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Stress proof your festive season with 5 top tips

Let’s face it, the reality is that not all people like the festive season. We get bombarded with adverts showing happy families sitting round their fully laden Christmas tables, laughing, drinking, eating and being merry. But for lots of people that just isn’t the reality and it can lead people to feel lonely, not ‘normal’, left out or thinking why’s my family not like that?

Whether you’ve got the Mother/Father in law from hell, no one to share your day with, twenty people coming round for dinner and just the thought of it stresses you out….. Please remember, there is no such thing as ‘normal’ these days and you are beautifully unique as is the personal situation you find yourself in over the festive period.

The grass isn’t always greener and that’s a fact, it’s just different shades of green and what may look picture perfect from the outside isn’t always so on the inside. How about you reframe it and this festive season, focus positively on your version whatever that may look like and know it’s enough. Look at the little things, the simple pleasures, what makes you happy. Focus on what you have instead of looking at what you don’t have and see if that helps support your headspace.

Here are 5 simple tips that may just help you stress-proof this festive season to make it a fraction easier, whatever your situation.

The gift buying stress

If money is tight, don’t feel pressured to break the bank and rely on overdraft. Be thrifty and buy second hand, set expectations and a smaller budget. Go Secret Santa and get everyone to participate in buying one present each, get creative and perhaps give your time? It’s about giving not receiving so focus on this aspect and know that it’s not worth stressing over the cost. Your family and friends love you for you, not for how much you spend on them.

The Stress of being alone

If you find yourself on your own this year go in search of connection with others. Perhaps volunteer at your local homeless shelter, a food bank, cook dinner for a neighbour, see what’s on in your local community and get involved. You can choose not to be alone and feel mentally better for giving your time to a good cause while being with others.

The stress of FOMO & social media

Stay off social media for a few days over the Christmas period. If it’s going to give you FOMO (fear of missing out) or make you feel sad looking at what everyone else is up to, just switch off notifications and leave it well alone. The shiny stuff is always on social media, very rarely the reality so remember that.

The stress of drinking & eating too much

It’s hard not to be gluttonous over the festive period. Be mindful when you eat and drink, remember satiety is a delayed reaction so take a breather between courses and wait for the next, are you really still hungry or are you eating for the sake of it? Intersperse water between alcoholic drinks to keep yourself hydrated, cut down the alcohol intake and don’t eat mindlessly from the tin of Celebrations that seem to be everywhere you go! Remove them from sight or put them out of reach in a high cupboard so you don’t have easy access for mindless grazing.

The stress of family

We can’t choose our families but we can choose how we ‘react’ to them. Sitting with family for some can be a really tense occasion so keep it light hearted, play some old fashioned games round the table, stay off any trigger topics, sit those likely to clash far apart from each other and involve everyone in helping. Play some happy Christmas tunes and distract as much as possible.

If you are separated from your partner, are splitting Christmas and sharing time with your children, try and focus on the time you have with them not the time you don't. I say this from experience so know how hard this is in practice and believe me I really do understand. But for the time you are without your children, perhaps take the opportunity to visit family or spend time with mates, it's going to be different from what you're used to but empower yourself to make time on your own work for you.

Hopefully there are some helpful tips in here for you and remember, there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ Christmas, take the pressure off and reframe it in a way that works for YOU.

All my love to you and wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas! x

Are you suffering from low self-esteem, constantly stressed, unable to prioritise, stuck in the past, finding new challenges overwhelming, lacking in energy, struggling to manage your weight or battling to eat healthily? I may be able to help.

To book in your FREE 15 minute coaching consultation, please visit my website or email me Antonia at and let's chat to see if we can work together in 2023.

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