‘Tis the season to be jolly?
If you’re filled with feelings of festive apprehension rather than feelings of joy in the run-up to Christmas, then you’re not alone.
According to recent research by security software company McAfee, three quarters of Brits surveys admitted that Christmas puts financial stress on themselves and their family. With the often self-imposed pressure to create a perfect Christmas, for parents in particular, Christmas can be a twinkly nightmare.
Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle!
Turn those ‘Bah, Humbug!’ feelings into ‘Merry Christmas!’ cheer with these tips to stress less at Christmas!
1. Make a list – but don’t check it twice!
Whilst being organised in the run-up to Christmas is a great idea, micro-managing Christmas as if it’s a royal wedding can just add to the pressure. It may feel like overwhelming, but quite frankly, it doesn’t matter if you forget the second batch of sprouts because no one will eat them anyway.
Making a really loose list can be helpful to keep you on budget and on schedule with certain things, but being relaxed about deviating from the list could be a great way to help reduce pre-Christmas tension.
2. Repeat after me: You are not Kirsty Allsop, not everything has to be homemade.
If you’re in charge of preparing the Christmas meal this year, but cooking is not your forte, then buying ready-prepared food can be a huge timesaver and stress reducer. Try and predict what food preparation will take you the longest on Christmas morning and see if there’s a ready-prepared option to speed things up. I personally love the pre-prepared turkey joints; they taste much nicer and are far easier to fit into an oven too!
3. Master the art of delegation
Remember that you don’t have to take on every task in preparation for Christmas. It can be easy to end up taking on the lot; buying the presents, planning and cooking the dinner… but it doesn’t have to be that way! From wrapping presents to decorating the tree, there are tasks that other family members can take on.
4. Do your shopping without leaving the house
One of the easiest ways to keep zen is to order everything online, so you don’t have to battle the shops. Sit down one evening and get it all done, and then reward yourself with your favourite tipple or Christmas treat.
5. Get it done early
Leaving Christmas shopping too late can lead to panic buying; which could open you up to fraud. Over half of people surveyed by McAfee admitted that the stress of the Christmas season could cause them to behave carelessly online, leaving themselves open to fraudsters or hackers.
Putting payment details into insecure websites because it’s the only place that must-have toy is in stock can put you at risk of losing serious money at the time you need it most.
McAfee have produced some tips for consumers to stay safe while shopping online:
Always connect with caution.
If using public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN) to help keep your connection secure.
Think before you click.
Phishing emails are a common way that criminals try and steal your information. Emails from your bank or other online accounts should address you by name. If it looks dodgy, the spelling is off or you just don’t feel comfortable then don’t click.
Browse with security protection.
A comprehensive security solution can help ensure that your devices are protected against malware, phishing attacks and device-specific protection in the event of loss or theft.
Do you have any tips and tricks of your own for making the festive period as stress-free as possible?
This is a collaborative post