Christmas Mental Health

How to Avoid a Stressful Christmas Day

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How to Avoid a Stressful Christmas Day

I’ve already talked about Christmas can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

How to avoid a stressful Christmas Day

Let’s be honest, we all want to enjoy Christmas. We want to eat too much and drink too much, nap in the afternoon and spend the day unwrapping gifts. We don’t want to tidy up, do the washing up or spend the day stuck in the kitchen. But, for some of us, that’s what Christmas Day is like.

So how do we avoid that?

Plan ahead

I love a good plan. I’ve talked about planning for Christmas before. We might be getting close to the big day, but you can still plan ahead.

Prepare as much of your Christmas dinner as you can ahead of time

So much can be prepared ahead of time – the veg, the turkey etc. Try to make it so that all you have to do is put things in the oven on Christmas Day.

Make a list

You know I love lists. Christmas Day is no different. I’ll have a list of everything I need to do and the time I need to do it. I don’t mean “open gifts”, “eat chocolate” kind of things I need to do. I can remember those all on my own. But what needs to go in the oven and when, for example.

I don’t want to be clock watching all the time and I definitely don’t want to risk missing something. So everything will be written down and checked off as I go though the list.

How to Avoid a Stressful Christmas Day


Oh, this one is hard, isn’t it? I am not good at delegating. I like to do everything myself – while also complaining about doing everything myself – so that I know it’s done the way I want it done. This isn’t limited to Christmas Day. It’s the whole preparation bit, too.

I choose the gifts, I do the shopping, I wrap the gifts, I plan Christmas Day and all the meals and where we’re going and what we’re doing. Because I’m worried that, if I get someone else to do any of it, they’ll do it wrong.

Sound familiar? Get over it. Your day will be a lot less stressful, if you share the load. Pick something – anything – off your list and get someone else to do it. Ease your load – you’ll feel better, I promise.

Accept that not everything has to be perfect

This is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” deals, because I am the worst when it comes to this. I like Christmas to be perfect. I like to be the one that makes it perfect. I put far too much pressure on myself.

And then, when something doesn’t quite go to plan… I’m the only one who notices.

Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be anything! Try to go with the flow and enjoy it. The world won’t end if your roasties aren’t crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. No one will care if dinner is served 30 minutes later than planned. Your kids won’t remember whether their presents were wrapped a certain way… because the paper won’t last more than 10 seconds once they get their hands on it anyway!

Christmas can be stressful

But it doesn’t have to be.

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