Don’t try to do it alone
Christmas can feel like juggling a million things at once – family, work, and all the festive preparation. Tracey Eker, chief executive of Flexiworkforce, advises not trying to micromanage – and handing back control to other people in your life. “It’s not an easy thing to do, but sharing your work with others will make you feel lighter and so much more excited for Christmas to arrive.”
Allow time for tasks to take up to 50% longer than you originally anticipate. “Put slack in your system by leaving gaps in your day rather than scheduling things back to back,” [says Jessica Chivers].
Remember that the winter holidays are a time for family
“In all the busyness, we must never lose sight of that,” says Anton Dominique from the London School of Marketing. “We’ve all done it – had a sneaky peek at our work emails when we should be enjoying family time, but remember that spending time together is important.”
Don’t make budgets too big
It’s not necessary to spend lots of money to give a gift that someone really wants. Spending hundreds of pounds won’t make Christmas time any more fun, in fact may just make others feel under pressure to match you!
Pay in cash
One way to force yourself to stick to your Christmas budget is to pay for all your gifts with cash. Simply withdraw the amount that you can afford to spend on your holiday gifts. When that money is gone, Christmas shopping time is over. Try not to use credit where possible, it’s very expensive and promises to repay in the New Year usually don’t come to fruition.
Become a Lone-Wolf Shopper
People who shop alone generally spend less money than those who shop with friends and family members. Not only can a shopping partner cause distraction and break your fiscal focus, but they may also pressure you into buying items you really don’t need, or you will be more inclined to impulse buy because you don’t have time to make a decision.
Keep your expectations modest
Don’t get hung up on what the Christmas holidays are supposed to be like and how you’re supposed to feel. If you’re comparing your festivities to some abstract greeting card ideal, they’ll always come up short. So don’t worry about festive spirit and take it as it comes.
Do something different
This year, does the prospect of the usual routine fill you with Christmas dread rather than joy? If so, don’t surrender to it. Try something different. Have Christmas dinner at a restaurant. Spend Boxing Day at the cinema, or get your family to agree to donate the money to a charity instead of exchanging presents.
Make Time for Exercise
Christmas is, for many, a time of excessive eating and drinking and exercise can be easily overlooked. Diets are particularly popular in January! Exercise is a great way to reduce stress as it burns off hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and helps produce mood-enhancing endorphins. Try going for a walk after dinner as the fresh air and exercise will lift your mood and make you feel better.