How to Reduce Christmas Stress

You can reduce Christmas Stress by changing your Christmas shopping habits. The shopping itself, fighting the crowds, the screaming, the bumping into one another, the babies crying, the overlap of Christmas song sung off-key, the flared tempers, the children and adults coughing in your face, the glaring lights, the poor taste of Christmas displays, the cashiers and clerks and salespersons screeching at you, the loudspeakers announcing the latest arrival of a new shipment of the boon balloon, a blow up version of Santa and his legions, pumped with helium and supporting kids who want to ride around the store---in mid air. The sheer physically induced stress is enough to make one reach for Celexia. Well, it doesn't have to be this way. Who said you had to Christmas shop a few days before Christmas? Why not distribute your Christmas Shopping over the year?

If you want to reduce Christmas stress, it does not mean that you have to constantly buy gifts every time you go out. Back up a moment. You first have to come up with a budget and you can work on this at home before you ever set foot in a store. Decide first of all how much you are willing to spend on Christmas and set up at least three categories. In the first category is your family, your husband or wife. In the second category you place your close friends and in the third category, you place business associates and acquaintances. The first category calls for the more expensive gifts, the second less expensive gifts and in the last category you do not purchase a gift; you either create or purchase a card that suits the person. Now a copy of this list should stay on your reminder board at home and a copy stays with you when you go shopping. You can modify the gift choices throughout the year. Do not go over budget, but look for bargains throughout the year. Check out the sales. Shoot for purchasing all your gifts at sale prices. This is the great financial advantage of shopping for Christmas all year long. A realistic plan can help you to reduce Christmas stress.

Reduce Christmas Stress by Shopping the Year Around

You do not have to rush. You can leisurely plan your choices and see what options are available. Stress is enormously reduced. You can think through your choices and not just grab things to get through your list. By stressing the rational approach to buying Christmas gifts, you will not be so tempted to charge items on your credit cards. In fact, a proactive approach could include a Christmas Savings account wherein every month an agreed upon amount is automatically transferred from your checking account into your Christmas Savings account. This way, you could be earning some interest and you would not have to think about saving for Christmas; it would be done automatically, thus reducing stress. You can save money on buying presents simply by identifying items you already possess that can be used as gifts. What about the collection of ties you have been given as Christmas presents? Or the new edition of the Faery Queen? It sits on your bookshelf in your home office, but you have never opened it. Look around your home. There are, more than likely, gifts waiting to be wrapped and given again. In these ways you can reduce Christmas Stress.

Beside external stressors, there are psychological hurdles to overcome. The music, the songs, evoke memories of childhood and produce in many a feeling of nostalgia, memories of joyous times where you were nestled in a kind of celestial womb, protected and thrilled by the occasion. Sometimes the contrast with stark reality is too much to bear. You may be experiencing unemployment just at the time you think you are expected to spend money on gifts and celebrations. This scenario can plunge some into a deep depression and perhaps account for the high suicide rate during the holidays. If you are having such feelings or a suicidal fantasy, it is best to talk to someone you trust, even if this requires professional support. On your own, you can take a few minutes out of every day to walk or run. Exercise has been shown to increase serotonin in the brain and give one a feeling of mild euphoria...a great way to reduce Christmas stress.

Dietary Caution Can Reduce Christmas Stress
All that turkey you are eating contains loads of tryptophan, an ingredient in some sleeping tablets. So if you are feeling sleepy or lethargic, you may be getting a signal that it is time to cut back on the turkey. Also, Christmas, like many holidays, is rife with the temptation to indulge in eating candy, drink alcoholic beverages, and sample an assortment of family desserts. Take it easy on these non-foods. You can overload yourself with sugar and get a sugar high, but it may be followed by depression. Be aware of what you are eating. And do not starve yourself before the massive feast begins. Eat a normal meal for breakfast or lunch so you will not be ravenous when you have a banquet laid out before you. Remember, just a bit of dietary caution can reduce Christmas stress.

In-laws, Relatives and Fiancées

Do you recall the adage that a fish begins to stink after three days? It can be the same with relatives. There are those you love in small doses and those you would bail out of jail, but if you have to listen to the same jokes you heard from them for the last ten years, you think you will scream and you have to remind yourself that this too shall pass. And then there is your Dutch uncle. And Aunt
Clara who adjusts your art work and table settings. When the stress reaches its limit ---and you will know when this happens because it will feel so very good to scream...when this happens, then this is time to go for a jog, or a leisurely stroll. Such are some ways to reduce Christmas stress.