For the most part, Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a happy time to be spent with those most important to us, and to relax and unwind from the year that was. But, at the risk of sounding like the Grinch, there’s no denying the Christmas stress that comes alongside all of the joy.

Buying Christmas presents, getting the house in some kind of order for Christmas Day, and wrapping the working year up are the common challenges we all face around this time of year. On top of that, excessive alcohol consumption, family dramas, loneliness, and financial pressures can also increase Christmas stress – particularly for those who already struggle with anxiety or depression. 

All of this can have a huge impact on your wellbeing – both physically and emotionally. So, before the chaos of the festive season truly descends upon us – we thought we’d share our top tips for avoiding Christmas stress and protecting your mental health this year. 

(Image Source: Pexels)

1. Take a minute to yourself each day.

Literally – a minute is all it has to be. We spend so much time focussing on others at Christmas that we forget to take care of ourselves. And this is particularly true for busy mums.

But self care can be as simple as walking outside, sitting in the sunshine, taking in your surroundings, and checking in with where you’re at. A moment, a few breaths – it doesn’t take very much. If you want more ideas for self care, we recommend you check out our blog ‘A Parenting Experts Guide to Self Care Over the Holidays.’

2. Exercise where possible. 

Now, we know that over the Christmas period exercise is typically the last thing on your mind. Who can blame you? But we know that physical activity releases feel-good endorphins that help us to feel happier, less stressed, and more relaxed. Why not try to go for a morning walk first thing before the day starts? Or get in a quick session of yoga? It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous, a little bit will go a long way. 

3. Get in enough zZz’s! 

Isn’t it ironic that at a time of the year where most of us are work-free, school-free, and after-school-activity-free, we still manage to get less sleep than before?

As much as you can these holidays try to run to your ‘normal’ routine as if you have work the next day. Try to aim for at least 3 nights per week to get into bed at a reasonable hour. You’ll feel less irritable, have a more clarity, and have a lot more energy to get through your busy to-do list. 

4. Be realistic in your expectations. 

Too many of us place unrealistic expectations on ourselves at this time of the year. We’re so focused on hosting the ‘perfect’ Christmas – giving the perfect gifts, having the perfect house, and creating a perfectly magical Christmas experience for our kids.

But it’s not fair to expect perfection from yourself at a time of year where things notoriously go wrong. So if you’re a few prawns short at Christmas or the mess of the house has been shoved into one locked room – so be it! Adding extra pressure to yourself where it’s not needed will only amplify your Christmas stress and take away from the joy of the holidays. 

5. Reach out. 

If you’re feeling anxious, lonely, or stressed at any point this Christmas – please remember that you’re not alone. If you need some support contact someone you know you can rely on (even if it’s just for a chat). Whether you’re experiencing Christmas stress because of work, family problems, or something else – feeling as though someone is listening to you can go a long way in helping you feel less alone. 

And if you feel like you don’t have any kind of support system, please join our closed Facebook group LifeBuddi Lifers. Here, like-minded women from all over the world come together to support, encourage and celebrate one another. If at any time you feel lonely, stressed or anxious – all it will take is one post and you’ll be flooded with love and support. 

So, there you have it – 5 super simple ways to ease your Christmas stress this year. By putting these into practice, you’ll have more energy, feel less low, and have a more positive headspace to appreciate all of those little moments that mean the most. Merry Christmas from the LifeBuddi team – we sincerely hope you have a wonderful holiday surrounded by love, joy and happiness. See you in 2019 – let’s make it your best year yet! 

LifeBuddi is the motivation app for your health that makes you stronger than your strongest excuse. Through 7-day action plans tailored to suit your busy life, daily motivation, and personalised health coaching – there’ll be no more “I’ll start tomorrow.” Click here to start your free 14-day trial to stop the excuses today. 

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