Christmas stress: Will you choose to be a survivor or a victim?

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© Janko Hoener, Wikimedia.
PLAN AHEAD: Have a stress-free Christmas.

CHRISTMAS time. A time of festivities, love, joy and stress stress stress!

Hopefully Christmas will create lots of happiness for you and your family. For many though, this is a time of financial hardship, loneliness and worry. It’s also a time of stress, and at times lots of it. What are the best ways of surviving yuletide stress? What are the best ways of ensuring you don’t become a victim?

Planning ahead is always a great idea. If you’re worried about paying for presents, suggest to family and friends a maximum price for each present. It’s important to make giving fun, but it’s impossible to create fun if you’re spending cash you simply don’t have.  

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If you happen to have plenty of cash, think of the others in your circle of friends who may be struggling. Your suggestion may be of real help to them.

Think Finance, a loan provider, suggested 45 per cent of people in the USA would prefer to skip Christmas due to financial worries.

Recent research suggests that given the choice, children would choose to have more of their parents’ time over any expensive present. The gift of time is the supreme form of giving, yet how many of us forget this?

Consider having a Kris Kringle with family and friends, where everyone draws a name out of a hat and buys a present only for that person or suggest making an agreement to buy presents just for the children.

Unless you’re financially secure, don’t blow next month’s money on just one day. The thought of debt can easily increase stress and depression.  

Christmas is a time for spirituality and friendships. Family and friends want to be with you, rather than with a present that will be soon forgotten. 

Hopefully your Christmas dinner will be wonderful, a creation any masterchef would be proud to call their own. But if the turkey burns and the roast potatoes get cremated, don’t worry. You still have the veg, pudding, mince pies and cheese. Plenty of people don’t have any of these. Many won’t have any food at all this Christmas, so your disaster with the meat isn’t really much of an issue. 

When it comes to relationships, stress, anxiety and feelings of depression are common during the festive season. Create real festivity and happiness by avoiding known triggers.  Avoid chatting about topics you know are contentious in your family and don’t make anyone feel unheard.

Christmas gives choices. Choose to cherish the time wisely. Gift the gift of happiness and a time that will be treasured, however your Christmas time goes.

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