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Coping With Christmas Stress

by Jessica Amey

Christmas should be a time when people are able to enjoy a nice holiday with their friends and family but I know it doesn’t always work like that and can actually be a pretty stressful time.

Spending too much, eating too much, arguing with family or even burning the parsnips and overcooking the turkey can all lead to feeling too stressed to enjoy the day.

I’ve always tried to do as much as possible to limit stress at Christmas but I know that is mainly due to my circumstances and that not everyone can do these things.

These are my top tips:

Don’t cook, unless you enjoy it of course. I personally could think of nothing worse than spending most of the day cooking up a meal that will get eaten in less than half an hour so I don’t. Luckily Mr C’s Dad lives down the road and invites everyone there so that’s where we go and if we don’t ever have anywhere to go then we will go out instead. I’ve done this before and it’s actually quite nice to get out of the house, and even nicer knowing that you don’t have to do mountains of washing up.

Don’t overspend. I’ve written about this earlier in the month – Why We’re Having A Second-Hand Christmas – if you can’t afford to buy lots of presents then suggest a ‘buy for the kids only’ arrangement. If people don’t want to do that then just make gifts – biscuits, sugar scrub, chutney, Pinterest is FULL of home-made present ideas that won’t break the bank.

Don’t arrange to see too many people on Christmas Day. This isn’t much of an issue for me as I don’t really have any extended family on my dad’s side and I don’t have anything to do with the extended family on my mum’s side (long story). Obviously for most people there are lots of family members they need to visit but spread it out over the week so the kids get to enjoy some time on Christmas Day playing with their presents instead of rushing around. We are going to be seeing my Dad, Sister and Brother on Boxing Day and Mr C’s Sister a bit later in the week.

Don’t stress about doing a BIG Christmas shop, the supermarkets are only shut for ONE DAY, I have no idea why people go and fill a trolley as if they won’t have the chance to buy food for a month!

If you do still feel stressed about it all though then don’t worry, you’re not alone.


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