As the famous Christmas song goes , ‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la….’ We’re pretty sure the lyrics don’t include ‘Tis the season to get stressed out to the max trying to find the perfect present, argue over the right way to cook the turkey and worry about your finances, fa la la…’
It’s easy to forget what a happy and joyous time of the year it can be, when stress and anxiety builds and builds to the point of breaking. We put too much pressure on ourselves to have the perfect Christmas that often we grow to fear and resent the holiday season.
No matter what your heritage is or what religion you follow, it’s important to keep the Christmas spirit in your heart. It’s a time for caring, sharing and spending time with loved ones. It’s a time to put bad memories behind you, celebrate the good times and look forward to a new year full of promise and adventure.
Of course, this can be easier said than done, which is why we’ve put together a few tips to help dust off the ‘Bah Humbug’ mentality and embrace what is truly the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Be Organised
The easiest way to avoid unnecessary stress is to make sure that you are as well prepared as possible for whatever yuletide conundrums may be thrown at you.
The Todoist app is great for taking note of your daily/weekly/monthly tasks, so you can jot down any eureka ideas or chores whilst you’re on the go. Start early and use an app, spreadsheet or good old-fashioned notebook to organize what you need to get, when your deadlines are and how you’re going to manage your finances.
2. Forgive and forget
Let go of any grudges or grievances and embrace forgiveness. No matter what has happened or however heinous the crime, learn to forgive and forget. Forgiveness is not about weakness or even whether the perpetrator deserves it, it’s so you can come to terms with the event, move on and find inner peace.
Christmas is a much happier time when all ill-doings are forgotten and you can start on a fresh, clean slate.
3. Be appreciative of your blessings
Take stock of what you have in your life, not what you lack. Keep a gratitude journal and write down 3 positive accomplishments from the day or 3 things that you’re grateful for. Everyone is blessed, just in different ways, so it’s useful to reflect and measure just how many positive, happy things and achievements you have to be proud of.
4. Make time for loved ones
The Christmas season is definitely a prime time for getting together with all your favourite people, friends, family and loved ones.
Happiness studies have found that spending time with people that you like and love has a profound effect on your mood and wellbeing. Christmas is a time for catching up with everyone you know and love and share happy times and memories.
5. Enjoy it
Don’t be a perfectionist, because perfection is unattainable. Do your best to prepare for the festivities and then just sit back, relax and enjoy it. Don’t worry about what more you could have done, how your presents will be received or how much your bank balance has depleted.
Everything has a habit of working itself out and having a positive mindset will enable your stresses and strains to melt away, leaving you to simply enjoy and make the most of the holiday season.
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more.” – Dr. Seuss