Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind – Mary Ellen Chase.
Anyone else feeling the stress of Christmas yet? Considering it is supposed to be the most festive, and happiest, time of the year, it brings about way more stress than is needed. There are Christmas cards to buy and write; presents to choose and buy and wrap – all within sticking to a budget if we want to actually get to that New Year’s Eve party at the end of the month, not to mention have a bit of a life outside of the same four walls. There are all of the Christmas shenanigans that everyone looks forward to and then gets way too drunk at on a school night. Why are Christmas parties always when the staff have to go to work the next day? And then, there are the family traditions and friendly drinks – meals together, catch ups and all the rest of it. These are great when they are happening, but horrendous to book in. What about those beauty appointments? (I still haven’t made any). Oh, not to mention actually going to work in order to pay for all the festive cheer we want to have every single year. Anyone would think I am the biggest bah humbug grinch ever, but I am so happy it is Christmas. I love it more and more every year; I’m just getting a little tired and stressed, nearly teetering over the burnout edge. If you want to avoid going a little round the twist, read the small things I’ll be doing over the next couple of weeks to make the most of the best time of the year.
MAKE YOU TIME
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Run a bath, grab a book, shut out the entire world. That, in a way, is the easy part – once you have stopped doing everything else you need to do. The hard part is switching off those thoughts about work, Christmas, life and the intense to do lists that scroll through your brain. I find reading is better than watching Netflix. When I watch something, I tend to zone out, getting distracted by my phone, or wanting to get a bite to eat, having conversations with those around me. When I read my book, that is my sole focus as I am swept into a different world for at least half an hour. For that half an hour, I don’t worry about work, or think about all the blog posts I need to write, or the photos I need to take. Instead, I can fully relax. It helps to have a hot Ribena on my bedside table, too.
ACCEPT YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING
I may have seen this, or something very similar, on Inthefrow’s latest blog post. I am applying it solely to Christmas. During December, there is an invisible line that is heightened in what we need to get done in three short weeks. It is near impossible to do everything that we feel we need to do in the run up to Christmas Day. This is without children; I can’t imagine being a mum and having to do the whole Elf on the Shelf and writing to Santa and writing Christmas cards for school. I can barely manage my own Christmas cards. I do not understand how all mums out there get everything done. I have things I want to do this month. I want to publish twelve blog posts (12 Days of Christmas vibe). I want to ideally (never gonna happen) read another three books in two weeks. I want to enjoy my nights with my friends and my family, being present rather than having my head all over the place. I want to do a good job at work. I want to have my presents wrapped well before Christmas Eve. Nevertheless, something has got to give. There is only one of me, and one of you, and I think we sometimes forget we can’t do everything.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep is my best friend throughout the year. I have had my fair share of working nights, becoming an insomniac, sleeping all day, sleeping too much and having too many jump-starts in the morning. I speak from the point of view of a retail worker. We are running on God-knows-what (nothing illegal) all the way up to Christmas Eve. We work all kinds of shifts with a smile plastered on our faces. We need to sleep well, even after all of the offices close the Friday before Christmas and office workers get to say woohoo! I need the full eight hours every night before working an early shift, otherwise I am a zombie and that is not good for anyone. Even if you don’t work in retail, you need your sleep. Perhaps you’ve left all of your shopping until the very last minute? Why? You need all that energy to barge through the high street and get everything in one swoop. Maybe you have arranged event after event in the final days before the twenty-fifth? You need to feel refreshed for every single one of them. Sleep = a happier person.
CLEAR YOUR SPACE
I write this as a reminder to myself to tidy my room of all the items that are still in piles from my gift guide. Every time I go into my bedroom, I sigh and then close the door over again, promising myself that I will tidy it later. Later never comes. I really do believe, though, that my head is so much clearer once the space around me is. I enjoy laying in bed knowing that there is no mess, and it helps keep unnecessary stress at bay.
Do you think you are heading towards a Christmas burnout? What tips do you have to avoid the stress of Christmas? Remember that this time of year is meant to be fun first and foremost!
Love, Faye xo