The 12 Stress Less Days to Christmas: Day 1

CDay #1: Decide that this year you’re going to stress less about the things you have no control over!

You can’t control the weather, the queues, other people’s demands, the cost of the latest iPad, etc.

But you can control your preparation and your response to these things.

1. Be prepared for colder mornings

Factor in an extra 10 mins each morning to defrost the car, and make sure you have plenty of windscreen wash – including a spare bottle of it in the boot!

Also allow a couple of extra minutes to put on any additional layers you’ll need too.

2. Accept that queues are part and parcel (excuse the pun!) of the season

Use any time that you’re stuck in a queue to plan something; e.g. your Christmas present wish list! Or use it to practise something you need to present at work … anything other than stressing about how long it’s taking to clear this queue.

I’ve started singing along to all the Christmas songs that are now firmly embedded into many radio programmes. I’ve surprised myself with how many words I know!

And here’s a favourite of many …

3. Other people’s stress doesn’t need to add to yours

As demands on people’s time increases, those who struggle to manage this can put unintentional pressure on those around them. If you have the time and energy to help, then do so; if it’s going to put you under extra pressure, then politely and assertively decline requests with:

“Sorry I can’t right now, I’m just in the middle of something”

“That’s not a good time for me. How about ….” (suggest a time that puts you under less pressure)

The first step in reducing your stress levels at this time of year is recognising the things that cause stress for you (see #2 Know your limits). Once you do this, you’re in a better position to act to be stress-free!

More tomorrow …

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