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  • Writer's pictureNana Barratt

5 Ways to De-stress During the Holidays

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

Photo Courtesy of Wix

Christmas is coming up and you may be stressed, but don't be! There are many ways to de-stress throughout the holidays and they're all things you can fit around your schedule. Here are five ways to de-stress over Christmas:

1. Ask for help

Look at your surroundings, you are not alone. You have family and friends that can help you decorate your home, buy the groceries and cook Christmas dinner, people who can buy and wrap the presents, help you plan your schedule and just spend time with you watching Christmas films. Remember that not everything has to be perfect or even completed.

For example, just decorate the room you spend the most time in and let your family help because your house doesn't need to look immaculate and you likely won't want to clean it often, or instead of baking pies from scratch, buy some ready-made pastry and make mince pies with your family. There's no shame in asking for help, and Christmas only comes once a year, so have fun!

2. Plan in advance

Evaluate your situation. How much time do you have to complete tasks generally and how many tasks are you adding to your schedule? How long will those take to complete, what do you need to buy and prepare? Can anyone help you? There are Christmas planners at certain supermarkets and stationary stores that help you plan for Christmas, including taking notes about locations, times, recipes, contacts, visits, and more.

3. Compromise

Is there anything you can remove from your schedule? Are you sure that every task you've listed needs to be completed perfectly or at all? Will it bring fun to your holiday, or does it feel like you'll be more stressed? You should evaluate your stress as well as your situation. Are you halfway through your plan and feel like quitting? Don't give up, but don't take a step back! So what should you do?

Just slow down, see if anyone can help, see if there's anything unnecessary in your life or plan that you can cut out so that you can focus on more important things. Try stretching out your plan and don't leave anything to the last minute. Remember, you can say 'no', you shouldn't have to take control of the holiday if you don't want to, and a lot of the pressure you are feeling could be in your head, think if there's someone else who wants to take control or participate more.

4. Partake in hobbies and take care of yourself

You might be happy taking on the holiday and that's great! Keep up the great work because so many people are going to appreciate your efforts, but remember to take care of yourself. You might start feeling stressed and burnt out, so take a break once in a while to focus on your hobbies. Simultaneously, physically and mentally prioritize yourself too. Be mindful of your situation by partaking in meditation, diary entries, exercise, watching your diet, improving your lifestyle habits and patterns, such as sleeping, drinking, and more.

5. Spend time with family and friends

Whether you're doing things alone, with others, or a mixture of both, despite taking time for yourself, don't forget about your family and friends. There could be people in similar situations as you and it's good to support each other. You don't have to help them by doing tasks with them or for them because that could be too much for you.

For example, you could visit each other, go to the Christmas markets, plan a short vacation, have a meal or drink together, go for a night-out on the town, go shopping, watch Christmas films while eating snacks, listen to Christmas music while dancing, just take your mind off of planning and your situation, but spending time with the people around you can also incorporate your plan if you want it to.

Deanna (or "Nana Barratt") is an MA Creative and Media Enterprises graduate from the University of Warwick. She previously studied Popular Music, but decided to take a different career path into writing. She now writes about music, the TV and film industry, and East-Asian culture, and gives student advice and lifestyle tips.

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