Decluttering & Organising in Norfolk.

A Simplified Stress Free Christmas

A Simplified Stress Free Christmas

home made mince pies

The whole point of what I do is to try to make your life easier and reduce stress.

As a Professional Organiser, I work with a wide range of people, some of whom have additional challenges when it comes to organisation. When mental health difficulties, neuro diversity and bereavement are added to the Christmas mix, the festive period can become very stressful and overwhelming indeed.

My advice is to keep Christmas as simple as possible. Don’t worry about trying to plan for (or experience) the best time ever. This Christmas will come and go, like every other. it’s really not about how many courses you can cook for Christmas dinner or how many names are on your Christmas card list. In the grand scheme of it…do these things really matter?

So, for a stress free Christmas concentrate your time and energy on what really matters and be sure to do some planning in advance.  Here are a few things to think about now:

Where to spend it

For many people, there will be negotiations with family and friends about where to go and for how long. However, there are many reasons why people might be spending Christmas alone; living far from relatives, death of a loved one, social isolation or simply through choice.

Wherever you spend it – make sure that you are not run ragged. Have conversations with family and friends well in advance so that you can manage expectations, deal with difficult demands and make compromises that suit everyone. Don’t over promise your time and energy and make sure you factor in some time for yourself. Remember that it’s okay to say no. Just do it with kindness.

Set a budget

Christmas is a time when many people bankrupt themselves in an effort to show love and care for others. Set yourself a realistic budget and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to spend more than you can afford. My family stopped buying presents for adults years ago and this works well for us. You could set some spending limits for gifts or think up ideas for gifts that don’t need to be bought. How about a skills or time swap, like washing the car or cooking a meal.

Manage children’s expectations. In my experience of working with families, children have too many toys. Can you get creative and think up some low cost gifts with a focus on a shared experience instead? A fossil collecting trip to the beach  followed by a hot chocolate or tickets to an event.

Card sending

Over the years I’ve had the odd Christmas where I’ve donated to charity instead of sending cards. But on balance I’ve decided that I do prefer to send them. They help me to stay in touch with people who don’t use technology and I quite like the tradition. I do make the make the task a bit easier though by printing out address labels. It takes a little time to set up, but more than makes up for it over the years!

Simply food

If you like to make Christmas food, then try to plan this in advance so that you are not driven to a last-minute frenzy on Christmas Eve. Think about what you need to prepare and put in your diary so that you can stagger your efforts. I usually start to add store cupboard and freezer items to my shopping trolley from about mid-November. However, I keep it really simple – for us it’s a roast chicken dinner with a few nice extras. If buying ready prepared food saves you time, energy and keeps stress levels down – then do it.

So remember – keep it simple, manage expectations, plan ahead and don’t let the marketing gurus pile on the Christmas pressure!

If you need some help to get organised, either before or after Christmas, you can find more information about my services here: https://aneaterlife.com/services/

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