Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but there’s no doubt that it can come with high expectations of perfect, happy families enjoying celebrations and gifts. Because of this, many of us can end up feeling stressed trying to live up to it all. With tensions potentially running high, even acknowledging that it may not be ‘perfect’ can make it a calmer affair. In this week’s article we’ve been thinking about ways that this stress can be relieved a little. Here we’ll be sharing some of these thoughts with you…
For a lot of us, Christmas is about family and being with your loved ones. For those of us lucky enough to have our family around us, it doesn’t mean it will all be plain sailing. You can love a person, but they can still drive you absolutely mad!
Here’s some thoughts on making it through Christmas without the traditional festive arguments:
- Set realistic expectations
Christmas might not be the fabulous family reunion you hoped for. Plan how you will manage any feelings of anxiety or depression that may arise – that could mean scheduling quiet time for yourself or getting out of the house every so often
- Drink in moderation
It may be tempting to drink too much during the festive period, but alcohol can contribute to stress, anxiety and depression, so try to keep your intake relatively low
- Avoid known triggers
If your family has a history of arguing over a certain topic, avoid bringing it up or excuse yourself when the family start discussing it
Christmas is expensive and can leave a lot of people scraping the bottom of their overdraft, getting into debt or having to ‘rein in the spending’ in the new year. If the festive season is a burden on your wallet, here are some tips for managing your Christmas finances and reducing your financial stress during the season:
- Pinpoint what is causing you financial stress
Buying gifts and attending social get-togethers can be expensive. Try and plan ways to reduce spending, for example you could suggest to friends and family to only buy for the children or organise a Secret Santa. Set a budget and make sure you stick to it
- Find low cost ways to have fun
Don’t let money cut you off from family and friends. Even going for a crisp Christmas walk can be festive. Why not arrange a get together at someone’s house where everyone brings a plate of food?
There are ways to overcome loneliness if you find yourself isolated or grieving a loved one over the Christmas period.
- Connect with friends and family
Even if you are separated by distance, you can always stay in touch with loved ones either online or by phone
It might not be for everyone, but why not lend a hand to a local shelter or charity? There are lots of charities who need help and you’ll be able to connect with people and feel good about making a positive contribution
- Attend events
Find out what is going on locally and get involved. Whether it’s Christmas carols or attending a Christmas market, getting out and about can help relieve loneliness
- Connect with strangers
For those who have recently lost a loved one, Christmas can intensify feelings of grief and sadness. If you can, open your doors to someone who would otherwise also be lonely this Christmas
Recognising and changing behaviours that contribute to your stress will help you get you through the Christmas period. Remember to stay healthy – eating well, exercising or getting outdoors and getting enough sleep can help you cope with any Christmas anxiety you may be feeling.
Here at HomeSwapper we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The HomeSwapper Customer Support team are always on hand to give advice and tips on how to get the most from HomeSwapper. They deal with Swappers every day and have a unique insight and view on the thousands of successful swaps that take place on HomeSwapper.