3 Simple Strategies to Enjoy Christmas Without the Stress
While it’s meant to be the most beautiful, we understand that life can get pretty overwhelming around this time of year.
With the strain put on yourself, your family and your wallet having to do Christmas gift shopping and organising big dinners and parties, it’s not surprising that a survey conducted by Healthline found that 62% of people find their stress levels sky-rocketing during the Christmas Season.
In this article, Beata Justkowiak, Psychologist and Life Coach from Energising Goals, shares 3 simple strategies that can make a big difference in keeping those stress levels at bay, so that you can stay merry this festive season!
1. Create a Game Plan and Prepare for Different Responses
Having to meet so many new people, and make so much small talk during Christmas gatherings can be overwhelming, even to those who are naturals at leading and maintaining a conversation.
To make the most out of your conversations during these parties with the least amount of stress possible, you can do yourself a favor by doing a little bit of preparation. Think in advance what you can talk about and with whom.
Who will you be seeing at the gathering? What do they usually say or ask based on conversations with them from previous gatherings, how do you usually respond to these and what could be your new response to change the dialogue this time around?
2. Give Yourself Some Breaks by Leaving What’s Uncomfortable
When you’re feeling overwhelmed to a point that is no longer manageable, allow yourself to take a break and let your emotions have a chance to cool down too. Even a short 10 minute break can make a huge difference.
Everyone needs to use the bathroom from time-to-time, so no one is going to call you out for disappearing for a couple of minutes. Sometimes, taking these few short minutes to remove yourself from overwhelming social situations are all you need to break the tension, and clear your mind of any negative feelings.
Make the most out of your short break by doing some slow breathing exercise (prepare by downloading some mindfulness applications that have short and quick guided breathing sessions). You could also watch your favourite clip on YouTube to engage both your hearing and sight senses for relaxation. When you’re ready, before you step outside again, engage in some positive self-talk with yourself by saying “I am feeling much better now thanks to my self-soothing skills”.
3. Breathe to Feel Alive
It sounds really simple, but the truth is that no matter what you’d like to believe, your mind can’t focus on two things at any given time.
If you are getting upset, angry, or start feeling any other negative emotion start to rise as a result of something someone did or said, take a moment to consciously turn your attention to the breath. Find a way to eject yourself from that situation and go to a private space such as a guest bedroom or bathroom. Give yourself some time to focus on your breathing, and your breathing only.
Breathe deeply but slowly in through your nose, and let it out through your mouth. Do this slowly (counting to 4) and silently, allowing your body to slow down and feel grounded again.
Finally, be reminded that no one has actually written a code of rules stating that families must be together and should fight against all odds to enjoy one another’s company during the festive season.
The holiday can mean different things to everyone, and if you’d like, this could be the year when you start your very own tradition. If it’s all too much, allow yourself to make use of the holiday for some self-care too.
Make it special for yourself!
Featured Contributor: Beata Justkowiak
Beata Justkowiak holds an MA in Psychology with a specialization in Personal Counselling from Poznan University, a Certification in Sport and Society from Duke University, and is a Certified Life Coach. She is an ex-athlete, qualified Psychologist, and passionate Life Coach addicted to colorful smoothies and dark chocolate. She lives to make change happen, and helps others find their own way of managing life’s challenges. Beata listens well and people value her intuitive approach and progressive attitude. Always full of energy and living the healthy lifestyle.
Click here for Beata’s full bio.