Top Tips. santa

Making Xmas less stressful

1. Stop trying to keep up wit the Jonses' or whatever your neighbours are called. Trying to have bigger, better, more sparkly whatever has a real negative impact on our self esteem

2. stick to a budget. Overspending at Christmas is a huge stressor. Plan how much you can afford to spend on presents, food and the "little extras" that always seem to temp us at this time of year

3. Do have realistic expectations of the family gathering! We put such significance of the social aspects of Christmas that we are inevitably going to be disappointed. Remember it's not your job to make sure that everyone gets on with everyone else - particularly if they hate each other the rest of the year!

4 . Take a breather Make sure you take time out for yourself. Maybe go for a walk, listen to your favourite music. Just 15 minutes away from it all can refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.

5. Learn to say no. The pressure to take part and get involved with everything is huge. Setting limits is important so that you do not feel overwhelmed. Decide which events you really want to attend and how much time you will spend at each one. This gives you a real sense of control.

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