How to Reduce Christmas Stress and Have a More Mindful New Year

Christmas is fast approaching and while it’s often full of happy family traditions as you prepare for the big day, Christmas stress can also rear its ugly head as we try to make everything absolutely perfect.

But it doesn’t need to be this way.

There are plenty of ways to have stress-free Christmas without losing your sanity or your temper by slowing down and actually taking the time toe enjoy what is going on around us.

Christmas stress

Here are 9 ways to Reduce Christmas Stress:

Say NO

It’s OK to say no. You don’t have to agree to every pre-Christmas catch up that comes your way . While it’s really lovely to see family and friends in the lead up to Christmas, it’s important to remember that they will still be there after the big day has passed. Sometimes a post-Christmas catch up can be even better because you tend to have more time to actually enjoy your time together instead of rushing from one gathering to the next.

Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are hosting family and friends for Christmas lunch or dinner, ask your guests if they would be able to bring along a plate to share at the dinner table. It’s a lovely way to bring everyone together while also enjoying some new dishes at the same time.

Fewer gifts

Reduce the number of gifts you need to buy by approaching your family about the possibility of introducing a Kris Kringle gift exchange instead, even if it’s just for the adults. If it’s already too late for this year (as many people may already have their gifts sorted by now) perhaps raise the idea and keep it open for next year.

Opt for homemade

Reduce costs by baking and giving homemade treats for friends, your children’s teachers and colleagues. Even the non-baker can easily create a deliciously simple recipe, just jump on to Pinterest and you’ll be inundated with ideas.


Create a Christmas budget, shop online and stick to it. I find buying my gifts online is a great idea as not only do you get to avoid shopping centres (and its crazy car parks!) but you also avoid impulse buys as you wander through the shops while being inundated with gift ideas.

Give to a charity

Remember it’s the season of giving, including those less fortunate. Remind your family that not everyone is as fortunate as them and support a charity that helps families in need by donating some money or putting an extra gift on the shopping list and placing it under a Wishing Tree in a local store supporting such a gift appeal. At charities like World Vision Australia you can also buy gifts like chickens and eggs, a goat or seeds for families in need.

Limit traditions

Limit family Christmas traditions. While traditions create great memories for you and your children, it’s important to remind yourself that you need to do every single one of them each year. If life is just getting too hectic in the lead-up to Christmas, it’s far better to be realistic and choose a few to truly enjoy rather than rushing through all of them just for the sake of it.

Take a break

When it all gets a bit too much, down those ornaments, switch off the Christmas music and put away the gingerbread cookie cutters and give yourself a break. A quick walk around the block to get your body moving or enjoying a cup of tea or coffee in the backyard while you enjoy some fresh air and sunshine can make the world of difference.


Finally, remember to ‘just breathe’. The day itself goes by so fast that it’s important to remind yourself to be present and truly enjoy the little things in the lead up – singing Christmas songs, reading Christmas books, wrapping presents, taking a night drive to see Christmas lights. It’s only when you make the decision to mindfully slow down that you truly begin to experience life and everything that is going on around us.

Wishing you all a Christmas that’s stress-free and a more mindful new year!

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Erika Atwill

Erika blogs at Ever-changing Life of a Mum, a creative outlet and space where she shares her journey towards a simpler, less stressful lifestyle for her and her family.
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