Be Realistic – Don’t let your dreams of a perfect Christmas get the better of you by keeping your expectations realistic. Make a list of the things you need to do, and would like to do over Christmas and put the list in order of importance. Lists are a good way of helping us to put things into perspective. Holding ideals in our minds just becomes another source of stress. If you don’t manage to tick off everything on your list, don’t worry, there’s always next year!
Don’t get swept away on the tide of Christmas pressure – Ads on the TV from August and the constant pressure to spend, spend, spend…is exhausting. It can put an immense pressure on us financially, emotionally, physically and mentally. To avoid financial stress, set a budget and stick to it. Start early to give yourself some thinking time (the best presents aren’t always the most expensive!) and more shopping time. To avoid draining the batteries too early, take some time each day to relax. 5 or 10 mins to clear the mind and refocus will do wonders! Remember to keep a little of your sparkle back for Christmas. You won’t have fun if you’re exhausted. Christmas is not a test of endurance.
Delegate – The key to a stress-free Christmas is to share the workload. Don’t be afraid to delegate to those around you. Most will be happy to help and if you don’t ask, often they won’t offer! Present shopping…write a list and let a partner help. Share the cooking…can a family member make a starter or dessert? Good Christmases are built on good communication and teamwork.
Don’t be afraid to change things – Just because for the last 10 years you have visited your parents and eaten at 12pm sharp, doesn’t mean you have to again this year! Talk to everyone involved. Sometimes a change of routine can really give Christmas its sparkle back.
Dealing with family conflicts – If you don’t get along with certain family members during the year, things won’t improve because it’s Christmas. Make a decision early so you can make your plans clear to all concerned. If you have a made a commitment you can’t get out of, set a time limit. Two hours can often be tolerated without tempers fraying. If however you are travelling to see family, take a walk or offer to wash-up. Taking yourself out of a stressful situation for even half an hour can help
Avoid excess – Christmas often means a diet high in sugars, salt and stimulants like alcohol and caffeine. This can add to our anxiety levels and increase stress. Remember to balance the good with the bad. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and stock up on fresh, healthy foods next time you shop.
Alone at Christmas – Christmas is perhaps one of those times when being alone is the hardest. Don’t be afraid to invite yourself to friends or neighbours even if it’s just for a short visit. They may not have realised you would like their company. If this isn’t an option, is there a local voluntary group you can get involved with or is there something happening near you on Christmas Day? If you can’t leave home, remember it is just one day of the year. Do something to spoil yourself.
As an ex-athlete I’ve always advocated the benefits of keeping in shape physically, but it’s just as important to look after your mental wellbeing. Book a session with Wendy, she’s the person to help you look after your brain just as you would your body.
5 x Olympic Skier and presenter of BBC Ski Sunday.
Dare to dream big and Wendy’s THE person to help get you there.
X Factor winner with a long list of sell out tour successes under her belt.
The most exciting thing in the world is getting a chance to tear it all up and start again. Keep all the things you want and throw out everything you don’t. Wendy will help you do just that!
Beauty, lifestyle and fashion blogging sensation Becky Sheeran (TalkBeckyTalk)
It’s great to have a leading psychotherapist such as Wendy in the Cheshire area, outside of her Harley Street practice. After publicly raising awareness of mental health issues and myself recovering from depression, I know how immensely life-changing expert intervention can be.
Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.