Christmas time is by no means the most wonderful time of the year for everyone. Instead of a contemplative atmosphere, many families are dominated by hectic, time pressure and dissatisfaction. In the worst case, it even comes to a family quarrel on the holidays. But why is that and how can Christmas stress be avoided? This and how you can bring peace into this contemplative Time you will learn in the following article.
What causes Christmas stress?
Christmas stress can have several causes and not everyone reacts to the same triggers. An essential role plays Time and expectation pressure in our fast-paced society. Baking cookies, shopping for and wrapping presents, planning the Christmas menu: During the Christmas season, it feels like one task follows the next. It's hardly surprising that feelings of being overwhelmed arise.
Another problem is the high expectation of the Advent season and Christmas. The Christmas season is supposed to be harmonious and glamorous. In the media and on advertising posters, only cheerful faces beam at us. In the colorfully decorated shops, soulful Christmas music is played. Unfortunately, it is not possible to be happy at the push of a button just because Christmas is approaching.
The pressure to be cheerful now often has the opposite effect. Many people suppress their unpleasant emotionsuntil at some point they erupt unfiltered. If this happens on an Advent Sunday at a family gathering or even on Christmas Eve, the emotional outburst is experienced as a particularly serious faux pas. This knowledge intensifies the Christmas stress in the run-up.
Excessive consumption does not make you happy
Every German spends an average of €210.00 on Christmas presents. That's quite a sum, don't you think? Of course, we don't want to talk anyone out of their Christmas presents. Especially for children, Christmas without presents is unimaginable in this country - and that's fine. However, it becomes critical when this turns into a competition among adults.
Who bought the most beautiful and expensive gifts? Who didn't make any effort at all? Maybe you've even caught yourself comparing yourself at some point. Comparing yourself to other people basically causes mental stress, and not just at Christmas time. You will always find someone who outdoes you in some way.
The pressure to consume at Christmas also means a financial burden for many people. Not everyone has the necessary means to give their loved ones rich presents. However, if this is expected, Christmas stress is pre-programmed. Feelings of failure cloud the festive mood. Nevertheless, to demonize consumption in general is not in keeping with the times. It is much more important to find a balance.
The 10 best tips to avoid Christmas stress
Christmas stress can really spoil your mood. The good news is that you're not helpless against it. In fact, there's a lot you can do to reduce your stress levels. Ideally, with our tips, you can even prevent Christmas stress from happening in the first place:
1. structure your tasks
If you live alone and don't like Christmas, you have it the easiest: you're not obligated to celebrate Advent or celebrate Christmas. No one can force you to do so. If a complete break from Christmas is not possible, for example because you have a family or you actually love Christmas (without the stress), structure is the best preventative measure against stress.
Make a to-do list:
- Gift Plan: What do you want to give to which family member?
- When and where do you get the presents?
- What dates are coming up during Advent (Christmas parties, etc.)?
- Can you cancel appointments that aren't that important to you?
- What activities would you like to do with the children (baking cookies, Christmas market, Christmas fairy tale)?
- Shopping list: What should we have for dinner on Christmas Eve?
- What invitations are coming up over the holidays?
- Dress Code: What outfits do you want to wear for the holidays?
By planning exactly what you are going to do and when you are going to do it, you can significantly reduce your stress level. Surely you know the oppressive feeling of having forgotten something, which then usually comes true. With a to-do list, this can no longer happen to you. You can sit back and relax, because if something is unclear, a glance at the list is enough.
2. turn off your mobile phone
Being constantly reachable is one of the biggest stressors of all. Fortunately, you can turn off your phone with the push of a button. Make use of it more often, especially during the holiday season! You'll quickly notice how relaxing can be a few hours without the annoying beeping or vibrating. Christmas stress can't always be avoided, but cell phone stress can.
No one has to read text messages or answer mails while visiting the Christmas market or wrapping presents! The messages will still be there later. The keyword is: Mindfulness. To avoid Christmas stress, you should always focus on one thing at a time. The mobile phone only distracts you unnecessarily.
3. delegate tasks to friends and family
Do you have the feeling that the entire organization of the Christmas celebration is up to you? Then you should definitely change something. Talk openly with your family. Do not be afraid to tell your Overload admit it. After all, if you don't ask for support, no one will know you need it. Don't make the mistake of taking everything in silence.
Every member of the family can be assigned a task at Christmas. You're preparing the feast? Then ask your partner to do the shopping. The children can help decorate the house. It's best to sit down with your family. Discuss together who will do which tasks.
4. anticipation instead of Christmas stress
All those unfinished to-dos clouding your festive spirit? Then you should consciously counteract it with Christmas activities that you don't feel like a chore. For example, how about cozying up on the sofa with a cup of tea and some cookies and watching your favorite Christmas movie? Baking or crafting can also have an almost meditative effect.
The important thing is that you enjoy the activity in question! Otherwise the tip will not have the desired effect. Fragrances, candles and decorative items can also create a positive Christmas mood. If you are simply not in the Christmas mood, there is no point in forcing it. Accept this state and distract yourself with other activities instead (see next tip).
5. consciously take time out
Do you have leftover vacation days that still need to be used up in the current year? Then take the chance for a long weekend. Of course, you could use the vacation days to do some errands. However, it would be much more effective against Christmas stress to use the days off for conscious relaxation. Maybe you even have the opportunity to book a wellness weekend trip?
Wellness relaxes body and soul. After this little wellness break, you will return to your everyday life strengthened: The Christmas stress can then only affect you a little. If you don't want to or can't go away, that's no problem at all: wellness also works at home. Enjoy a bubble bath, apply a face mask, get a massage. There are no limits to your imagination.
6. detach yourself from perfectionist demands
No one can tell you and your family how to spend your Christmas. There are no rules. The only thing that matters is that everyone feels comfortable. Christmas is first and foremost about enjoying time together with your family. That can mean something different for each family.
You prefer it a little more casual? Then spend the day in comfortable jogging suits. Who says you have to dress up in your own four walls? Besides, the button of the fine suit trousers gets in the way after dinner at the latest ...
None of you can get excited about the traditional goose leg or carp? Then look together for an alternative that you all like. This can be potato salad with sausages or a frozen pizza. As already mentioned: rules for the perfect Christmas only exist in our heads.
7. say no more often
You don't have to accept every invitation during Advent! Dare to refuse more often without a guilty conscience. A no to someone else is in most cases a yes to yourself. With distant acquaintances you do not even have to justify your refusal. With close people, honesty pays off. There's no shame in getting in over your head sometimes with the stress of Christmas.
The right to cancel applies not only to invitations, but also to various tasks. You don't have to bake a cake for the Advent party at your children's school. A bought cake also tastes good. The colleagues want to drink a mulled wine at the Christmas market after work, but you'd rather go home? Then stand up for your needs.
8. eating out
At Christmas, you have a lot of people coming together and you're wondering how you're going to feed everyone? Very few people have the capacity to prepare three geese or ducks in their home kitchen. A great alternative is to take the whole family out to eat. This not only eliminates the time-consuming preparation, but also the washing up.
Important: On the holidays, most restaurants are pretty booked up. So reserve a table for your (extended) family in good time. Preferably as early as October. Also, agree in advance how you want to settle the payment.
9. avoid conflict talks
When the whole family gets together, small frictions and disagreements can never be completely ruled out. To prevent the family disagreements from escalating, you should not get involved in possible teasing. Refrain from making accusations or digging up old stories. This is sometimes easier said than done, but it is worth it.
It's best to avoid conflictual topics at the holidays in the first place. Tell your family ahead of time, "We want to have a peaceful Christmas together. Therefore, we would like to ask you not to bring up XY topics during the holidays."
Most relatives will accept such a clear announcement. However, if misunderstandings arise, a calm but firm reference to the previously pronounced "topic ban" will help.
10. communication is the be-all and end-all
Christmas is the celebration of the family. Therefore, every member of the family should be involved in planning the holiday. Talk about how you imagine the holidays. Everyone should have their say. If there are differences of opinion, compromises must be found - as is often the case in family life.
You want to spend a casual day on the couch in your pajamas, eating potato salad and watching Christmas movies? Your partner, on the other hand, wants a fancy family dinner followed by coffee? Why not do both? Fortunately, there are two other Christmas holidays besides Christmas Eve.
It is also not reprehensible to meet up with some of the family after Christmas. That way, the Christmas holidays don't degenerate into deadline pressure. The roast still tastes good on 28 December and the children will be just as happy to receive presents a few days later. Please don't get too hung up on a particular date! You are a family every day of the year.
Gain clarity for the life you want
Christmas is a time for many people to take stock: What has changed in my life since last Christmas? Am I happy? At what point would I like to be at Christmas next year? Perhaps you recognize yourself in these questions.
If you are now really hungry to change something in your life, then find out more about our Greator coach training. You now know what a great influence positive and negative beliefs can have on your entire life. But always be aware that in the end only you decide what you believe in. It is possible to transform negative beliefs. Admittedly, this requires courage and perseverance on your part. However, it is worth taking the necessary steps.
Inventory of your life
As support on your way we recommend our coach training. Find out what really drives you, what your true goals are and what fears and beliefs are blocking you. This kind of self-knowledge is elementary to let go of negative beliefs and replace them with positive ones. Only if you know where your goal lies, you can create the right conditions.
Your trainers Walter and Christina Hommelsheim show you step by step how to spice up your life. How much energy do you put into your job or your relationship? What are you missing? Maybe it's friendships, maybe relationships - you can only find out if you start taking stock of your life now.
You will see how quickly you get clarity for more and more areas in your life. And above all: How you come closer to your visions step by step. You have probably never before dealt with your visions in such detail. Beliefs and fears... Open yourself to it! Look forward to wonderful Meditationsthat will pick you up where you are right now.
Does that sound interesting to you? Here you can find more information about the Greator Coach Training.