On the first day of Christmas, my daughter sent to me, an extensive list of present ideas. On the second day of Christmas, my workplace gave to me, an unachievable list of yearly tasks. On the third day of Christmas, my partner said to me, ‘My mother’s staying for an extra three days.’ On the twelfth day of Christmas, I sat on the floor and had a mental breakdown.
Although Christmas is full of fairy lights and minced pies, there’s no denying it’s an intense time of year. And it’s not uncommon to find yourself burning out before the big day. But don’t worry. We’ve got a few essential tips on how to avoid Christmas stress for a stress free Christmas (or close enough).
1. Organise Your Gift-Giving to Avoid Christmas Stress
Christmas is all about gifts. Okay, it’s really about spending time with family (and wine). But there’s no denying that presents play a significant role. So, get yourself organised instead of leaving it to the last minute. Here’s how:
Make a Spreadsheet
If you’re an organiser-aholic, this one is for you. Making Excel or Google Sheets documents is a simple way to keep track of gifts. Note everyone you need to buy presents for and plan what to get them.
Next, prioritise each person. Who are the most essential people in your life? Change the items to green once you’ve bought each one. It helps to keep track of who you’ve bought for, what you’ve spent and who’s left. And, most importantly, it stops the Christmas Eve scramble into town, or worse, the local garage.
Set a Christmas Budget
Once you’ve got everyone into a spreadsheet and decided what you’re getting, make a budget. Decide how much you want to spend overall, then dedicate an amount to each person. You’ll probably want more for the people closest to you. Ensure you stick to it, and don’t forget the sneaky expense of postage and packing!
Read more: How to Have the Most Sustainable Christmas 2023.
2. Say No to Events to Minimise Christmas Stress
Knowing how to cope with Christmas stress is tricky. Christmas carols, the children’s school play, a gathering at your friend's house, work drinks…where does it end? Although these festivities are fun, they pack your calendar, leaving you burnt out by the time Christmas day rolls around.
Say no to unimportant events. Make a list of things that you have to go to and keep the ones you enjoy. The rest, you can scrap.
If you’re someone who thinks you must go to everything (which, by the way, you don’t), try compromising. Instead of staying at the pub with work colleagues all night, go for a few drinks. Set an alarm to ensure you leave so you can be in bed by 10 pm. That’s the life (or is it just us?).
Read more: How To Reduce Hormonal Stress.
3. Don’t Do it Alone - Ask for Support
Women, in particular, have a habit of doing everything alone. You might feel the need to have a sparkling home for visitors. Cook the best dinner with everyone’s favourite dishes. Wrap presents, send Christmas cards, and attend events, all while doing daily chores. Our number one tip for a no stress Christmas? Ask for help.
If there’s something another family member can do, let them do it. It may not be perfect, but it will take the heat off you during Christmas. It’s also crucial to let go of perfection. The important thing is it gets done without sacrificing your well-being.
4. Nurture Your Body to Lower Christmas Stress
The more stressed you get, the easier it is to reach for the Celebrations you were planning to give to your Secret Santa (oh well, you can always get another box). There’s no harm in grabbing chocolate, but when you use it for emotional eating, it will skyrocket your stress levels.
Emotional eating is a stress response. Your brain seeks a dopamine hit (your happy hormone), and the fastest way to do that is by hauling down sugar. Yummy - at least a first. But this can make you feel sluggish, tired, irritable, and disrupt your focus. So, instead, use healthy creature comforts. Here are a few ideas:
Keep Healthy Snacks in the House
Batch cook so you have go-to meals in the fridge and make homemade protein balls for a pick-me-up. Try stocking up on snacks like nuts (very festive). They’re a fantastic and straightforward way to increase your superfoods.
Get Enough Beauty Sleep
A 2007 study shows that sleep deprivation impairs long-term memory, decision-making and focus. That means you’re inviting stress into your life when you don’t have enough rest. It’s best to get between seven and nine hours of sleep, although the amount is unique to the individual.
Of course, not everyone can sleep as long as they want. Newborn babies and demanding jobs are just some things that can make it challenging. Therefore, it’s wise to stick to a relaxing bedtime routine and wake up refreshed.
Read more: 5 Reasons You Procrastinate Going to Bed.
5. Take Stress Support Supplements
Long, dark winter nights and grey skies can make everything feel like more work, including looking after your health. Before you know it, that health kick you went on over the summer has disappeared along with the sun. However, it’s imperative to look after your mental health in winter. And that includes taking your supplements.
We recommend our Arella Rise - Morning Energy Supplement and Arella Energise - Energy Boost Supplement. They are mindfully formulated with stress-reducing ingredients such as ginseng, turmeric, lemon balm and chamomile. The infusion of ingredients relaxes your mind, body and soul while supercharging your energy levels.
Get Ahead, Relax And Avoid Christmas Stress
Although some Christmas stress is inevitable, you can reduce it with these essential tips and tricks. Mimise burnout and make more room for joy and celebration. After all, isn’t that what the season’s really about? Tap into the peaceful side of yourself and avoid Christmas stress with Arella Beauty.
How to Have the Most Sustainable Christmas
How to Improve Your Mental Health in Winter
How To Boost Your Immune System In Autumn
Written by Emma Carey for Arella Beauty.
Emma is a holistic beauty and wellness writer. She has three years of experience in the well-being industry and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Wellness. Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.