Surviving the Silly Season
With Christmas Day not too far away now, the silly season is in full swing. Christmas parties are in abundance, Christmas carols ring out across the airwaves, and the decorations are on the trees.
But as well as being a joyous time of celebration, for many it can also be one of stress and worry. Coordinating the family, organising the perfect feast, and battling the stores surging with people trying to find that perfect Christmas gift, can make the lead-up to the big day a mission in itself. And then when Christmas arrives, there’s still the feast be prepared, the merry in-laws to be managed and the kids to be refereed… it’s not difficult to see how the Christmas spirit can end up lacking!
But there are ways to make the holidays and the celebrations enjoyable without the stress. We have compiled some top tips here to help you survive the silly season and come out of it relatively unscathed.
Plan ahead and stick to your budget:
Set yourself a manageable budget for gifts and supplies, and stick to it. There is no point crippling your finances for months for the sake of one day. If you have a large family but a small budget, consider a Secret Santa Christmas, where everyone draws names and buys one gift for that person instead of one for everyone.
Curb your expectations:
Don’t try to create the “perfect” Christmas. Remember the most important thing is for you and your family and friends to relax and enjoy the day together. If something doesn’t quite go to plan, it is not the end of the world.
Share the load:
If your family gathering is landing at your place this year, don’t try and do everything yourself – ask everyone to bring part of the meal or other festivities with them. And remember that making meals with pre-prepared or bought ingredients can be a great time and energy saver.
Everything in moderation:
Christmas can sometimes seem to be all about excess, but there’s not much enjoyment in feeling as stuffed as a Christmas turkey. The best advice for this is moderation – apply it to everything you eat and drink – especially alcohol. And remember the non-alcoholic beverages, especially if you are having to travel to different venues throughout the day. Apply moderation to the amount of sunshine you enjoy also – getting sunburnt is never a good idea, and the heat can accentuate the effects of any overindulgences.
If you are travelling for Christmas Day, give yourself plenty of time to get everywhere, and don’t stress. It is more important that you get yourself to see your loved ones safely. Apply this to your holidays after Christmas Day also.
Look after yourself:
During all of this frantic planning, it can be easy to forget the basics of looking after yourself. Remember to take time out once in a while to relax, read a book, or go for a walk; make sure you get some quality sleep, and factor in some physical activity.
Be mindful of others:
Not everyone has the same attitude towards Christmas as you. For some it may be a time of loneliness, for others a reminder of bad memories or loved ones lost. Respect people’s decisions if they do not want to partake in celebrations, but equally think of inviting others around to your Christmas activities if you know they will be on their own for the day.
Christmas should be an enjoyable time for everyone in their own way. But if you find that previous years have not been enjoyable then consider doing something different. Hopefully the above tips will go some way towards helping you enjoy your Christmas.
From all Defence Health personnel, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas season.
Click the link below for further tips from the Health Promotion Agency.
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