Stress beating tips to bring the joy back to Christmas

Are you dreaming of a stress-free Christmas? If you’re willing to kick some of the bad habits you normally slip into over the festive season your dreams could come true this year.

Remembering the true spirit of Christmas, and making the most of precious time with family and friends, will help everything else fall into place.

Here are our five top tips for taking the stress out of Christmas.

1. Forget the bling

Instead do the whānau thing. That’s the great message the Mental Health Foundation wants you to know about Christmas. It’s a reminder that the festive season isn’t about spending up big on costly gifts – it’s about enjoying the company of family and friends.

2. Share the load

It’s no fun being stuck alone and stressed out in the kitchen on Christmas Day. Share the cooking duties or ask people to help you out. Sometimes the best move is to invite friends and family to bring a plate.

3. Get organised early

Grab a pen and make lists for the jobs you need to do, presents to buy, and a grocery list. You can also use this as a way to start a Christmas budget and stick to it. Planning a menu early and writing down the ingredients you need can stop impulse buying at the supermarket.

4. Take a breather

Don’t let exercise take a back seat over the festive season. Make time for a walk on your favourite beach or for a stroll in a nearby park away from the Christmas madness. Even a quick walk around the block will help you relax and think more clearly.

5. It’s OK to say no

Don’t be afraid to turn down a party invitation or event. The festive season can get busy and stressful if you’re trying to fit too much into your day or week. You can always take a rain check and organise to catch up in the new year when you will all have more time on your hands.