It’s the most wonderful time of the year they say, so why is it also considered one of the most stressful? Christmas time is supposed to be a festive season of celebrating love, joy and giving. But somehow, we have managed to make it a slightly dreaded period of the year. A study done by the American Psychological Association reveals that Christmas is indeed a time of stress and pressure for many, outlining the four main reasons why stress increases during Christmas period. Below are the winners:
NO PRESENTS RULE
Christmas is a time of giving. The metaphorical meaning of this could be giving our time, or a small but very sentimental gift. We don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to feed each other’s egos, after all this is not at all what Christmas is about. Since two of the top causes of stress during Christmas time are related to buying presents and money, it is possible to shift our perception and eliminate the stressors. You and your family could skip the Christmas presents this year and instead add some extra money towards the Christmas dinner or a coffee outing for the whole family. Alternatively, you and your family could put in a small amount each and make a donation to the local animal shelter, homeless shelter or a charity dear to your heart. Instead of creating a fuss about something that is not really necessary, turn it into a good deed and give to those in need.
Spending time with our loved ones should not be a chore or a stressful activity at all, so why do we make it like that? Christmas is definitely a time when our social calendars fill up and before we know it, we have said yes to every invite. It’s no wonder then that we feel exhausted and stressed. During these times, we give so much of our energy externally that we can deplete ourselves from within. This can cause pressure on the mind and an overall feeling of being tired, because when we give too much of our energy to others, we feel depleted. So, to keep nourished, nurtured and healthy, make sure you take some time for yourself. This can be as simple as taking a walk alone in the nature, having a little nap, doing physical exercise, reading your favourite book, having coffee alone at your favourite café etc… Whatever you enjoy doing, take some time to do so. When we engage in activities we are passionate about, we fill our hearts with joy, energise our mind and connect with our authentic self. You will then feel more refreshed when the time comes to see everybody.
Instead of going out to purchase the latest and trendiest Christmas cards, get creative and make your own. All you need is some plane card paper, a couple of beautiful pens or markets, and a few props to add to it. Don’t forget to customise your message for each person, this will be the cherry on top. This activity is great for activating the creative side of your brain but it’s also fun. Some of you may think that this requires time you don’t have or that you are not a very creative person. These are just excuses which come from your self-limiting beliefs. Everybody has a little bit of creativity within themselves and if you think you don’t make it more of a reason to discover this. Take an hour of your day to focus on this, as it is good for the soul, the mind and the emotional self. You might surprise yourself with how lovely they turn out, all whilst you are actually putting your most powerful tools in action, your mind your imagination and your passion. As it is something you create that comes from a pure, giving intention, your cards will bring a beautiful energy to the festive season celebrations.