Pieta Blog - Tips for a stress-free Christmas

Tips for a stress-free Christmas

Date: 22nd December 2016
Author: David Swaine

Traditionally, Christmas is a time that conjures up images of happiness and joy. Whether it’s exchanging gifts or meeting up with friends and loved ones to share the holidays with, it is a time of year that a lot of people look forward to most of all.

But there are also many who dread Christmas and find it to be a very stressful period.

Christmas can be a time of great pressures, both financial and social; and this can place unfair, unrealistic expectations on people. There are many who feel obliged to ‘create’ a wonderful Christmas by buying extravagant (and often expensive) gifts or cooking an elaborate, painstaking meal that would feed an army. Consequently, this all leads to increased stress levels, which in turn can signal depression.

Of course, depression can – and sadly does – occur at any time of the year, but the stresses and anxieties during the Christmas period can lead to an increase in conforming to social pressures, which can then give rise to depression.We would like to offer some tips on how to make Christmas as stress-free as possible and to enjoy the festive period.

- Make a List: Write down the things you need to do for Christmas and prioritise them in terms of importance. Whether it be buying gifts, food or decorations, take care of what you feel is a priority first, and this will help reduce your list – and pressure – significantly in the run up to the big day.
- Shop Online: While lots of people enjoy shopping and the social aspect of it – meeting with friends, dining out etc. – there are those that prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes. This is a great way of avoiding crowds, reducing stress and saving both time and indeed money.
- Know when to stop: There comes a time when enough is enough, and you cannot do anymore. Avoid rushing around at the last minute by deciding in advance when you’re going to stop your preparations and enjoy the Christmas holiday.  
- Avoid excessive alcohol: Nobody expects you to be ‘on the dry’ for the festive period, but it’s worth noting that alcohol is a depressant, and drinking to excess can bring about depression, increase anxiety levels and lead to stressful situations. Then there’s the hangover…
- Have fun! Christmas is a time for all, and it’s important to unwind and enjoy the holidays. Eat, drink and be merry, and stay safe and free of stress.

From all at Pieta House, we would like to wish you a happy and stress-free Christmas, and a peaceful New Year.