It’s that time of year again when life becomes a little crazy.
On top of our normal busyness, we have Christmas to organise. Food to bake, presents to buy, shops to navigate and all the social activities that we try to fit in. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed. However there are some simple measures that you can take so that you arrive on Christmas Day with a sense of excitement, not exhaustion and dread.
Here are a few tips. I hope you find them helpful.
- Write a list. This may seem pretty obvious but I find that if I write down everything that I have to do, I will be more organised. Write lists of presents to buy, cards to write and food that will need to be purchased. Most food can’t be bought ahead, apart from a Christmas cake or pudding. However if it is all written down, I won’t panic or forget something.
- Buy online or local. Most of my Christmas shopping has been done online. Yes I try to support the Australian industry but when I am super busy, I will buy from the most convenient retailer, be it in Australia or overseas. I then, don’t have to tackle all the crowded shopping centres. Just too stressful!! I also try and shop at local stores. This not only supports local businesses but I can often pick up unusual and unique gifts.
- Limit your social activities. At this time of year there are lots of parties and work functions to attend. Try and choose which ones you really want to attend or have to go to, so you don’t become exhausted and burn’t out. The world doesn’t end on Christmas Day so there will be lots of other opportunities to see friends without the added pressure. If you do find that you are out most nights, try and not make them all late nights.
- When socialising, don’t eat everything that is offered to you. We can end up feeling bloated and full (not to mention gain extra weight), from all the extra food we are eating. If eating out a lot, don’t eat every course or limit your portions. You will feel much better afterwards.
- Watch the alcohol. We tend to consume a lot more alcohol at this time of year. While this is part of the fun, how you feel the next day is definitely not. Don’t mix your drinks if possible, make sure you eat something with your drinks and have lots of water in-between and especially the next day, when you will feel the dehydrating effects of too many beverages.
- Prepare ahead for the big day. If you are hosting Christmas lunch or dinner, prepare any food that can be done ahead. Dips can be made or purchased a few days ahead and brandy butter can actually be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks or frozen if made earlier. Write a list (again), for the days leading up to Christmas and write down what needs to be bought or made on the preceding days. This avoids a last minute panic on the day. Believe me, the more lists I write, the more organised I am.
- Take some time out. This may sound ridiculous at this time of year but even if you have a walk every day or a brief time out in nature, or even a short nap, you will feel more refreshed and on top of things.
- Ask for help and delegate. Get the family involved and don’t try and do everything yourself. It’s very easy to think that you need to do everything if you are the host, but if you arrive on the day feeling absolutely exhausted, you won’t enjoy all your hard work. I used to think that I needed to control everything for it all to go smoothly. Invariably it did go well, but I ended up totally stressed and tired before anyone even arrived. I have slowly learn’t that I don’t need to do it all and it will still be okay. Yes others may not do things the way you do, but does it really matter. Having a good time is far more important.
- It doesn’t have to be perfect. We can get caught up in buying the perfect present, having the perfect tree, the perfect table arrangement and preparing the perfect food, but why make it so hard for ourselves. Most people appreciate whatever you buy them and generally enjoy the day, no matter how the tree or table looks, so long as they have enough to eat and can enjoy each others company. From being a total control freak and having everything perfect, I now involve the family. It is much more fun and everyone enjoys being a part of the total preparations.
- Look after you own needs leading up to the big day. Have a Reflexology treatment so you feel more relaxed and less stressed. If you absolutely don’t have time for this, make sure you do so in the New Year so you start 2016 afresh.
These are just a few suggestions to help your Christmas go more smoothly. Christmas can be a wonderful time or can be stressful with the whole family attending. A mix of personalities can be challenging but ultimately everyone is there to have a good time and celebrate whatever Christmas means to them. Try not to stress and enjoy the day.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and trust in my care and wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas. I look forward to working with you in 2016.