Try making gifts for family and friends or put a $ limit on the amount you will spend for gifts.
- Buy throughout the year – when you see something on sale buy it – put this on your to do list for the new year.
- Plan for next year by allocating an amount to set aside each week
- Plan a stress free menu so you aren’t stuck in the kitchen all day.
- Do you really need to stick with tradition? Why not start a new one?
- Choose a menu that has some components which can be prepared in advance to save you time on the day
- Ask family to bring a plate. We have a large family gathering the week before Christmas and now that our children are adults, I ask each couple to bring something to contribute to the meal. I give them plenty of notice and let them know exactly what I want them to bring. It certainly cuts down on the time spent in the kitchen when you could be enjoying the time with your family.
- Decide who you need to buy for. Remember it is the thought that counts and this time of year can certainly ruin the budget.
- If your family are adults, why not have a Secret Santa. We do this and my daughter organises it through a Secret Santa Organizer We nominate an amount to be spent and we receive an email with the person who we are buying for. We also have an area where we can write some ideas of what we would like.
- Try to have a couple of extra gifts wrapped without name tags to have on hand if people drop in unannounced with a gift for you.
Shopping can be a nightmare, especially if you leave it until the last moment. Stress peaks as shoppers descend on the shopping malls, especially as time starts to run out. Tempers are frayed and in the end it is all too hard.
- Don’t leave it until the last moment.
- Try shopping online for convenience
- Try shopping out of peak time hours – such as first up in the morning or later in the day when crowds are minimal
- If you have children arrange with a friend to mind them while you go shopping and then return the favour.
6. Ask For Help
Don’t be a martyr and try and do it all! Delegate and ask your family to help, you are entitled to enjoy the day as much as anyone so if someone offers to do something, let them!
7. Let Go & Relax –
As the song goes ‘let it go, let it go’…. We all want the day to be perfect but what would happen if you relaxed and let go of your idea of the perfect day? RELAX and try to remember the reason you are all together sharing love and happiness – that is the most important thing.
The Festive Season is about quality time with family & friends – let go of your idea of perfection & just create memories.
Let’s Keep Sizzling!
This post was originally published in December 2015 but it is so relevant I wanted to bring it back for this year’s festive season.