Online counselling. Counselling to improve feelings. About Stress and Christmas – Ivana Straska
About Stress and Christmas

About Stress and Christmas

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Perhaps, you are one of those who have identified increased stress these days. The reason is CHRISTMAS!

Let’s be honest, Christmas could be incredibly optimistic and the most positive experience (if we just follow its tradition). Nearly every portrayal of Christmas shows cheerful people, tastefully decorated houses, children & animals surrounded by pristine snow…

Traditionally, advent kicks off the Christmas festive spirit; a time of preparation, full of good cheer and love. The climax of this festive image should be time of giving and receiving. An image of happy people gathered around a dinner table, talking, sharing and celebrating…  However, modern Christmas has lost its charm. Perhaps, too busy life makes people rather anxious and stressed. We have stopped being positive about Christmas, and for some people the climax of Christmas never arrives. Sadly, Christmas became one of the most stressful times in the year.

My Tips to Decrease Stress Before and During Christmas

We do not have to experience this festive time stressful. We can try to revive the true spirit of Christmas, love, joy and blessings.

The key to a less stressful Christmas is down to mental relaxation and adjustment. This also includes anticipation, preparation and planning. We can anticipate what will happen and be ready for it with a smile. Here is what we should remember:

  • Just changing standards and expectations significantly reduces stress. We have to stop wanting everything perfect. We don’t have to spoil the joy of festival when something goes wrong. (Yeah, something always goes wrong!) We have to adjust to it.
  • Gifts and materialistic aspects of Christmas are not priorities. We can make Christmas a positive emotional experience, when we want to. We do not have to do everything alone. We accept that when delegating jobs to other people, they don’t make the things the same was as we would do it. They can do the things well in their own way.
  • Let others know that we make these days and Christmas the time of love and joy. We don’t try to show off or impress others. We exercise  our positive and carrying attitude. Gifts can mean lot, but true kindness and care are priceless. No gift can replace them.

When we are stressed we NEVER turn to unhealthy habits, such as smoking, drinking, or taking drugs to cope with stress. These unhealthy habits will strengthen by each time we do them and it will be more difficult to give them up. ALWAYS we cope with stress in a healthy way; the way that does not compromise our physical or mental health.

My Tips that You Should Not FORGET:

  • Take control over situations.
  • Accept the things you cannot change. Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. Concentrate on the things you control.
  • If there is a problem, resolve it. Doing nothing will make a problem worse. Unresolved small problems grow into large ones.
  • Focus on positive, possibilities and problem solving.
  • Practice techniques that help you resolve and develop appreciation. Look for the positives and things you are grateful for.
  • Practice techniques allowing letting go and clearing the mind.
  • Activate your mind and occupy it by meaningful thoughts.
  • Don not dwell on stress by itself, or on a problem causing stress.
  • Be active in your mind. Beneficial ways of thinking should replace negative and non-constructive thinking.
  • Despite you may want to be passive (like watching TV) push yourself and do things that activate your body and mind.
  • Have ‘me time’, which means you consciously give yourself and do things you really enjoy.
  • Practice relaxation techniques and mindfulness.
  • Challenge yourself with new goals or skills.
  • Be smarter, not harder. Working smarter means that you prioritize and concentrate on what makes a real difference.
  • Take breaks. Mentally distract yourself by doing the things that help you to forget about problems, focus on something different.
  • Prioritize well-being, yours and others’. Practice acceptance, compassion, kindness and visualization.
  • Use audios, books and advisers helping you to begin responding positively.
  • Focus on strengthening your physical health; be physically active and exercise.
  • Vigorous physical exercise helps to process negative emotions such as anger, sadness, or fear.
  • Regardless the weather, spend time outdoors.
  • Manage your time and plan. Get tips or help to improve your time management.
  • Build a good social network that helps adapt and develop more optimistic attitude.
  • Talk to others and focus on building relationships with like-minded people.
  • Stay positive and surrounded by positive people.

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