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How to Avoid Overwhelm at Christmas

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

New Year’s resolutions, relaxing, having fun and the spirit of giving are what usually come to mind when you think of Christmas. However, for many people, the festive season is one of the busiest times of the year. Between parties, family get-togethers, shopping trips and other social events, December can feel like it’s busier than any other month of the year. If you’re feeling a little stressed about all the things that need to be done before Santa comes knocking on your door with gifts, read on for some useful tips about how to avoid overwhelm at Christmas without sacrificing joy


Plan everything in advance

Planning your schedule in advance will help you to avoid being overwhelmed by the number of things you need to get done in a very short time. It is important that you make a list of everything you need to do and break it down into small, manageable tasks. This will help you to focus on completing one task at a time and avoid getting distracted by everything you still have left to do. If you’re hosting a party or gathering, make a guest list and a to-do list for yourself. By writing down what needs to be done, you are less likely to forget anything. You can also use this time to create a budget for gifts and food. Having everything planned in advance will help you to avoid rushing around at the last minute, which is when most mistakes occur.


Delegate what you can

If you are hosting a party, you can’t do everything yourself. You will get stressed out and probably won’t have much fun. Instead, delegate some of the work to your guests. Ask them to bring food or drinks. They will appreciate the invitation and you get to save some money! If you are in a couple, try to delegate some of the tasks that both of you need to do. For example, if you need to wrap a gift and your partner needs to buy something, you can trade tasks so that both of you are more relaxed. If you are a student, ask your friends if they will do some things for you. If at all possible, exchange services with friends and family members. For example, if your neighbour has kids and is busy cleaning up their toys, offer to do some housework in return for something you would like done. Every little helps, right?


Set clear boundaries

Make a wish list for yourself and set boundaries around what you need and don’t need to do during the holidays. If you have children, set boundaries for them as well. Many people find that the holidays are a stressful time because they feel obliged to spend time with friends and family and buy gifts for everyone. Some people may not feel comfortable being open about their boundaries, and you may need to gently tell them that you are overwhelmed. You can also let people know that you appreciate their company, but you don’t have the energy to host a get-together, so you would rather meet them at a restaurant or their house. If you have a hard time setting boundaries, try writing them down. This will help you to clearly define what your boundaries are and make you feel more confident about sticking to them.


Find your “happy place”

Find a place where you can go to relax and be yourself, such as a coffee shop or a park. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can go there and do something that you enjoy, such as reading a book, walking or listening to music. Going to your happy place can help you to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of the festive season and recharge your batteries. If you are hosting a party, try to have a quiet spot where your guests can go to relax. Your guests may also appreciate a space where they can go to unwind. If you have kids, it can be helpful they have their own little place too, as sometimes they need that little bit of downtime or time out.



Think about your eating arrangements

This year, I am eating out on Christmas eve. I originally wanted to go out on the big day, but it costs so much more than I was willing to pay. I completely get why costs are that high, but I'd rather spend that money on other things. The plan now is to have a nice festive meal out on Christmas eve and then on Christmas day, I will just do nibbles and party food. That way I am not slaving way all day in the kitchen. Winner winner for me!! If you can't do that, consider planning ahead of time so you aren't overwhelmed and if you are having people over, ask them to bring a dish or two.

Remember, don't forget to be kind to yourself

The holidays are a time for being with loved ones and celebrating the season, but you don’t have to push yourself to do everything.

Sometimes, putting your feet up and taking a breather is exactly what you need to recharge and get back to enjoying the holidays.

You do whatever you need to do to have a good Christmas. You are not in competition with anyone else. Your needs are important, and it is ok to say no! Have a good one and if you need me, shout.

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