Health check: Christmas time

Christmas time is awesome, isn’t it? We’re all so excited to spend some time with family and friends. Which can make the lead up to the day… absolute chaos. We’re rushing around trying to finish a big job before Christmas so we can take the time off. We’re trying to squeeze in buying thoughtful gifts for the kids, and partners, and in-laws, while maintaining our day-to-day (and our sanity!)

So it’s no wonder, when Christmas day does finally arrive, we’re just bloody exhausted. Too tired to really enjoy the day we’ve been working so hard toward. So this year, I’ve been doing some research on what we can all do to help get our heads in a better place in the lead up to, and on Christmas day.

Check out some tips to help you get through below, and maybe, just maybe, help you even enjoy your Christmas day 🙂

1 – Do your Christmas shopping early

You’ve probably heard this before right? Normally I say this to myself every Christmas eve. But I made a decision this year to go out and get my kids presents early. I pushed myself to get out on a Thursday night to get the ball rolling so I’m not stressed the night before.

It’s such a small thing to do, but I think we’ve all made it seem bigger than it is. It will alleviate both you AND your partner’s stress prior to the big day. So get out there and get shopping. Extra tip: Research online prior to heading to the mall so you’re getting a competitive price and you’ve got a plan on exactly where you need to go. Pro Tip – Bunnings usually has good sales this time of year if you get distracted 🙂

2 – Lower your expectations

You heard me right! Christmas seems to have the same effect that New Year’s Eve does. We all think it’s going to be amazing, but when the day or night comes around, it doesn’t ever meet our high expectations. This can cause us incredible stress on the day because we’re expecting the best, but let’s be honest, there’s normally someone who breaks down in tears, or someone arguing about politics with one of the Uncles…

That’s why this year, I am going to lower my expectations by having some small things that will make my day a really good one. If I see my kids smile and if I can share a meal with my family and friends, I’ll be happy. Extra tip: think of three small and EASY things that would make a good Christmas, and go after those easy-wins on the day!

3 –  Watch how much you’re drinking

I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘hangxiety’ (the anxiety you feel when you’re hungover), which can turn into a week of hangxiety, especially around this time of year where there’s catch ups and Christmas parties every single night. So here’s some practical tips from me to you, to help reduce the anxiety alcohol could be causing.

  • Try 0% beers and drinks. The market for this is massive at the moment, you can find amazing drinks and flavours that keep your hands busy, but don’t give you that Sunday or Monday morning hangover.
  • Alternatively to only 0% drinks, mix it up. Have your favourite drop then alternate to a 0%. Over the course of an event you will have consumed only half the alcohol yet enjoyed your favourite drink and the social aspect of a “drink in hand”.
  • Try only drinking at one event each week. Sometimes I feel like I’m running around like a headless chook during the silly season. Event after event. It’s good to go out and socialise, just make sure you’re not drinking at each event and in a hangxiety trap

Extra tip: Reward yourself for not drinking by buying yourself a special something for Christmas. It’s important to slap yourself on the back for a job well done!

4 – It’s ok to say ‘No’

We’re told to go out and socialise, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t. BUT… if you’re getting frazzled, especially during the silly season, know that it’s ok to say ‘no’ every now and again.

Otherwise, this can be very detrimental to our mental health. And an easy way to justify to yourself and others for saying ‘no’ is putting together a to-do list or a list of priorities. If you have more important things to do, or a mile-long list of tasks, just say ‘no’. (And a heads up: you’re health and wellbeing should ALWAYS be your no.1 priority)

5 – Listen to your team

This isn’t just a stressful time for you, it tends to be a stressful time for most of us. That’s why it’s important that you also check-in on your team. And if you’re stressed, try not to spread that around to your apprentices. Here’s some tips:

  • If you’re trying to get a job done before Christmas, incentivise the team with an extra bonus or even an extra day off during the holiday season
  • Bring around a box of beer on a Friday afternoon to celebrate you and your team’s success (noting point three!). Research shows celebrating strengths is more impactful than pointing out weaknesses

I hope these points help you to have a memorable and enjoyable holiday season! From all of us at NextMinute, thanks for being a park of our community, stay safe, and here’s to a brilliant 2023 ahead!

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