The Festive season is seen as a time of cheer, relaxation, and celebration, after all, it is only once a year, so why not let your hair down, and have a jolly good time! But for many, the whole Christmas thing is stressful and overwhelming.


Remember when we were young…


Think back to when you were wee, (cue nostalgic music and dream sequence!) Christmas was a time of magic, excitement and waiting impatiently for Santa. BUT…

Now, it is anything but merry and bright. You feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious about the whole Christmas thing. It might be that you prefer a quieter more intimate Christmas or perhaps, you find the whole thing exhausting and want to do something on your own.

Whatever your reasons, I get it. Christmas has become this all-consuming season where you are expected to have fun, be merry and bright and go “ah well” if you blow the budget on food and gifts… only once a year after all!

So, how do you beat the stress and overwhelm without looking like Scrooge or being seen as a party pooper and trying to ruin Christmas? I’ve put together 5 ways you can beat it and have a Christmas that fits with who you are and how you want to celebrate it.


5 Ways to Beat Christmas Stress and Overwhelm



#1 Acceptance

Know that it is ok to feel overwhelmed or stressed at Christmas. You are not the only one, the expectations at this time of year are sky-high, and many, just like you, just want it over and done with.

Allow yourself to accept that there is nothing wrong with you or for wanting a quieter, more intimate Christmas or wanting to spend it in your jammies watching cheesy films.

Everyone does Christmas differently. I get that right now it looks like others are all excited about finally being able to have a big Christmas again, and you feel like Scrooge but there are those, (like me) who’d rather get comfy on the sofa with my boys and watch films than do the whole BIG family dinner.


#2 Be realistic

Yes, there are 12 days of Christmas (as the Carol goes!) but December is just another month. But it is easy to forget that and find yourself in a place where you have said yes to way too much and blown any budget you may have had.

Christmas and the day itself, should not be about how much you’ve spent or trying to keep up with others by doing all of the things. Instead, it should be a time where you are doing only the things you realistically can do and spending the day in a way that reflects what you want to do.

Ask yourself, what does Christmas mean to me? What can I start doing today to have the Christmas I want? Remember, you are not a Scrooge or party pooper, if you’d rather give small token gifts to close family and friends and spend the day itself doing something that brings you joy and happiness.


#3 Look after you

There is something about this time of year that creates a sense of having to be busy all of the time – family preparations, buying gifts, going to parties, and making the house all festive. Whilst some may thrive doing that, you might find yourself feeling like an exhausted pigeon and everything, including the day-to-day stuff, becomes a chore.

Self-care is even more important at this time of year, so you don’t end up burnt out and unable to do anything. Taking time out to rest and recharge is not selfish or an excuse! It’s about spending time doing something that will help you relax, destress, and feel happier. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming, a 5-minute walk around your garden or sitting reading a chapter from a favourite book as you have a brew, can all help.


#4 Have a digital detox

Social media at this time of year is in full ‘ITS CHRISTMAAAS’ (yes, I did channel my inner Slade, did you?). Every time you nip on for a quick scroll, it’s countdowns, Christmas ads and your Aunt Aggie showing pics of her house with so many Christmas lights up, you can see it from Space!

I know the thought of not being on Facebook or Instagram is probably making you feel jittery, but do you really need it? Be honest with yourself here. Most scrolling is done during a brew, dinner or when you’re watching TV, so make a conscious choice to switch your phone off and place it somewhere you can’t see it. If you need to have it switched on, place it out of reach, so the temptation to look is gone.

Brucie bonus…if you aren’t scrolling and relaxing watching a film or TV, it ups the self-care!


#5 Don’t take on too much

It’s very easy during the run-up to Christmas to take on more and more until you are literally on the go from the minute you wake up until bedtime.

Is this you…

#A You are using avoidance tactics – getting on with the day-to-day, busying yourself with the next job on the list, the next person who needs you to do something, or whatever it might be, to ‘forget’ about Christmas or to try and get into the Christmas spirit.

#B You don’t want to be seen as a scrooge or party pooper so you ‘fake smile’ your way through what feels like endless reminders of Christmas being back and making up for it with double the fun, bigger parties, and more family get-togethers. Whilst saying yes to anything that needs doing to look like you can’t wait to make up for it this year.

Whatever your reasons, you will end up exhausted and even more stressed. Setting a couple of healthy boundaries will ease that pressure and help you stay in control. This isn’t about shutting people out or coming across as a Scrooge, it’s about making sure you are only doing the things that you can do and have the time and energy for. Remember, if whoever you say no to takes offence, that is them and has nothing to do with you.


Final thoughts


Christmas doesn’t need to be a big family affair or a season filled with parties (including the office party!). You don’t need to be constantly merry and ‘woohoo, I love Christmas.’

Maybe you like to use this period as a time to rest and recharge. Perhaps you see it as a time to do things that bring you joy and spend time with those who accept you for you. It’s about doing what matters most to you and how you want to celebrate it – if you’d rather help out at a local charity that’s ok, or maybe have a morning of swapping presents and an afternoon on the sofa watching your favourite movies then that’s equally ok.

It’s all about you and doing Christmas your way so that you don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed.

how can I change my life and be happy
how do I start setting boundaries

Sick of always saying yes?

Come, spend an hour with me, and let’s see the difference it can make

Is your day always full? No time for yourself? Your to-do list ever-growing? All because you say yes way too much?

You know you’re doing it, you know it’s exhausting you and making you miserable, but you can’t seem to stop.

Whether you want to feel useful, are guilted into it, a people pleaser or are actually afraid of what people might think of you if you say no, you know you’re saying yes all the time for all the wrong reasons.

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