Christmas can be a stressful time for many of us, and all too often we end up putting everyone else’s happiness before our own. With that in mind, here are 3 tips to help make the festive season a bit more bearable.
1. Be selfish – As harsh as this might seem it is important to remember that no matter what time of year it might be your own happiness and wellbeing must always come first. If that means not attending that tedious family get-together and whirling yourself up on the sofa with a blanket and a good book instead then so be it. Don’t agree to do anything or go anywhere just to please other people. Decide what you want to do and stick to it.
2. Be frugal – If the multitude of festive commercials were to be believed the only way any of us are going to enjoy Christmas is if we spend an absolute fortune on an enormous mountain of food and invite our entire extended family round to devour it. Oh, and don’t forget those expensive gifts we all need to buy each other as well.
Don’t be fooled into believing this festive ideal to be the norm though. The majority of people can’t afford to deliver the type of Christmas that the glossy advertising portrays. The retailers are simply trying to pressure you into spending money that you probably haven’t got on a bunch of things that you don’t really need.
Be realistic with yourself. If you can’t afford to buy presents for people this year – don’t do it. Tell the people that you usually exchange gifts with your reasons for not taking part and chances are they’ll be absolutely fine with it. If they’re not, then they’re probably not the sort of people that you want to be associating with.
3. Be active – Regular physical exercise is often cited as a good way of lifting low mood and relieving stress. Indeed. A good, long country walk after a big meal is an ideal of way of getting your blood moving and your heart pumping. But how many of us are taking the time to exercise our minds as well during the festive period?
As tempting as it is to stay rooted to the sofa with a tub of chocolates and the TV remote close to hand, there are plenty of ways in which you can keep the old grey matter turning over nicely instead.
Meditation for example is a great way of allowing your mind to escape from the stresses and strains of the season, as is immersing yourself in a really good book. Or why not try emptying those worries onto the pages of a diary or blog? The key thing is not to let those negative thoughts fester in your mind. Find a good method of releasing them instead.