There’s no getting around it – this Christmas is likely to be different to those passed. Worries about Covid restrictions, health and money are causing a ton of stress for many of us.
But stress doesn’t have to be inevitable and there’s still steps you can take to be less stressed this Christmas. With a few smart tactics, it can be a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons.
So how can you make this Christmas less stressful?
Keep up with your self-care rituals
The festive season can be hectic, and it can leave hardly any time for yourself.
Keeping up with your usual self-care rituals is super important for stressing less at Christmas. If you normally do affirmations, meditation, or a long soak in a hot bath, don’t skimp on your routine. These practices can help keep you centred and calm.
Switch up your thinking
It’s easy to focus on what you can’t do this Christmas, especially if travel restrictions take the shine off your planned festive celebrations.
Getting stuck in this negative mindset can make Christmas miserable but that can all change with one simple mindset trick.
Switch things up and think about what you can do. Look for as many creative ways to enjoy Christmas as you can. The celebrations may be different from usual, or they may not be as planned, but they can still be memorable.
There’s always pressure to have the “perfect” Christmas but if the last 2 years has taught us anything, it’s the small things that can bring the most joy.
Take the focus off money and presents
There can be a lot of stress to spend money over the holidays and sometimes, it can take away from the true spirit of Christmas.
If the uncertainty of the year or lockdowns have left finances shorter than usual, it’s the perfect time to bring in a fresh perspective about the true meaning to Christmas. For families who have been apart for months or even years, being able to finally come together will be the best present ever.
Instead of stressing about not having a big Christmas, put attention on meaning instead of expensive gifts. Think quality over quantity and go for experiences and memories instead.
Go for gratitude
Even if Covid restrictions mean you can’t physically see all of your family and friends this Christmas, try and use this to help you appreciate them even more.
Let them know you’re thinking of them and that you’re thankful for the moments you’ve been able to share together.
Creating a handwritten card or note can make the recipient feel very special. We don’t receive many handwritten items and it can feel a lot more personal than an email.
You can go even further than this to reap the effects of gratitude. Try writing down what you’ve been grateful for this year and hanging the notes as Christmas decorations. Bonus points if the notes aren’t linked to material things!
The great thing about gratitude is that it teaches you to appreciate what you have instead of what you don’t. And with all the uncertainty now, it can help you avoid dwelling on the negative aspects that may occur with this year’s celebrations and find things to boost your mood.
Create new traditions
If some of your usual Christmas traditions may be no-go this year why not make some brand new ones instead?
This is a great time to do things that will have a positive effect on other people. With a whole heap of people hurting after a stressful two years, these new traditions can be helpful and spread genuine happiness over the holidays. Plus, you’ll get all the fuzzy feels for doing good deeds.
A few ideas include:
- Making up packages for older people in your neighbourhood
- Buying or making gifts for the less fortunate
- Decluttering and giving goods to shelters
- Helping out at a local food bank
- Check in on your neighbours on Christmas Day.
Whatever Christmas brings for you this year, make sure you take time out for yourself to rest and restore after what has been a trying year. Be kind and compassionate, we don’t know the battle some people are facing. Go mindfully and take care of those you love.