Posted by: wordsmithsuk | December 21, 2010

Chill out, don’t burn out at Christmas


Picture this. It’s the week before Christmas and you have two important deadlines to meet before the start of the holiday. People have been interrupting you all day. You planned to pop out to do a bit of shopping, but the phone never stops ringing. You promised to attend the school play tomorrow but a client has e-mailed asking for a meeting. Finally, a team of maintenance engineers have arrived to check the heating system. As they start to tap the pipes, you can feel yourself tensing up….

Stress is taking its toll if you react to situations like this by panicking, weeping or getting irritable. But there are many things you can do to cope better with the all the pressures of the festive season – it’s all a question of preparing yourself mentally and giving yourself time to relax.

Causes of stress

When we are under extra pressure, chemicals are released in the blood to enable us to ‘rev up’ for action. So we need some stress, but not too much. A whole host of things make life difficult for us at Christmas:

  • Co-ordinating a number of things at once (have I forgotten something?)
  • Trying to be different things to different people (where’s my diary ?)
  • Crisis management (how can I cope?)
  • High expectations (will they like my presents?)

How to relax

Our ancestors dealt with stress by fighting or running away. But in our civilised times there is no primitive answer – we are not allowed to smash a computer on the head of an awkward colleague or run down the street screaming. Unless we take steps to control and manage stress we will react by tearing our hair out or jumping down people’s throats. And that will only cause further problems!

Try some of these strategies instead:

  • Avoid the superhero syndrome and ask for help
  • Say no to things which you don’t enjoy
  • Let go – relax, listen to music, have a massage
  • Be more realistic about what you can actually do
  • Try to see the funny side of any situation.

Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year, so it’s a challenge to get through it without suffering any emotional or physical ill health. The problem is that if you don’t keep things in balance you won’t have any energy left to enjoy the festivities. The message is – to have a truly wonderful Christmas, chill out, don’t burn out!

To help you relax, have a peek at our magical Christmas card with wonderful music from Corelli –
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