The Stress Free Christmas Guide
Handling that Christmas Stress
Every year we put ourselves under an enormous amount of pressure to deliver the perfect Christmas. We want to buy the perfect gifts for our family and friends, ensure that the food and drink are all delicious, and we want to give our kids a Christmas they'll remember. Of course we also want to feel abundant and really get into the 'Christmas spirit' - so there goes the budget, hello credit cards and overdrafts... Also, the combination of overindulgence and a close proximity to family doesn' t always foster tolerance or goodwill to all mankind.
All this pressure inevitably results in a lot of stress and friction, and can really put a dampener on what should be a time of happiness and celebration. So, I hope that this collection will help to ease some of your festive induced stress and help to make this one a very Merry Christmas.
Why are we stressing?
Christmas can be stressfulArticle / ByBetter Health
What exactly is it about Christmas that can make us feel so stressed? Financial pressures, isolation, family tensions, bereavement, separation & divorce, and the thought of another year gone by, these can all contribute to the stress.
What does Christmas do to your brain?Article / ByDavid Cox
If the family stress, the financial pressures and getting dinner ready on time is not stressing you enough, then you can count on the general overindulgence to render your brain non-functional.
Quick stress-busting tips
The Little Book of CalmBook / ByPaul Wilson
Ten Tips for Stress ManagementVideo / ByGuide to Stress
Did you know that smiling relaxes the facial muscles and sends an instruction to the brain to be happy? Or that improving your posture can make you less stressed? Find out more with these ten tips.
Christmas depression and stressArticle / ByBoots
So what can you do if the stress, fatigue and general demands of Christmas are really getting you down. This article suggests; letting go of the unimportant stuff, forgetting about the perfect gift, and leaning on your support network, as just three of the 25 tips it features.
Stressing about money
Mumsnet guide to a credit-crunching ChristmasArticle / ByMumsnet
Who better to learn from about a thrifty Christmas than those we need to put it into practice. Read the Deck the halls with small sprigs of ('rehomed') holly section to minimise your spending on the non-gift stuff like decorations.
40 Xmas MoneySaving TipsArticle / ByMartin Lewis
This is definitely worth a read if you're stressing about the cost of Christmas. There are many ideas you may not have thought of yourself including great ones for saving money, making money and even getting some free fuel.
Is it time to ban Christmas presents?Article / ByMartin Lewis
If you enjoy giving gifts to everyone you know then read this, because you may actually be causing them harm. "Perhaps the real gift is to release someone from the obligation of buying you a present?"
Stressing about food
Top tips for a stress-free ChristmasArticle / ByChannel 4
If you want to avoid stressing about Christmas lunch or dinner, you need to do some planning and preparation. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Mary Berry's Christmas CollectionBook / ByMary Berry
Why bother with creating you own menu when Mary's already done it for you? Mary suggests freezing Gravadlax, Bread Sauce and a few other dishes up to three weeks ahead of Christmas. I would have never thought of doing that as I like to believe I'm laid back (read - 'prone to panic at the last minute'). This book has clear instructions for all the recipes, and there are menus, shopping lists, a countdown to Christmas to get things done well in advance and a on the big day countdown so you can be serving lunch at 2pm.
Christmas Dinner MenusRecipe / ByChannel 4
Choose one of these Christmas menus to eliminate some of the decision making required to plan your own. Not only will you find the traditional Christmas menu, but also menus for vegans, pescatarians and a gluten-free menu for coeliacs.
Stressing about the kids
Fun and Games for the 21st Century FamilyBook / BySteve Caplin, Simon Rose
If the kids are running around and driving you crazy, then get a member of the family to sit them down and keep them occupied. There are lots of ideas that you can all enjoy together, indoors and outdoors. If you're travelling try Shop Swap or Car Bingo. Or if everyone's glued to their electronic devices some headless photos or The 6-step film course should get the teenagers (and some of the grown-ups) to engage in some dialogue.
At Christmas, how can you cope with your child's seasonal stress?Article / BySuper Nanny
While you're running around and preparing for Christmas, your kids could very well be stressing too. Here a seven tips to make sure your kids don't get anxious. You'll probably find that sticking to your child's bedtime and mealtime routines will not only ease their anxiety but yours too.
41 ways to entertain your kidsArticle / ByRob Mansfield
Keep this list handy for when you need some ideas to entertain the kids during the Christmas holidays. A scavenger hunt definitely sounds appealing to me.
Keep calm at ChristmasArticle / ByNHS
It turns out that January is the busiest month for divorce lawyers, so here are some tips to help you avoid family arguments. There's also a short video about dealing with anger and road rage.
Dealing with Family Tension at ChristmasArticle / ByHeadsUp
The usual rules of etiquette somehow don't apply when we're engaging with our closest family members. So being respectful, picking your battles and listening more will all help you to deal with any emerging family tension.