1. Divide And Conquer
First things first: You should not be responsible for everything on the Christmas to-do list. Delegating a few tasks (which is a chore itself, we know!) will share out the musts that need to be done around the holiday season. If older children are home from school, task them with small achievable chores that are suitable for their age and abilities.
To rev everyone up with a dose of motivation, elect a day in December where you’ll all work together to spring clean the house. Make a list with specifically assigned tasks for each person, then reward everyone for their efforts by going on a trip to collect the Christmas tree as a family.
On Christmas Day, or any day that you’re hosting big numbers or feel there’ll be extra pressure, get everyone involved in the catering. Ask each party of guests to volunteer to take care of one course or dish so the pressure isn’t on you to whip up every last thing. If you’re doing the turkey and ham, ask one person to bring along some side dishes, and another to take care of dessert.
2. Get Out And About
It’s tempting to stay indoors when the weather outside is frightful, the fire is so delightful, your favourite holiday movie is about to begin and you’re feeling fully fatigued having prepared for Christmas for weeks on end. Getting up off the couch and out the door is by far the hardest part (not to mention totally counterintuitive when those zero temps have teamed themselves up with a good old dose of wind chill factor), but it’ll do everyone the world of good.
Take those new scarves and hats that were under the tree for a spin after Christmas dinner – a half-hour walk will blow off the cobwebs and everyone can bustle back in the door and warm up again before long. When young kids are in the mix, a scavenger hunt is simple to set up and they’ll have so much fun they won’t notice the short – but necessary for mummy’s sake! – run-around. Draw or write a few clues on some plain sheets of paper, or type ‘winter nature scavenger hunt’ into Google to find hundreds of cute printables to choose from.
If you’re super keen, look up organised walks, fun runs or Christmas Day swims (for the truly brave) in your area. Instant benefits include a dose of exercise-induced endorphins, a sense of accomplishment and community, and the uplifting feeling you get when you raise funds for charity and contribute to a greater good.
3. Carve Out Some Down Time
And be indulgent with this one – make it something that caters to your family and puts you and your immediate crew’s best interests at heart. So much of the time, the holiday season is about pleasing others and planning around a different schedule to your own, but we have every right to prioritise our own time too and set aside days for things that purely benefit our little family units.
Traditions not only create moments to get excited about year after year, research also links them to happiness and improved sense of wellbeing for families. And there’s no need to come up with elaborate ideas – in fact, the simpler the better. For instance, declare one day of the holidays a ‘PJs & Books’ day. Everyone gets to stay at home, take a time out, curl up with a good read, and simply have a bit of a breather. After frenzied days of shopping, cooking, planning, preparing and hosting, one glorious time-out day will become a beacon of bliss among all the busy-ness.
4. Enlist The Experts
Save yourself from looking up recipes, wrapping techniques and other survival tips at the last second by taking a few minutes to bookmark blogs and websites that will help you prepare on the day. Here are a few to help you get started:
Jamie Oliver has an entire Christmas section all cleverly set up on his website. ‘A one-stop shop for all things festive’, it’s super easy to navigate. Here, you’ll find recipes, roasting guides, cocktail how-tos, help with preparing the perfect pud and lots, lots more – all within a couple of quick clicks.
Jane Means is a professional gift wrapper who has been commissioned by the likes of Chanel and Christian Dior. Her blog offers a range of tips and tricks on the subject, while on Youtube you’ll find a variety of helpful, mesmerising, almost therapeutic-to-look-at gift-wrapping videos starring Jane.
For decorating ideas, it seems John Lewis know a thing or two about perfecting the art of putting up the Christmas tree. These top ten tips from one of their expert in-house buyers is sure to help you with a few key pointers this season.
And we hope you won’t have a reason to use any, but we’re going to leave these super little ideas for staying calm in the presence of difficult people here, just in case.
A bit about Moment Health…
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The Moment Health app has been developed with clinicians and healthcare professionals. It will screen for perinatal, postnatal and associated anxieties, and include additional features such as a helpful guide to practical and accessible coping strategies.
At Moment Health, our mission is to make maternal mental health mainstream #MakeItMainstream.
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Originally published at www.momenthealth.io