Tips for managing Christmas season stress

November 8, 2016
christmas, christmas stress, stress, seasonal stress, xmas stress, xmas

christmas, christmas stress, stress, seasonal stress, xmas stress, xmas

In my newsletter that went out to subscribers last week I touched a little on how prevalent stress is this time of year and shared a few tips to manage it.  I thought I would expand on that a little and share it in a blog post.  Please note though that I am no expert on managing stress, these are just my thoughts on the subject.

I find it hard to believe it’s November already and that Christmas is almost upon us!  November seems to be the bridge between Halloween and Christmas, the month where quite a lot of pressure and stress can take hold if we’re not careful.  Yes, there is still some of December to go before Christmas is here but have you seen how fast those early days of December disappear?!! 

If you’ve got children at school there is all the busyness of the end of school year activities.  Then there is the Christmas shopping, food planning and gift buying to be done, and of course all the associated expense.  On top of all that there are all the Christmas parties to fit in (some of us have more of those than others)!

Quick tips for managing Christmas season stress

  1. Plan ahead to avoid last-minute panic buying
  2. Make lists to help yourself feel organised. Tick off tasks as they’re done.
  3. Have a budget and stick to it
  4. Don’t accept EVERY invitation just to be polite. If it’s all getting too much, be selective.
  5. Shop on-line where you can
  6. Get your Christmas cards written and sent early OR opt for an email or eCard alternative
  7. Take time out for yourself when you need it
  8. Don’t forget to keep up your exercise routine
  9. Enjoy a few drinks and some treat foods but try not to over indulge too much!
  10. Have an agreed plan with family members as to who buys gifts for whom and a budget too if you like. Keep it realistic!
  11. Share the cooking amongst relatives
  12. Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy yourself!

In addition to the above, there are people who have additional stresses like these below (with a few thoughts that might help a little):

  • Financial issues – Budget is essential to avoid overspending. Simplify Christmas celebrations. Seek financial advice if experiencing severe difficulties.
  • Isolation – If separated from family, keep in touch using technology like Skype or FaceTime. Attend community events such as Carols by Candlelight to help you feel the Christmas spirit. Make plans for Christmas Day. If you’ve no-one to share the day with, consider volunteering for charity work, e.g. helping the Salvation Army serve Christmas lunch to people in need.
  • Separation or divorce – Separated parents should try to be civil around the children. Allow yourself to feel the emotions and loss of what this time used to be. Don’t bottle your feelings up. Talk to family and friends. Hopefully an agreement has been come to so that both parents get equal time with the children over the Christmas period.
  • Step families – Make decisions prior to Christmas as to how you will spend the day making sure the children are involved.  Stagger the celebrations so that each child gets to spend time with both their natural parents and their step-parents.
  • Family tensions – Acceptance is the word I think of here. If family tensions are the norm, then it’s likely it will be the case again this Christmas.  Try and avoid over indulging in alcohol because this is when our inhibitions are reduced and you don’t want to say something you might regret!  Perhaps try to sensitively keep warring relatives apart as much as possible.
  • Bereavement – Everyone experiences and shows grief in different ways.  One person may wish to be alone whereas another needs company and to talk. Christmas will be difficult but best not ignored. Perhaps try doing something different this year?  Don’t feel guilty if you find yourself having a good time – sharing a few laughs with family or friends doesn’t mean you don’t love or miss that special person.  On the flip side, don’t feel guilty if you don’t have a good time.

christmas stress, christmas, stress

I don’t have any children at school anymore so don’t have the end of school year craziness, but I do need to get my Christmas shopping done during November.  Why?  Because I’m taking off on an 8 night South Pacific Cruise in early December, that’s why!  It wouldn’t be nice to have all the Christmas shopping hanging over my head on my return. I’m not sure how good the internet access will be whilst I’m on the cruise, but hopefully I’ll get some snaps through to Instagram and the WOTM Facebook page.  Of course, there will also be a post about the experience sometime soon after my return!

How are you travelling so far with the looming silly season?  I am about to launch into list making and planning mode in an attempt to get as organised as I possibly can.  I have my twin boys’ birthday coming up on 19 November, a cruise to prepare for, and all my Christmas shopping to get done over the next 4 weeks, in addition to my regular activities.  Not a problem! {cough}

I think I will be very glad when I finally set foot on that cruise ship!!

Ciao for now,


Linking up with Kylie Purtell for #IBOT

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  • Reply Bec Senyard November 8, 2016 at 7:57 am

    All great tips Min. I need to get my butt into gear and get organized with my gifts. I’m hosting Christmas this year so I will also need to think about food for the day and what we will do as a family together. x

    • Reply Min November 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks Bec! I need to get my butt into gear too. I’ve only got November to get the bulk of my Xmas shopping done and we’re already almost up to the 9th day of it! Good luck hosting. Knowing you everything will look awesome, the food will be incredible, and it will be a fabulous day for all the family. πŸ™‚ xo

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid November 8, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Great tips, Min! As sad as it is to be so far away from our friends and family, it reduces a lot of the stress, not to mention the cost. This year, we’re going to friends and we don’t have to take a thing except some wine and ourselves! Winning! As for that cruise, I think my little niece and nephew will be on board too! I’m looking forward to the cruise report upon your return πŸ™‚

    • Reply Min November 8, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks Sammie. Yes I know it would be sad for you being away from your family & UK friends but your Xmas this year does sound relaxing and fabulous! I often dream of taking off overseas and experiencing a white Christmas. One year I will do that! Oooo I wonder if your little niece and nephew are in fact going to be on the same cruise! I’m sure I’ll be able to pick them from the hoards! LOL Yes there will be a cruise report upon my return! πŸ™‚ xo

  • Reply Raychael Case November 8, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Great tips. Christmas is far more enjoyable and far less stressful now that we’ve moved 5000 kms away from extended family. We use to spend two full days travelling to catch up with everyone because of dysfunction and divorce where some people just couldn’t be in the same town let alone house to celebrate.

    We are in the thick of exams right now with our three girls (yr 9, 11 & 12), we also have my middle daughter’s 17th on December 14, with hubby leaving for a month at sea in a fortnight. I can hardly think about Christmas and almost want to see if the family would be up to not celebrating this year. We are in temporary accommodation as well while we await the sale of our old house and the purchase of our new one. I wouldn’t even know where to look for our Christmas tree.

    Your cruise sounds rather appealing.

    • Reply Min November 8, 2016 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks Raychael – OMG two full days travelling around to see family for Xmas! I think the move was a good idea! lol I know what it’s like to be in the middle of exams with your high school kids. Mine of course are all finished school and just my daughter still at University. Oh gosh and you’re in temporary accommodation. Oh Raychael – do something easy for Christmas this year. Go out for lunch or something. Yes our cruise does sound appealing doesn’t it. Still, lots to do before then but I think I will be very glad to take off on that cruise when the time comes! Take care of you! xo

  • Reply Hugzilla November 8, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    OMG OMG OMG this year is shaping up to be one of our best. As I read through your post I realised that I have to worry about not much at all, because all of our family is buggering off for Christmas and we will be spending it as a family. At home. Alone. BLISS. No weird family stuff. No rushing from place to place. Just the four of us chilling out and playing with our new toys. I haven’t been this excited about Christmas in YEARS.

    • Reply Min November 8, 2016 at 9:13 pm

      Wow no rushing around from place to place – I must say I am envious with a CAPITAL E! We have lunch with one family … then dash to the other side of town for dinner with the other. Of course it is always a hideously hot and humid day and we are all WAY overheated which adds to the whole exhaustion of the day! Anyway – no wonder you are excited!! Enjoy!! Grrr… πŸ˜‰ xo

  • Reply Nicole @ The Builder's Wife November 8, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great tips Min! We love Christmas here and rarely find it too much of a stress, but you have given me a few tips that will help minimise it even more. xx

    • Reply Min November 8, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Nicole! I’m glad you love Christmas and don’t find it too much of a stress! Lucky you! Glad my tips have been helpful anyway! πŸ™‚ xo

  • Reply Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection November 8, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Great tips Min and ones I need to put into place NOW. I am one to make a list, check it twice and then put it away and forget about it. I would love to travel in December – get away from the hectic shops for a few days

    • Reply Min November 8, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Natalie! I’ve yet to make my lists but it will be happening by the end of this week. Must.Get.Organised! lol I quite like a bit of a getaway in December to chill out a bit before Christmas. We’re all feeling exhausted by the end of the year and desperate for a holiday. Usually we go to the beach for a week so a cruise is certainly something very different! πŸ™‚ xo

  • Reply Renee Wilson November 8, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Great advice, Min. I really am trying to keep on top of stress this silly season, however we have more than a couple of those additional stresses you’ve outlined going on. Fingers crossed all goes according to plan.

    • Reply Min November 8, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you Renee! So sorry to hear you’ve got some of those additional stresses for the Christmas season. Take care of yourself, breathe and you will get through it, I’m sure. xo

  • Reply Cat@life through the haze November 9, 2016 at 11:51 am

    How exciting you have a cruise to look forward to and to relax to help you ease into the silly season.
    I am going to sit down with hubster tonight and discuss the Christmas budget so that I can start doing some planning. He has some ideas and we also have our son’s birthday before Christmas that we need to get sorted for (which is actually only just over 2wks away) and we are not organised for anything!
    In amongst all of this we are hoping to get on a cruise in the new year too!!! If we can do that it will be super exciting and will sustain me through the silly season.

    • Reply Min November 10, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Cathy – yes it is exciting but SO much to get done and get organised before I go! Think I won’t be excited until I board the ship! I have my twin son’s birthday coming up on 19th Nov and I need to work out what we’re doing as well as what to get them…and then of course all the Christmas shopping. I hope all goes well for your son’s birthday and that you get to go on that cruise next year! I’m not sure if I’ll like a cruise so an 8 night one is hopefully not too long and not too short to test it out. It’ll be nice to relax and get away prior to Christmas!! πŸ™‚ xo

  • Reply Jo @ You had us at hello November 9, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Loving your tips πŸ™‚ I plan to get organised this month. I was a few years ago and wow it makes a difference. List are being made, Secret Santa person noted, I just gotta figure out school holiday care for the kids now I’m back at work – eek! Your cruise sounds amazing!! We dream of a quiet Christmas one year – we’re doing the usual rush. Rush to get harvest finished, then Christmas with inlaws and Boxing with mine. Must keep CALM and breath #teamIBOT

    • Reply Min November 10, 2016 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks Jo! My week has been so busy this week I haven’t had a chance to start my lists yet. Next week!! Sounds like you’re more organised than me at this point! Oh the holiday care for kids – I had many years of sorting that one out. I’m free of it now and it’s wonderful. Yes I dream of a quiet Christmas one year too. One day! Yes keep CALM and breathe – always helps! lol πŸ™‚ xo

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