How to have a stress free Christmas

We all know that Christmas can be stressful.  There is the usual invasion by the family, and extended family, the standing on ceremony all day, the extra expense as well as time and frustration trying to get the Christmas dinner on the table on time.

So much to do – presents to buy, cards to write, people to see, meals to cook, worrying about money.  Panic sets in.  Then there is the worry that there are not enough hours in the week.

Perhaps you perceive that you organise everything all on your own, without appreciation, and you also perceive there is a whole lot of expectation too from those around you.  That doesn’t sound like much fun to me.  And yet it is a scenario that is described over and over again.

Is it really the case though?  Do YOU have to organise everything? Are YOU expected to do it all? Is this something YOU think you ought to do?

If you think it is something you ought to do, think again.  There are no oughts allowed. We aren’t living in the nineteenth or even the twentieth century now, we are living in the twenty first century – it is time for YOU to start looking at what it is YOU want to happen at Christmas, when YOU want it to happen, who YOU want to celebrate with, who YOU don’t want to celebrate with, whether YOU want to celebrate it at all, whether YOU want to cook a roast dinner with all the trimmings or not, whether YOU want to go to a restaurant for Christmas dinner and so on.

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Perhaps you wonder what others will think of you if you break with tradition.  Stop wondering, be true to yourself, if the traditions are still relevant to you then by all means carry on with them, but if they are not relevant then stop following them.

Ask yourself how much of your planning for Christmas is led by guilt.  Be honest and try to weed out unnecessary obligations to lessen your load.

For instance, is it the norm for your relatives to all come to your house for Christmas dinner?  Do they expect you to invite them? Do you do all the food shopping, all the cooking?

Is this what YOU and they really want?  Have you had ‘the conversation’ regarding who really wants to do what on Christmas day?  It really isn’t a difficult conversation to have.

For instance, I asked my mother a couple of years ago if she wanted to spend Christmas with me or with my brother as she usually divided her time between us.  She said she would rather go on a tinsel and turkey trip with her friend and that is what she did.  She had fun, I wasn’t obligated and I could do what I wanted which was have a quiet Christmas at home with my husband.

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I know someone who went every weekend for five years to his father’s for Sunday lunch.  He packed up his car with his children and his wife and took the ferry to the mainland because he perceived this is what was expected of him.  He was beginning to resent these trips, which took up most of the day, and resent his father.

I asked him if he had had ‘the conversation’ with his father about having Sunday lunch with him every week.  He said no, but that he would.  He came back to me a few weeks later and said that his father was hugely relieved as he was getting fed up cooking a roast dinner each week, sometimes he just wanted to sit down with a sandwich, a glass of beer and watch the rugby.  They agreed to have lunch together once a month.  He got most of his Sundays back and he could do more things with his wife and children.

So do the same thing about Christmas.  Ask your relatives if they actually want to come to you this Christmas.  Don’t be surprised if they are relieved that you have asked.  You will probably find that you will have an easier time, with far less stress, with just as much fun, but fun that you want to have and not fun that is manufactured out of guilt.

What do YOU want for your Christmas? How do YOU want to look on Christmas day, worn our and resentful, or relaxed and enjoying yourself?

Festive Woman in Red Santa Hat

Budget for what you can afford to spend and stick to it.  Try and spread the cost of present shopping over a longer period. Consider a simpler version of Christmas dinner such as a buffet where everyone you choose to invite brings a plate of food.  Consider whether you are prepared to tolerate family tensions over Christmas, if not make the decision to have ‘the conversation’ with everyone concerned.

Remember, be the result of your decisions not of circumstances.

If this resonates with you, and you would like to learn more about my work,  get in touch with me today. I would like to hear from you.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

Friends and family who sap your positive energy

The people with whom you have the most contact and who hang around you will have either a positive or negative effect on your levels of self-esteem and confidence.

We all know people who are positive, happy and joyful to be around. Have you noticed how they make you feel?

They make you feel the same as them, happy and positive! They can put zest into a boring atmosphere and can fill the room with a positive, ‘can do’ vibe that has a knock on effect onto everyone else.

Four Women Friends at the Beach

We also know of those people who could moan for England!

According to them they never had the opportunities, they are always putting people down, they don’t like other people to be successful, they are jealous and are negative thinkers – and so much more!

These people drain the energy from the room, and bring everyone down to their level, a million miles away from the level that YOU want to be operating on.

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Some family members can be a lot like this, but you can always choose your friends, you can never choose your family!

What can you do to make sure that the people you have most contact with empower and support what you stand for rather than bring you down all of the time?

You have the power to choose who you have contact with. Ideally you want happy, vibrant and positive people. If there are people who are constantly draining our positive energy you have a couple of options.  You can tell them how you feel and if they are really good friends they will respect your wishes and may change their behaviour. If they drift into the negative again, try to ignore it.  Or if they aren’t really good friends, they will drift away and find someone else to drain.

The same can be said for your family.  Your more mature relatives have been conditioned for many, many years and are a different generation.  Appreciate where they have come from whilst being selective with the information that filters through to your brain.  You have the same choices as with your friends for the younger relatives, tell them how you feel and they will either change something or drift away.

Don’t attach any guilt to your decisions, as it is your life and if you are tired of the negativity, it is time to do something about it.

You may well find that you make new friends who are positive and upbeat and some other members of your family may reappear who have also removed themselves from negative relatives.

I have some availability for coaching clients, we just need to fix some dates if and when you want to get started. Get in touch today.

Maggie Currie 

Creedence – Confidence for You

International Confidence Coach, Motivational Speaker, Author

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