Despite all the pretty decorations and celebrations Christmas time can be a stressful time of year for some people. Whether it is rushing to get all of your work tidied up before the close of the office, financial distress about how to afford presents for everyone, worry about how to put on the perfect feast or going off the rails of your summer body plan you can overcome it this Christmas.
Christmas isn’t about giving the most expensive present, preparing the best meal, what you look like or how much work you get done. Christmas is about sharing a laugh with your loved ones, spreading goodwill and Christmas cheer in the community, appreciating others and being kind to yourself. It is about spreading joy, love and peace. So focus on creating an atmosphere of joy, love and peace rather than looking at Christmas as an event to organise. Not only will this leave you feeling less up tight but it will also make you have a better more meaningful festive season.
We do however recognise sometimes it can be hard to focus on sharing the Christmas spirit when you are feeling stressed out so here are some tips to make it easier.
For the waist line:
- Go easy on the starches such as cereals, rice, pasta, cakes, pastries, biscuits as well vegetables such as potatoes, yams, carrots, parsnips and swede. These foods drive our insulin levels up resulting in our bodies storing fat. Instead have an extra slice of turkey and opt for non-starchy vegetables such as cabbage, kale, spinach, sprouts, leeks, broccoli and cauliflower.
- Go for red wine over white wine, beer or spirits as red wine is higher in antioxidants and contains less “empty” calories than the others. The ideal would be opting for no alcohol – but we have to realistic here, it’s Christmas! Have your large Christmas meal at lunchtime rather than in the evening.
- No snacking as this is really the way to pack on the extra weight. Try to ensure your meals are sufficiently dense in nutrition to last until the next one. If you must snack try to go for a slice of meat, cheese or vegetables rather than crisps, cakes or biscuits.
- Prepare desserts with real fruit or dark chocolate over milk.
For the task orientated person:
- Make a list of achievable tasks then cut it in half. Remember people are going to be impacted more by the feelings of love and joy rather than if you had fancy napkins or not.
- Share the duties amongst your colleagues, family or friends.
- Arrange childcare in advance if you can afford it to take the stress out of carting the kids around whilst trying to get everything sorted.
For the stressed out worker:
- Be realistic with the work you can get done before your holiday, prioritise your work load and flag any tasks that might not be able to get done as early as possible with your manager.
- Identify tasks that can be pushed back until the New Year and leave them until then.
- If you are really struggling to get your work done before your break perhaps skip one of the many Christmas get togethers or go but don’t get carried away.
- Limit your alcohol intake and go home at a reasonable time so you will be refreshed and ready to work at your peak the next day.
For the financially burdened:
- Shop smart, the only thing more stressful than Christmas is starting the New Year with a mountain of debt. Get to the shops as early as possible to avoid the stressful shopping mall hustle. Online shopping is also a great tool to check out what’s out there and to compare prices without the high pressure of being in store with hundreds of people and a store attendant hovering over your shoulder.
- Shop around for food and drink. You don’t need to get everything from the one store make the most of local produce on sale at markets and buy drinks and non perishables in bulk from discount stores.
- Don’t be shy to ask others to bring things.
- Do a secret Santa.
- Get the kids to make home made cards for friends and family and even gifts for some like Grandparents who love that sort of thing.
For more Christmas spirit:
- Invite someone in the community who doesn’t have anyone to spend Christmas with to join you. It may be that lady down the road or someone from work who has family overseas. Put the offer out there for them to decide.
- Volunteer as a family or group of friends or colleagues to help out a local charity prepare Christmas lunch or hampers for those in need. You will help restore hope to some of the most marginalised and hopeless groups in the community and will be surprised at how good it will leave you feeling. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
- If you don’t already have Christmas traditions, establish some. Attend a carol concert, pay a visit to Santa, or go to a service at your local Church or a friends Church even if you are not very religious it can help you focus on the meaning of Christmas is a lovely experience, do some Christmas baking, watch a Christmas movie or leave out cookies and milk for Santa.
We hope the above tips will help you experience a stress free very happy Christmas full of laughter, hugs and smiles. The team at Docmate sincerely wishes you a very happy Christmas and will be raising a toast to all of our followers and supporters. Thank you for your support in 2012 and we look forward to sharing an exciting 2013 with you all!