Health & wellbeing

How to stay calm this Christmas

The festive season can bring cheer and stress in equal measure. Here are three coping mechanisms to help you focus on the cheery, and stay calm amid all that Christmas chaos.

1. Keep expectations real 

Have you ever actually met one of those people who make their own vol-au-vents, fashion homemade decorations, host drinks for the whole street and knit their own Christmas stockings? Neither have we! If you feel you 'must' do things over the festive period, ask yourself why.  Who are you doing it for? Will it be a disaster if you don't do it? If you don't have a very good answer to these questions, let it go.  Spend time on the important things, and remember that cutting corners is absolutely fine.

2. Take a pre-Christmas break

You spend the weeks before Christmas rushing around getting ready for the big day - and wake up already feeling shattered when it finally arrives. Sound familiar? With the combination of extra work and socialising, we often tend to be exhausted by the time we get to the 25th. You're more likely to feel stressed if you're tired, so it's a good idea to plan a day or even a weekend in ahead of the Christmas period just to rest and relax. Put it in your diary - and then stick to it!

3. Keep perspective

When you feel your stress levels soaring, try to take a step back - both mentally and physically.  Walk away from the stressful situation if you can - maybe take a walk outside in the fresh air or shut yourself away for a long candlelit bath - and spend some time regaining perspective. Remind yourself what you're grateful for about in your life in general, appreciate the people who love you and the things that are going well. You'll soon find your stress returning to a manageable level.