Ask everyone what they want to do over Christmas. Including something of what everyone wants will make for a happier holiday and will show that everybody’s wishes are important. Decide what you can manage to do, how you can do it and where you can do it. Agree on who you want to spend time with and for how long.
2. Prioritise Your Relationship
If you are in a relationship give yourself time together away from the hectic run up to Christmas. Boycott all Christmas talk and catch up with how you both are. Book a babysitter and have a meal out or buy a vat of popcorn and snuggle under the blanket on the sofa in front of a favourite movie.
3. Pamper Yourself
Take some well deserved time out just for you. We need to be OK with ourselves before we are able to give to others. Give yourself a chance to recharge your batteries amidst the ever increasing excitement. Find a local yoga class, try a meditation or mindfulness DVD, get some eyelash extensions or just unwind in a hot bath with plenty of bubbles, candles and a glass of wine.
4. Get Enough Sleep
As the big day approaches look after yourself. Neuroscience proves that sleep is the body’s way of repairing itself. Whilst asleep our brain restructures its connections making sense of the previous day’s information and storing it to memory. Go to bed at your usual time as often as possible. You will need all the rest you can get so that you can get everything done and still have energy left to enjoy yourself.
5. Reflect And Resolve
Reflect on 2013. What has gone well and not so well for you? Think about what you might do differently in 2014. What steps can you take to improve your lifestyle and happiness?
6. Give Something Back
Latest research shows that depression can be relieved by volunteering in the community. As the saying goes Christmas is the season of good will. Why not invite an elderly neighbour round for coffee and a mince pie, encourage your children to choose a current toy they could give away to a charity shop to make some room for this years presents or volunteer to do a shift at a local homeless shelter?
7. Be realistic
Aspiring to perfection will only lead to disappointment. Don’t be over ambitious. Keep it simple and focus on what you have agreed to do.
8. Plan and delegate
Write lists. Spending some time thinking ahead about what you need will pay off. Work out your financial budget for Christmas and stick to it – this could mean deciding a maximum amount on Christmas presents or introducing a secret santa present system. Be organised and don’t wait until Christmas eve to buy the turkey! If you are hosting ask all guests to contribute by bringing along something to eat and/or drink. If you are visiting offer to take something.
9. Old Fashioned Fun
Take the opportunity to switch off the technology for a few hours. Spend some quality time together, play board games, cards, go for a walk.
10. Try Something Different
Escape it all! Book a last minute holiday to learn diving in the Red Sea. Get rid of the need for washing up and book your Christmas meal out, be even more alternative and book a spicy Thai meal.