So, this is Christmas… a Guide to surviving the challenges associated with it.
Christmas is just around the corner and the silly season has well and truly descended upon us. The notions of Christmas are a fun time to share with family and friends. However beneath all the positive hype, Christmas presents a challenge for many people. The pressure to live up to the expectations of happy families, expensive feasts and presents can often be overwhelming for some. If this is you, you are definitely not alone in this respect. That is why Christmas is often touted as one of the most stressful times of the year. So what can we do to make life easier on ourselves?
The office Christmas party is an almost iconic part of Christmas. However, it can be fraught with danger. The key tip here is to stay in control and don’t have too much to drink. You never want to do something you regret and have to face up to your colleagues later at work. Also you don’t need to attend every party – it’s OK to say no! Don’t burn yourself out trying to do everything.
Dealing with Relatives
Christmas is a time for family and friends. However, when there is tension between people, it tends to exacerbate at Christmas. Sometimes, the expectation of being all together and operating in full happy family’s mode is not realistic. If you have conflict in your family, try some of the following tips. Be aware of your expectations – don’t expect it to be perfect just because it’s Christmas. Be strategic with your seating so that people who conflict are not near each other and ensure you have enough people so you are not forced to interact too much. Plan for something to do after lunch rather than just sitting together- it can break the tension. Have an escape plan – even if it is just for ten minutes or so and avoid topics you know will lead to confrontation.
The Christmas Feast
Many see this as the most important meal of the year, but try not to get caught up in all the expectations and hype. Keep it simple, you don’t have to lay on a full home cooked gala. Why not try a restaurant, order some platters, even a BBQ on the beach. If you need to shop, you can avoid the crowds by ordering online. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks or even ask everyone to bring a plate of food to share. As well as reducing your stress on the day, it can relieve some of the financial pressure if you don’t have to provide everything yourself.
The financial and mental stress associated with gift giving often goes way over the top. Expectations and pressure can be overwhelming, so why not try to make it easy on yourself. Although I would not recommend my brother’s strategy of getting it all in one shop, in one afternoon on Christmas Eve, there are some ideas to ease the burden. Discuss it with the family, perhaps only buy for kids or organise a Kris Kringle. Online shopping is efficient and time friendly, with bargains readily available. It’s always a great idea to set a limit and have a couple of backup presents on hand so you don’t get caught out.
Try and make Christmas a fun time and ensure you set a point to put your feet up and enjoy the day. Look after your wellbeing by maintaining a healthy diet, keeping up the exercise regime, getting enough sleep and going easy on the alcohol intake.
Written by Lisa Stegena, Nutritionist
Nutrition Force is a Western Australian based company of Nutritionists and Accredited Practising Dietitians that offer weight loss programs, private dietetic consultations, children’s nutrition & dietetics, school nutrition and Corporate Wellness programs. If you would like more information on our Perth Dietitians and the other services we offer call us today on (08) 9385 7755.