Handle Holiday Stress Like a Boss | 12 Days of Blogmas
This festive season can be a huge source of stress for a lot of people. Between traveling home and being reunited with long distance relatives, it can all be a little overwhelming. How do we cope with all this Christmas stress? For the third day of 12 Days of Blogmas I'm going to share all and any advice I have to help you handle the holiday stress.
STRESSFUL SITUATION 1: AIRPORTS
Making a trip where you have to fly can be super daunting. You've got to get the airport on time and dodge the crowds, it can be really tricky! Here are my tips for surviving the airports:
- Plan in advance. Write out a detailed itinerary of when and where you need to be. Share this itinerary with a family or a friend so someone knows where you should be if something goes wrong.
- Make copies of your documents. I like to have my boarding pass on my phone and in paper copy in my bag. Same with train or bus tickets too. You can also scan your Photo I.D. and keep a copy in your Cloud so it can be accessed from anywhere if you need a replacement.
- Give yourself lots of time. Take the earlier bus or train and give yourself plenty of time to stand around in a queue. If you arrive early to the airport you can hang out in Starbucks on the WiFi with a festive hot chocolate. It's better to sit around waiting than be panicked because you're short on time.
STRESSFUL SITUATION 2: CROWDS
Everyone seems to be out at the time of year. Shops are uncomfortably packed and there is this frantic air of chaos hanging over us. It's enough to make you never ever leave your safe, cozy bed ever again. Well I hope I can help:
- Have a plan. Figure out a route to take. Decide on the shops you want to go to and what you need to get from them. It's also a great help to decide your money situation too; cash or card? Got enough cash? Have a simple plan and you'll be fine.
- Know the peak times. Usually early in the morning or later in the evening is when there's less people around so choose a time your most comfortable with.
- Have an exit strategy. When you start to feel a little overwhelmed it's great to be able to remove yourself from that situation. When you arrive somewhere, figure out where the exits are or the bathrooms or a quiet hallway. Deep breaths, you'll be okay.
STRESSFUL SITUATION 3: FOOD
Christmas time is a time for total indulgence. Your surrounded by all the most delightful food and yet you're left feeling all the crappy emotions after taking a bite. That shouldn't be what the holiday is about! Here's some advice:
- Know your limits and set them. Tell yourself you'll only have 2 biscuits with a cup of tea or one slice of cake. Think about your day of meals will look and plan around them.
- Stop when you're full. Don't try and cram that last chocolate in just for the sake of it, save it for later when you're feeling better. For now, enjoy the feeling of satisfaction and savour your flavours.
- Compromise and exercise. If you feel like you need to be rolled away from your spot then maybe you should go for a short walk. Some fresh air and gentle movement will have you feeling great in no time! You can tell yourself if you eat your veggies it will make your desert all the sweeter.
- Remember, it's just the holidays. Don't use it as an excuse to go overboard with everything. But don't forget to enjoy yourself and let your hair down. It's one time in the year where we all get together and break bread and share a drink together.
STRESSFUL SITUATION 4: INTERROGATION
We've all been there. It's 20 questions from distant family members and acquaintances. They want to know about every sensitive subject in your life regardless of whether you're willing to tell all or not!
- Prepare a few stories. Stretch the truth a little if you like, too. People just want to hear something positive about how you're spending your time so prepare a few pleasant stories that will keep them off your back.
- Prepare some questions to return. Get clued in on your estranged aunt from your mum and ask her about something in her life. It shows you care and your listening.
- Have some quick, vague answers for typical questions. You always hear the same; "Hows your love life? Still single?", "Hows work going?" Etc. Even if you're very much single and very happy you can always fib a little by saying something like "I was briefly seeing someone but it wasn't serious." Or "Work's going great! Got a big project on that's very hush hush right now but you'll be the first to hear about it!". Vague answers are enough to satisfy the nosey bugger without leaving room for patronising. Joke and laugh a little too, it will put you at ease and diffuse tension. You can easily move on to the next interrogation! yay.
STRESSFUL SITUATION 5: GIFT GIVING
Suddenly people start coming out of the woodwork of your life and you feel this growing pressure to buy everyone a present! If that wasn't bad enough you've got to worry about money too.
- Make a list, check it twice. Figure out who your going to buy for by seeing who's significant in your life (such as your family) or who's giving you a present (Secret Santa, colleague etc). Don't be afraid to ask/tell someone if you're getting them something or if they are giving you something. Make a list and stick to it.
- Decide a budget. If you can only afford €10 on everyone then that's fine. Stick to your budget and base your gift inspiration around that. Don't feel like you need to buy the most flashiest, expensive thing to compete with someone. It's the thought that counts! Last year I bought my long-locked BF a Tangle Teaser and he loved it because it was something thoughtful and personal.
- Have a backup. If you're worrying, find something small and inexpensive that you can buy several of to keep on hand. My mum does this with boxes of chocolates. Quite often at this time of year you get an unexpected visitor laden with gifts so being able to whip out a box of chocolates or handmade cosmetics or something is a wonderful, inexpensive way to take that stressful surprise out of the mix.
P.S. sorry mum for sharing your choccy box secret!
These are the most common stressful scenarios to expect this holiday season but if you have some tips to share I'd love to read them in the comments!