As Christmas draws near, we get tangled in a web of advertisements, news stories, songs and images that declare how Christmas ought to be. Christmas then arrives and looks nothing like its Tinder picture. Here are five tips for keeping your Christmas stress – proof this year.
1. Set achievable goals
If you limit your goals
and leave room for realism, you’ll be less disappointed and feel more in
control when things go wrong. Leave room for mistakes on your menu. Don’t aim
for everyone to get along, just aim to get everyone on the table.
2. Keep your narrative going
During the Holidays,
you’re suddenly transported into a world you associate with your past. This can
trigger negative memories or shake your sense of self-identity.
Schedule some time
alone with yourself every day and keep up your usual habits. If you
go for a run every morning, keep going for a run. If you read through emails
every morning, keep starting your day in exactly the same way.
Many of us give our fit
selves a holiday over Christmas – but don’t! A thirty-minute workout every
morning will lift your mood, boost your stress resilience and help you sleep
soundly whatever happens during the rest of the day.
4. Lower Emotional Load
We all love the warm
fuzziness of seasonal emotional warmth, but too much emotional contagion can
backfire. You’ll react more easily to negativity, disappointment and
frustration if you’re emotionally aroused.
In the days leading up
to Christmas, stay goal-directed and limit your dose of emotionally charged
television, advertisements and music.
5. Bond over comedy
Laughter will diffuse tensions, dismantle egos, dilute anger and make everyone bond. If the atmosphere becomes emotionally charged and claustrophobic, call on comedy. The more slapstick, the better.
Read more about how to stress – proof your life and improve your wellbeing in Mithu Storoni’s book, Stress – Proof.