How to stay sane during the holiday season

17 December 2018

Well it's officially December and it's now acceptable to eat mince pies for breakfast, dance around to Mariah Carey and use the excuse of Christmas when going for after work drinks on a Monday (not like I needed an excuse). 

It's also that time of year for some that can be overwhelming and really play with your mental health. Which is a vicious cycle because then you end up eating 15 pigs in blankets in an hour. However, there are little hints and tips that can keep you sane this Christmas...

1. Don’t trick yourself into pretending that you’re too busy. Everyone knows how busy the holiday season gets, I looked at my calendar for the next couple of weeks and I have events right up until the New Years, when currently all I want to do is sleep. But sometimes that’s what you need. We all need to stop pretending we’re so busy and just take a breather. If you are tired and don't feel like you can go to a Christmas party and enjoy it, then simply don’t go. The world will not fall apart if you don’t attend the third Christmas drinks social you’ve been invited - you can’t be everywhere at the same time.

2. Remember the reason for the season. Christmas is not meant to be a stressful time of year, it’s all about getting the family together, having fun, enjoying a rare time to relax and the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones. I know it is sometimes difficult (especially when you’re as dramatic as me) but be thankful. There are millions of people worse off than you and Christmas is usually the time they feel it the most. And if you want to do something about it, there are a million and one ways to help this Christmas, whether its from helping out at a homeless centre to buying gifts for less-fortunate children. And that brings you Christmas cheer too!

3. To talk financially, Christmas can be a tricky time of the year. We feel the pressure to spend money we might not have on gifts for people who will then feel guilty because they haven’t spent as much on your present and it turns into one big competition of who can spend more - and that’s when the credit card companies rejoice as we all get into debt and have a miserable January being broke. Be rigid when it comes to your spending limit, when it’s gone, it’s gone. And designer outlets are your best friends in the festival period. Avoid all the impulse spending just because you’re in the “christmas spirit’.

4. The dreaded 'how are you still single' question. This is most likely to come from a distant family member at the Christmas dinner table who takes an unnecessary interest in your life after barely speaking to you for the other 12 months of the year. Luckily in this situation, my Grandma will always interrupt and say ‘she has to kiss a lot of frogs to find her prince’. But in the case that you don’t have someone to fight away the dreaded question on your behalf, don’t forget to breathe. As silly as it sounds, when someone is close to pushing you over the edge with their questions or annoyances, do a breathing exercises, something simple like breathing in for 1, hold for 4 and out for 2, to stop you from snapping at the person that asked you and telling them to mind their own business.

5. Don’t wait until the last minute (says the girl who plans to do all her Christmas shopping on the 22nd December) The rookie mistake. Whether it’s Christmas shopping or activity planning, people often wait until last minute and then dash to everything in a panic. What’s that famous saying…'fail to prepare, prepare to fail’? A couple of years ago, I got into the habit of doing my Christmas shopping in one weekend, because no-one needs the stress of Christmas being spread over weeks and weeks.

6. We all know social media is damaging, it has it pros and cons but especially in the Christmas period, it should be approached carefully. Don’t spend all your time on social media because people share the best moments of their lives; fancy Christmas parties, expensive Christmas gifts - we’ve all been there when in reality you’re posting a beautiful IG posts of you living your best life, whilst you’re really in your PJs with no make up on debating whether it’s acceptable to eat your sixth mince pie of the day. Speaking from my younger years, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparing the gifts you got with those, yet so easily avoidable if you restrict yourself from overloading yourself with social media usage at Christmastime.

7. The two words that people don’t want to hear at Christmas are healthy and gym. I know what I would rather choose if i was faced with a plate of pigs in blankets or a session on the cross trainer #thiccmass. That being said, as i currently write this, I have a cold, being sick at Christmastime is the absolute worst, so from now on, I will do everything to avoid that dreaded feeling. Going to the gym, using hand sanitiser, getting early nights, drinking loads of water are great steps to avoiding being struck down by cold and flu season. 

8. Ask friends or family for help. No one should expect you to be perfect,everyone feels the pressure, especially around Christmas, and what i’m always told is the best way to offload your problems is to share them - to this day I struggle with this. But this time of the year, where you’re expected to be happy and portray this, but sometimes you just feel like you can’t and you don’t have to, consider chatting to your loved ones to see how they can help.

And if you get too stressed remember, stressed spelt backwards is desserts, so there’s your answer right there. 

Outfit details 
Coat - Monikh
Orange Rollneck - La Redoute
Jeans - New Look
Boots - Nasty Gal

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