Sometimes it feels like the end of the calendar year is anything but joyful. Between the Christmas shopping crowds, trying to finish all your work before annual leave begins, and seeing the relatives it’s no wonder we feel stressed! But it doesn’t need to be that way. Follow our tips to stress less and look after your health this Christmas.
Get Organised Early
Most people have good intentions to be organised in the lead-up to Christmas, but few of us are. Before we know it, Christmas is around the corner and we haven’t made a start.
Plan it Out
If you’re hosting Christmas dinner, having friends over or family are coming to stay, your mental ‘to do list’ can be overwhelming. You may feel more in control by writing out everything you need to do, rather than keeping it in your head. Break up big tasks into small sub-tasks that are easy to complete.
Write out a detailed plan of what you need to do. Put tasks in order and start tackling the tasks you can do in advance such as present buying, menu planning and booking your holiday accommodation. If you have time, start now and do a few tasks each week or one per day.
Learn to Say No
It’s a busy time and if you say yes to everything, you can find yourself exhausted. Don’t spread yourself thin - choose what’s most important and shift the rest.
Plan early so you can suggest catching up with some friends in October or November or leave it until after the silly season is over. Trying to squeeze everything into December, is only going to make you resent the holidays and feel overwhelmed.
If you get stressed, don’t feel guilty about cancelling an event to take some time out to relax and recharge your batteries. If you can’t reschedule and are feeling swamped, ask for some help. Try delegating some of your jobs so you aren’t doing it all.
Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself
When so much time and planning goes into one day like Christmas Day, we want it to be perfect. We often have unrealistic expectations of Christmas and when they aren’t met, we feel down.
Often, we think everyone else is having a wonderful day and we’re the only ones struggling, but that’s not the case. Many people will tell you while everything looks rosy on the outside, it’s emotionally and physically exhausting.
If you have an argument with your partner, you overcook the roast, or the relatives are annoying, try and see small irritations and pressures in context, brush them off rather than letting them bother you.
Rolling with the punches will help you move on. Very few days in life are perfect and as much as we’d like it to be, Christmas Day is rarely one of them!
Look After Your Health
With so much rushing around and the added stress, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself.
Watch Out For Accidents
Workplace accidents are more likely to occur just before the festive season. Workplace Victoria says one in four workplace fatalities have occurred in the lead-up to Christmas during the past decade. Accidents and fatalities occur because:
- People are rushing to get the job done before close-down
- Workers don’t have their mind on the job
- New or untrained staff are brought in to cope with the increased demand
- Increased traffic causes more motor vehicle accidents
When you are working, keep your mind on your job rather than worrying about how much you have to do when you get home. If the workload is too much to handle, tell your supervisor rather than letting the stress build-up. While driving on the busy roads, stay alert so you can anticipate other drivers’ mistakes.
Limit Your Alcohol
It’s easy to drink in excess during the holiday period. Many of the events we attend serve alcohol and you may go to more social gatherings than you do for the rest of the year. It’s a fun, social time of year but be aware of the consequences of too much alcohol. Drinking to excess can put you in embarrassing or dangerous situations and it never solves our problems. Also, waking up with a hangover will only make it harder to face another busy day tomorrow.
Don’t Ignore Your Feelings
For many families, Christmas time is full of tradition. Some of our strongest childhood memories are of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It’s normal to think back on our childhood and early adult years with mixed positive and negative feelings.
This time of the year can be very difficult remembering loved ones who have passed away or those you can’t be with us because of distance. It can make you feel more sad and lonely than any other time of the year. Organise to join a friend or family for a meal, look for a community event you can attend or volunteer at a lunch in the park on Christmas Day. Being connected with others makes for a happier season.
If you find the end of the year is stressful, ask for help. Know you aren’t alone, many people find the holiday season difficult. Contact PeopleSense by Altius on 1300 307 912 or (08) 9388 9000, or contact us online.