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Top tips for a stress-free Christmas

Christmas time is supposed to be full of cheer and joy but for many it's a stressful time. Here are a few tips to survive and maybe even enjoy the yuletide.

Don’t panic

Christmas prep can be hectic and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed. However, whatever you may forget or mess up, it is unlikely to stop the world from turning. If you start feeling and acting panicky people around you (especially little ones) will pick up on this and the Christmas cheer will soon turn sour.

It’s not about the presents

Working out what to buy and how to afford all this is enough to get the stress hormones flowing. Whatever religion or belief you have, presents are not likely to be what Christmas is all about. If you keep receipts, people can return what they don’t like or give them gift vouchers so they can enjoy the sales. If you’re short of cash you could gift a promise instead or just wrap your gifts really nicely.

Don’t wrap up on Christmas Eve

Talking about wrapping, don’t leave it until Christmas Eve. You’re likely to find that you have forgotten someone and it will be too late to do something about it. Also, wrapping is always more work than you think it is and you’ll end up feeling frazzled and going to bed late when the turkey is due to go into the oven at 7am the next morning.

Don’t fret over food

Talking about the turkey, cooking a Christmas meal is not rocket science and with some level of organisation anyone can do it. Ignore the telly chefs and their 25 glazed and fancy vegetable dishes unless you’re into all that and feel up to it. Keep some frozen vegetables on standby for if it goes belly-up. If you get a good quality turkey (or other beast of choice) and a few quality veggies together with some regular sides like pigs in blankets everyone will be happy. Enjoy having a meal together with loved ones and raise a glass to those who can’t be there.

Alcohol damage limitation

Talking about raising a glass, obviously alcohol is poison and best avoided, but many of us enjoy a tipple, especially this time of year and there are some ways to limit the damage. Go easy on the breakfast bubbles, especially if you’re in charge of dinner. A glass of champagne with your scrambled eggs and salmon may give you a festive glow but it doesn’t take much to go from festive glow to getting soused at this time of the day. Drink plenty of water during the day and stick to wine (most health benefits) or spirits. Stay away from blue, green or pink drinks.


If you’re feeling frazzled, take 20 deep, very slow breaths into your tummy. This will immediately slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.


Make some time to exercise. Exercise reduces stress hormones like cortisol (unless you’re engaging in ultra-distance running) and adrenaline and helps produce mood-enhancing endorphins. Even going for a brisk walk will do the trick.

Have fun

Enjoy this time with your loved ones, relax and be merry. Try to laugh off things that are not going to plan or people who are getting on your wick. This year’s disaster is next year’s funny Christmas memory.

Hope you have a wonderful and stress-free Christmas time!

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