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The Stress Free Christmas Guide

Handling that Christmas Stress

Image: Joe Buckingham, Flickr

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 stressful

Article / 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 Calm

Book / ByPaul Wilson
This is not a 'serious' book, but it does have some practical tips for keeping calm such as drinking herbal tea instead of the caffeine laden stuff we usually imbibe. And how about wearing some sensible shoes? The author, Paul Wilson is a meditation teacher and the contents of this book was distilled from his much larger book, Instant Calm . This book is also surprisingly popular with fans of Black Books , so if you're still feeling stressed after reading the book, watch the first episode - you'll hopefully manage a smile.

Ten Tips for Stress Management

Video / 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 stress

Article / 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 Christmas

Article / 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 Tips

Article / 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 Christmas

Article / 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 Collection

Book / 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 Menus

Recipe / 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 Family

Book / 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 kids

Article / 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.

Family tension

Keep calm at Christmas

Article / 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 Christmas

Article / 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.

I am the founder of SelfCentr.com. I love reading personal development books and try very hard to implement the stuff that resonates with me. For the most part I am paralysed by fear and indulge in the fine art of proscrastination. So it's small changes for me.

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