The festive season is upon us again, but this year may look a little different for a lot of us due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Have a Stress-Free Christmas During COVID-19
Christmas can be a stressful time on its own without even factoring in restrictions and the potential risks to public health. This is especially true for parents who often place unrealistic expectations on themselves and are usually busy and overworked as it is.
If you’re a parent who feels these pressures during the Christmas period, then this blog is for you. Read on to discover 12 simple ways to have a stress-free Christmas during COVID-19…
1. Plan ahead (it’s a lifesaver)
The most effective way to avoid becoming stressed and overwhelmed during the Christmas season is to plan ahead and to start to prepare early. In fact, the earlier the better! Make a manageable Christmas budget to reduce the risk of overspending. Break up those big daunting tasks into smaller to-do lists, and then tackle them bit by bit leading up to the big day.
Lists are lifesavers. There’s no better way to reduce the clutter in your mind than to get it all out onto paper. Use your to-do lists as a reward system. Each thing that gets ticked off the list is one more thing that’s now done, so you no longer need to worry about it.
2. Shop online early
Considering what’s been happening with postage and delivery delays worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic, this one is really a no-brainer. You may feel a little silly ordering Christmas gifts earlier than what might seem necessary, but with packages now taking weeks and in some cases even months to arrive, depending on where you order from, you’ll be thanking yourself later.
3. Refresh your space and gain a new perspective
In our blog ‘5 easy steps to love your home again,’ we discussed how refreshing your space can reduce stress and anxiety and rejuvenate your feelings of serenity in the home. Christmas time is the perfect time to put this theory into practice, as pulling out the decorations can be a great way to revitalise your home and get all those warm and fuzzy holiday feels at the same time.
To achieve a fresh new look without having to worry about going out to buy new decor, try mixing and matching what you already have on hand, or crafting something at home. This is a great way to be more eco-friendly too!
4. Accept that things are different this year and let go of perfectionism
When it comes down to it, we are all our own harshest critics. During Christmas, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make everything ‘perfect’ for our loved ones. If you’re a mum, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
But perfectionism can result in stress, anxiety, and feelings of dissatisfaction or failure, so let go of all those time and energy-consuming traditions and accept the situation for what it is. Perfectionism is the enemy of your mental well-being, so be happy with ‘good enough.’
5. Focus on what really matters
Christmas is a time for family and loved ones. It’s not supposed to be about spending lots of money, making the biggest or most impressive meals, excessive Christmas traditions, or giving the flashiest gifts.
Soak up the joy of the season and enjoy the little moments with your kids and family members. Give yourself permission to relax and forget about everything that still needs to be done. Stressing about it won’t help anyway.
Even something simple like enjoying a holiday movie together can be an incredible mood-lifter, and the best part is that you can do it from home!
6. Shop smart, not hard
Hopefully, when it comes to buying gifts and other supplies, you’ve followed the first step and have already made a plan in advance. All your online shopping is done, and now it’s time to tackle the physical items.
Pay particular attention to restrictions and recommended preventative actions in your local region. Always wear a face mask, keep your physical distance from other shoppers, and carry some Hand Sanitiser with you wherever you go.
Have your shopping list ready and know what you’re there for to avoid spending more time than necessary in crowded shopping centres.
Getting the gift shopping done early means avoiding the last-minute crowds and potentially putting yourself or your health at risk.
7. Do something that makes you happy during the festive season
Just because you’re a parent/adult, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the season just as much as the kids! Personally, I love the flavours that come out during the Christmas season; particularly a choc-peppermint mocha from my favourite cafe. I love to treat myself to one of these each time I go out to the shops because it gives me something to look forward to while I’m out and about.
Whatever it is that you find relaxing and enjoyable, whether it be sitting down with a book and a scented candle, soaking in the bath, or watching your favourite tv shows, schedule time for yourself to do it. Your mental health will thank you for it.
Personally, I love putting my diffuser on with my favourite Tri Nature Essential Oil Blend. The entire atmosphere in my home is lifted and I always feel amazing afterwards.
8. Seek inspiration and joy
Seeking inspiration from sources like Pinterest or YouTube is a great way to shift the way you approach the Christmas season. If you continue to tell yourself that you’re going to be ripping your hair out, chances are you will be.
Try embracing the Christmas spirit, gain some fresh ideas, do some DIYs or crafting and you’ll find that you’re happier overall, which will benefit not only you, but your whole family too!
9. Look after yourself and your loved ones, and learn how to say ‘NO’
The key to controlling your stress levels lies in time management, personal boundaries, and taking time to relax and decompress. You may feel obligated to attend every party or school event you’re invited to, but you should never take on more than you can handle, especially during a pandemic.
Learn how to unapologetically say ‘no,’ and to set some personal boundaries. When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s better to play it safe and stay at home as much as possible.
10. Travel smart
With the borders beginning to re-open, you may be thinking about spending the Christmas holidays somewhere away from home. Again, the key here is preparation and planning ahead. Do your research, paying special attention to avoiding the known COVID-19 hot spots, and make sure that your family’s safety is at the top of your priorities.
Instead of taking up residence in a crowded caravan park or a hotel, why not rent an Airbnb? This way your family can remain protected from any potential break-outs whilst still getting to enjoy a holiday away from home.
11. Find a good release for pent-up stress
Bottling up stress can cause a multitude of short-term and long-term health problems, according to health experts, so finding ways to release that stress is essential for your overall well-being.
Find ways to decrease those stress hormones that work specifically for you. Whether it be exercise, deep breaths, listening to your favourite music, or even screaming into your pillow, releasing pent-up stress and frustration can be a huge relief, both physically and mentally.
12. You’re not super-human, so don’t be afraid to ask for help
This is true both for preparing for the big day and during as well. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to other family members or even to the kids. More often than not, your family will be looking for ways to take things off your plate, so there’s no reason not to let them.
If you’re hosting, ask your guests to bring something with them. That way you’re not stuck doing all of the food preparation and there are others to take leftovers off your hands as well. As for the dishes, those are for the kids!
So there you have it. With any luck, these tips will help you and your family get the most out of the Christmas season, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any suggestions to add to this list, we’d love to hear them! Jump over to our Facebook page to leave us some feedback.
Looking for some great gift ideas for the eco-lover in your life? Why not check out our range of Eco Products?