Believe it or not, Christmas is fast approaching. And even for the most organised, it can turn us into complete stress-heads. So how do you keep everything under control and get to December 25 with minimal fuss?
Here are my top tips:
Break it down
Lists are my absolute best friend - I even have making lists on my to do list sometimes! But seriously, when you’re time-poor, every second counts. And you just don’t have time to think about what you need to do next. This is why you need to make lists for everything in advance and allocate three tiny tasks every day towards your end goal. You may not be able to do all your Christmas shopping online in one go...but in one day you may well be able to order three different Christmas presents, which all adds towards your goal.
You can use this principle for anything, from planning parties, to buying gifts and organising the Christmas food. Just remember, keep the goals small and achievable. And don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day...just get back on it the next day.
Christmas is a time when you want to please everyone… but it’s a bit like a wedding, with so many people involved, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to please everyone. So remember sometimes you can just say no for own sanity. If you really don’t want to or don’t have time to bake a cake for that Christmas bake sale, or the thought of going to a party with that group of people brings you out in hives, then don’t go! As long as the people that mean the most to you are happy, then concentrate on that and be confident in saying no when you don’t want to.
Now if you absolutely love baking your Christmas cake, and it’s the highlight of your year, then go ahead and bake. But if, on the other head, you absolutely loathe baking and dread the moment you have to dust off your apron and rolling pin...then ask yourself...”Why on EARTH am I doing this?!”. Life is way too short to do things we don’t enjoy, just because we feel obliged, or because of some self-imposed tradition. So if you don’t enjoy it - then let it go!
Top cheats you can outsource:
- HIre a cleaner to clean up before the family comes round for dinner.
- Buy Christmas dinner ready made from a posh freezer shop like ‘Cook’ or treat yourself and go out.
- Buy a ready-made Christmas cake and ice it yourself.
- Use charity wrapping services in shopping centres, who’ll wrap up your presents for a donation, or buy gift wrapped online.
- Pay older kids to wrap presents for the rest of the family.
Now I hold my hands up - I have to admit I do sometimes struggle to find the time for this one myself, but meditation really does work.
If you’re struggling to turn your brain off, or don’t know where to start - then get help. There are some great meditation apps out there (like ‘Calm’) where you can choose what you want to achieve and how long you have and you can listen to a guided meditation. There are also all kinds of books and resources on the internet. And don’t get discouraged if you’re not in the mood, it takes years to learn to shut off your mind and relax and any kind of relaxation you can do will help you.
Download before you go to sleep
Those must-do things have a nasty habit of popping into your head at the end of the day, when you’ve emptied your brain of everything else. So I keep a notepad by my bed and write a list of the thing I have to do the next day down, before I go to bed, so I know I’ve parked them and can forget them.
It’s an old tip, but a good one, and will you help you get a great night’s sleep s and feel super fresh the next day.
So there’s my five top tips for keeping zen over the Christmas build up - just got to put them into action now!
What do you do to keep you sane in the pre-Christmas craziness? Any top tips?