What does the festive season mean for you? Does it conjure up an enjoyable, fun time spent with loved ones or a domino effect of stressful events that finally culminates on Christmas day? Are you a keep it simple kind of organiser or are you more of a “Home Beautiful magazine/Martha Stewart” type of host?
Christmas time can bring out high expectations and usually the one putting the most pressure on us is ourselves. Having to buy/make the most creative and magnificent presents, having to be 5 kilos skinnier for the big family reunion, having to have your entire house spotless for the entire family to visit and mess up, having to set out the perfect Christmas table, having to decorate the house like a Christmas magazine shoot and having to make enough gourmet food to feed 3 times the amount of guests that are arriving. Even if Christmas is not at your house, melt downs are still a major possibility. Driving all around the country side in either blazing hot (in Australia) or bone chilling freezing (Northern Hemisphere) weather trying to fit in all the relatives so as not to offend anyone, trying to avoid a family feud with that relative who always seems to know what to say to push your buttons and trying to console the kids who burst into tears when told by Nanna that they can’t open the presents until after they have eaten all of their Christmas lunch, including the brussel sprouts.
To add insult to injury we double our stress load by adding Christmas stress to our workplace. Having to get every bit of work done before knock off on Christmas eve, racing around in our lunch break getting those last minute presents, having to schmooze at the work Christmas party, stressing out about Christmas bonuses, and wasting hours of thought and anxiety over something as trivial as having to buy the best ever work Kris Kringle present.
Why, oh why, do we put so much strain and pressure on ourselves? When we stress we are not helping ourselves in any way. We get grumpy, tired and let’s face it we are not much fun to be around, but to make matters worse we also release a bunch of hormones throughout our body that are just not are good for our health in any way.
We are not perfect, we are human and we do not live on a make believe Christmas movie set. It is okay to let some of our perfectionist ways go. Sometimes we over complicate our lives and create tension when she should be enjoying ourselves. Life is so much happier and relaxing when we are not trying to be picture-perfect or live out some fantasy expectation! Christmas time is a wonderful time of year and should be a time of year that we celebrate and enjoy….not a time of year that dread and wish was over.
What tips do you have for a stress free festive season?