It’s easy to romanticise the holiday season; clinking glasses of mulled wine with pals, dishing up carved turkey to the in-laws, partying the night away in a haze of feathers and glitter. December is a month where you’re encouraged to be social, indulge too much, and throw caution to the wind where your credit card is concerned. “Have fun!” they say, “be merry and bright!” That’s all well and good on paper, but when you’re juggling present buying with work, parties, hosting, family and travel, then all you want for Christmas is to get away from it all. Here’s how to get through the holidays singing.
1. Get a head start
Next time you’re mid-meltdown, T-24 hours to the big day, remember that the holidays come at the same time every year. The date never changes, the gifts still need to be bought and wrapped, and an IOU is still not acceptable. Of course, life often gets in the way, but by planning early, you can reduce the headache. Take the stress out of shopping by making a list and sticking to it – it really is the thought that counts, so resist the urge to stuff that stocking full of festive tat.
2. Schedule your social life
Whoever decided spontaneity was a good idea must have been rich, jobless and free of commitments. Sure, we all strive to be carefree and chill, but just like dogs, we humans perform best with structure and guidance. You'll feel much better knowing your plan a couple of weeks in advance and will feel more empowered in your choices, such as declining invites to themed nights out or lunches with colleagues you'd rather keep as colleagues.
3. Don’t do it all on your own
Decide what you’re good at and do only that. If cooking isn’t your forte, now isn’t the time to learn how to stuff a turkey or perfect a pavlova. If you’re indecisive about gifts, don’t put yourself through the torture of late-night shopping on the busiest high street you can find. It’s meant to be the most wonderful time of the year for you too.
4. Get a self-care kit
Prevention is better than cure, but if you’ve lost the plot and find yourself doing all the things you know aren’t conducive to peace on Earth (read: your household), then you need the tools to self-soothe. Essentials oils, candles, a miniature of the chocolate of your choice – whatever your favourite, put it in a kit and stash it somewhere close to hand. Maybe even give your nearest and dearest the coordinates and instruct an intervention when things go awry. The holiday season is a time for rest and reprieve, so sink lower into that tub, turn up the music and don’t forget to lock the door.
5. Time for a digital detox
Isn’t it funny how you don’t have time to answer an email, call your parents back or pick up lunch, but you always have time to double-tap mundane Instagram posts and DM people you’ve never met? Social media is a time drain – and through the holiday season especially – it can also be a joy drain. When you’ve spent every weekend for the last month shopping you don’t need to feel insecure about the fact your present pile is half that of your favourite influencer, or that your idea of hosting the perfect party involves copious amounts of Prosecco and festive bowls filled with Pringles. Delete your apps, reduce your screen time and instead invest in IRL interactions.
Tags: Christmas Stress relief Christmas Season Party Season Christmas Gifting Survival Guide