5 ways to have a calm Christmas

It’s that time of year when the whole world seems to be on countdown to the festive season.

With jingle bells ringing in your ears at every turn, it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed. Try these 5 simple tips on how to plan ahead, keep calm and focus on what’s important this Christmas.

1. Make a list

If the thought of all the tasks you need to tackle makes your head swim, one simple solution is to compile a jobs list. Just one list, not several.

You can opt for an electronic spreadsheet or good old pen and paper. Either way, you’ll feel more in control if you collate everything in one place and start ticking off items well in advance.

2. Declutter

There are lots of good reasons to clear out the surplus stuff in your home well before the holiday season. Use up food in the freezer to make space for festive fare. Review drink supplies before shopping for more. Clear kitchen surfaces to make it quicker and easier to prepare meals. Declutter your spare room so you’ll be ready for guests.

Encourage the children in your life to donate toys and games they no longer use to charity. This generous gesture epitomises the festive season while making room for any new presents.

3. Working together

If you’re hosting a get-together, make it a collaborative affair by inviting guests to help. Maybe they can bring a dish, or arrive early to set the table. Don’t be afraid to ask for help - this is a sign of strength, not weakness. There are no medals for doing it all on your own. You may need to let go of perfectionist tendencies or allow others to express themselves. Finding ways to share the workload will declutter your schedule.

4. Minimalism

Whether you’re musing over menus or deliberating over decorations, try to avoid making things too complicated. Less can be more. You can make an impact with limited fuss if you remember the wise words of Leonardo da Vinci: ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’.

5. Positive thinking

When you’re overwhelmed, it’s hard to maintain a sense of purpose. So, if there’s too much to do, sometimes the most useful thing to do is … nothing. Stop, breathe and focus. Feasts and festivals are celebrations so take time to savour the opportunity to spend time with family, friends or community. Enjoy.

Further information:

The Christmas season isn’t always easy. If you’re a Benenden Health member, you can access our Mental Health Helpline 24/7. Whether you're suffering from anxiety, depression, bereavement or relationship problems, we can make sure you don’t have to handle it alone by providing access to an experienced therapist.