Avoid December stress

Avoid December stress

Although December is a great month, it can also be a very stressful one. With many deadlines at work due to upcoming New Year’s eve and everything you need to take care of for Christmas (gifts, dinner ideas, outfits), it can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to prepare you for December stress, so you can just enjoy the season!

Plan ahead

Preparation is everything! I usually start preparing for Christmas in October. I start making lists of gift ideas, looking for Christmas decorations and divide big deadlines up in smaller ones. This way, I won’t have to do everything last minute and I know what’s coming. Saves a lot of stress later on! Here are some more planning tips if you need them, like this Eisenhower matrix. This’ll help you to choose what you have to do now and what you can do in 2021.

eisenhower matrix planning tool

Go away

Although you might feel like you need every weekend to prepare, you might also benefit from going away for a weekend. It’ll clear your mind and refresh you, so you can put in all your energy when you come back. Although going on holiday in other countries might not be an option this year, renting a house or hotel room somewhere in nature (beach, forest) still is a safe option. Nature has been found to be great for relaxation purposes, so that should be your best option.

Have things to look forward to

When I’m really stressed, it helps to know that the situation won’t last forever. So, when I see a stressful period coming up, I also try to pinpoint when life will calm down again. This way, there is something to look forward to, which will help me to keep going when it gets tough. It can also help to plan a reward for all the hard work (although a nice Christmas can be a reward in itself of course).

Self care

Here he comes again: the importance of self care. When times are stressful, you need to take good care of yourself. I’ve mentioned many tactics before, but different things work for different people, so find out what fits your needs. For instance, some people feel stress more physically and a physical solution like increasing your intake of antioxidants might help. However, some people might benefit more from mental relaxation tactics like meditation to calm down.

Come together

If there is a season to come together, it’s Christmas. Therefore, it’s a good idea to find solace in your friends and family. Whine and complain with with others, they might be feeling the same as you do. Sharing the burden can really help to lift the weight off your shoulders.

Protect your body

Nothing can impact your mood and productivity like depressive symptoms. Although there are many things that can affect it, some proven ways to fight it are to increase your magnesium levels, vitamin D intake and to get keep moving. In addition, inflammation has been found to be correlated to depression. So, taking care of your body through food, drinks, exercise and time outside is vital to get through this month. Although sun may be hard to come by, you might want to find it through for instance a solarium or light therapy. Although going to the solarium too often can be harmful, once every while on a low setting might help you. However, with all these psychical solutions, it’s good to consult with your GP before radically changing your lifestyle.

Although I can’t take away the stress completely, I really hope these tips will help you manage it a little bit better, so you can enjoy the season to the fullest! How’s your December stress usually? Let me know in the comments below. And if you liked this and you want to save some money to buy the presents, you can subscribe here to my blog to get my ‘Saving money without devaluing your life’ e-book! For regular updates on posts and more content, follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Lots of love,

Lisa

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Hi there! My name is Lisa and I am the author of Mind and Body Intertwined. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology. During my study, I found out how much the mind and the body are connected and it fascinated me, which is why I started my blog. Would you like to join me on this little corner of the world?

47 Comments on “Avoid December stress

  1. Since I have many things to do in December, including my blogmas project, I’m going to follow these to avoide December stress xD Thank you so much for this helpful post x

  2. Hey! We have something in common. I did psych for undergrad and then, counseling for grad school. I haven’t worked in the field for years, though, and am now a stay at home mom and lifestyle blogger. I appreciate your suggestions in this post! I think meditating might be the one that would help me most, although I also love to plan ahead.

    • How nice! Meditation works as well for me in decreasing it, so that’s a benefit 😊

  3. Great post! December is a great month but it’s definitely an emotional roller coaster. It’s helpful to plan ahead so that you’re less overwhelmed!

  4. Fantastic post Lisa! Christmas time is always super stressful for me, so much so that I have never actually liked Christmas even as a little girl. I think it’s because my parents were divorced when I was five and then there was always this back and forth on the holidays with lots of guilting and stress and no time for relaxing and enjoying.

    I also don’t really enjoy getting gifts. I’m not sure why, I feel like I’m on a stage or something And I don’t like other people spending money on me. If I do have to accept a gift, I prefer practical gifts and the gift of experiences. I also feel super nervous about buying gifts for other people because I want them to like them so much but I’m worried they won’t.

    But I do find your suggestions of taking a weekend off or planning in advance and doing self-care can really help. Everyone thinks I’m weird when I say I don’t like Christmas, but I guess maybe I’m just more of a Thanksgiving kind of gal, all about the food and gratitude!

    • It totally makes sense in your situation to feel uncomfortable with the whole Christmas tradition. Maybe you could make your own in a less traditional way? No big gifts, but maybe a game where you can win little presents or a dinner? In the Netherlands we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving so I wouldn’t know what that’s like, but it sounds great as well, especially the food part hahaha.

    • Definitely! The body and the mind are so Intertwined in that aspect 😉taking care of the one can also help the other part!

  5. Thanks for posting! Really good tips

    Going away having a break away is a good way of reflecting and recuperating. Maybe it’s the change of scenery but it always makes me eager to get back into things and take on any existing challenges!

  6. Having something to look forward too and work towards is always a big part of keeping my head up!

  7. Thank you for sharing! I love these tips especially the getting away one – it’s amazing what effect it can have.

  8. Wow that’s amazing that you start preparing for Christmas in October. I should do that too! :)) Oh yes I agree that having things to look forward to does help and serves as motivation too. 🙂

  9. I find December kind of stressful too so I will definitely keep the tips in mind. December is always exciting plus it’s my birthday month too. 😀

  10. I LOVE December but there is a lot of stress from events (maybe not this year much bc quarantine lol), Christmas shopping, money stress, and after New Years being overwhelmed with weight loss and the low after all the holidays. I think the best thing for me is to look forward (like you said) and have the mentality that there will be good later.

    Grislean | GemLessChosen.com

  11. I find planning in December so helpful! And getting the Christmas shopping done early means it’s not hanging over you for the rest of the month!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

  12. Hey Lisa, I’m excited for December because that’s when my semester finally ends, and I get to work on my blog full time! Usually, I would try to get away, but this year has been a little different. I’m not sure I would be able to “get away” to anywhere really. But maybe I could schedule a staycay? Hmm… Thanks for these ideas! 🙂

  13. Wow these are great tips! Especially getting away for a weekend, sometimes that’s all you need is to get away from life for a second and recharge 😊

  14. I do know what you mean. I am fine with Christmas as a concept: seeing friends, fantastic food, more spare time etc. However, I think holidays can be overwhelming in terms of spending some of your time time with toxic people. I even wrote an article about that a couple of years ago. It is a bit long to sum-up, so I will leave it here in case you wish to have a look.

    https://rogueandrouge.org/2018/12/20/christmas-survival-guide-how-to-deal-with-toxic-people-in-the-festive-season/

  15. Self care is definitely one of the most important things in the current climate. I like to go on walks or bike rides just to clear my head sometimes, find it’s very effective! Thank you for these tips 🙂 https://homewardhangouts.co.uk/

  16. We don’t have the option to go away in the UK really. Unless you have your own holiday cottage or something like that. I wish we could because going for a short weekend break really helps my mental health. Having things to look forward to is one of the most important points, in my opinion!

  17. Usually my December is packed with things to do, places to go, gifts to buy. Now that I’m stuck at home, it defo feels less stressful already!

    Rosie

  18. Thank you for sharing Lisa! My December is usually packed with events (also for kids) but this year I am expecting a very different holiday season. Time will tell how it goes. Have a lovely time xx

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