Have a Stress-Free Christmas

Here's how to have a stress-free Christmas and thrive - not just survive - the holiday season ahead. Merry merry, friends!

DIYgiftsC2-Title-Card Image Credit: Cassie / Veda House

Friends, are you tired? Has December welcomed a whirlwind of commitments in your life, illustrated with a chicken-scratched calendar and hefty eye bags?

Let's reassess. We've invited Colin Christopher, author and hypnotherapist, to offer these tips on reducing stress and surviving - no, thriving! - throughout the holiday season. Go get 'em, Clementines!:

  • Avoid procrastination. You can reduce stress with a little bit of planning and getting an early start. If you wait until the last minute and find yourself pressed for time, you’re going to experience more hurried, frantic stress. Our advice? Just begin (and some other helpful tips!).

  • Learn to say ‘No.’  If you have a hard time telling people ‘No,’ you’re going to find yourself overcommitted, tired, unable to do the things you really want to do and stressed out. It’s perfectly fine to say ‘No’ if you don’t want to do something, or don’t have the time to do it. Here's how to do it!

  • Get plenty of sleep. The holidays are an exciting time, but people tend to neglect getting enough rest due to travel, staying up late with family, overeating and feeling overwhelmed.  Make sleep a priority during the holidays and you’ll enjoy the season more.

  • Take a moment for yourself. During the holidays, we have so many commitments to our family, friends, visitors, office parties and more, and people tend to forget about themselves.  Even as little as 20 to 30 minutes each day to do something you enjoy or to go for a walk by yourself will refresh you, relieve stress and help you enjoy the holidays.

  • Breathe: If you’re feeling overly anxious or stressed, take a few minutes to slow your breathing down.  Breathe in through your diaphragm (stomach area), hold for a few seconds, and slowly release through your mouth. Have you tried our technique yet?

  • Stand back and appreciate the moment: We tend to get so caught up in the moment that it’s over before we know it.  Take time to step back and enjoy the time with your family, playing in the snow with your kids, and just be thankful for all you have.  You’ll naturally feel less stressed and more satisfied when you are thankful for everything around you. Here's how we stay present.

  • Lower your expectations: Some people place very high expectations on the holidays.  They picture everything playing out in a specific way, and find themselves disappointed and stressed out when things don’t go according to plan.  Lower your expectations and just let life happen. You’ll feel less stressed and have more fun.

Do you have some tried-and-true tips to add? We'd love to hear! Come find us on Twitter!