“Oh no, it’s December already!” That is how many people react when we, once again, enter the last month of the year. To many, Christmas equals stress, because they - in addition to the Christmas shopping - feel that they have much more than usual to live up to in December: Christmas parties almost every weekend, family get-togethers, decorating, baking and an intensified effort at work in order to make it all before the holidays. Reaching Christmas Eve, most people are exhausted and maybe even turn sick. But it doesn’t have to be that way - we hereby give you some simple pieces of advice on how to avoid Christmas stress.
You’re a human, not some supernatural superhero with four arms, who manages everything at double speed of everyone else. Therefore, it’s important to be realistic when planning December: can I make it to two Christmas parties in one day? Will it be too much for me having every single weekend booked? Do I have the time for all the Christmas activities with the kids, that I’ve thought about doing? During Christmas, you often want to do a lot, because you want to make other people happy, but you won’t do that by grinding yourself down. Therefore, reconsider before saying yes to every single Christmas event and activity.
Christmas shopping is often something that many people postpone until the very last moment, because they don’t have the time or can’t pull themselves together to do it. But if you wait until right before Christmas Eve to buy presents, it will haunt you the whole month and provide unnecessary stress. Make a plan of which gifts to buy for whom and choose a day to be effective and buy your presents. If you don’t have the time to go out and shop, you might benefit from doing it online - many websites offer free delivery in December and you won’t have to rush through the overcrowded stores.
For most people, December is also a stressful time at work, since the last effort of the year needs to be made and there’s a lot of extra work to do before the holidays kick in. When combined with stress at home, this quickly becomes a dangerous mix. Therefore, it’s important that you stop working when leaving the office. As far as possible, try not to bring home work and close your email when returning home. Tell yourself that when you enter your home, you leave the job outside and devote yourself to your private life. That way, you gain more energy for the other things planned in connection with the Christmas season.
Most of the Christmas stress comes from the fact that we want to see to as much as possible as well as turn the expectations for Christmas and December up way too high - especially for our children. If you, from the start, don’t set the expectations too high and make Christmas a relaxed, joyful time with a realistic amount of activities, you won’t experience the same amount of stress and your children will have a ‘normal’ view of Christmas. You’re not a bad parent just because there aren’t activities and events every single day.
What do you do to avoid Christmas stress?
Whether you’re currently using scheduling software, Excel or even a pen and paper, switching to Smartplan is quick and easy.
Smartplan combines a simple, user-friendly interface and powerful scheduling tools to create a system that just works.
We’ve ditched unnecessary frills and functions to give you the most cost-effective solution.