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Managing Stress at Christmas


Christmas in New Zealand can be a particularly stressful time of the year!

Many companies close for the summer holidays, and staff are working hard to complete their workload before they leave on holiday. While also juggling the extra socialising, children’s end-of-year exams, performances and prize-giving; extra shopping and cooking. The weather can also be hot and people are tired at the end of the year. Many of us are also packing up to go away on holiday. The traffic can be crazy. It all piles up!

Although Christmas and holidays are celebratory and fun times, the extra work load can take the joy out of the occasion. Especially if you have a crowd coming for Christmas dinner or to stay….there is a lot to think about and organise. Often with all this extra doing we don’t have time to exercise or get some quiet ‘me’ time.

We all know it is the time of the year when it is easy to eat and drink too much, which overloads the digestive system and the liver.

One of the major stressors is emotional. This is the time when family dynamics can cause worry and anxiety; families who have split up, blended families, how to manage that relative who always drinks too much and gets obnoxious. It may be the first Christmas after a bereavement.

Well, you can choose to experience this “Silly Season” very differently! You need a plan!

How to get through Christmas with minimum stress: PLAN

Plan how to manage yourself – identify what are your triggers and how to deactivate them. Learn how to be emotionally resilient.

Plan how to take care of your health. Drink less alcohol, and more water and juice. Exercise. Breathe and meditate. Find some quiet ‘me’ time in the midst of the chaos.

Plan how to enjoy Christmas Day. Remember this is a time of peace and Celebration so consciously CHOOSE to banish worry, anxiety, criticism and perfectionism.

Plan how to enjoy your guests. Connect, ask for help, talk and have fun. Plan activities, and how to manage difficult relatives.



Delegate and ask for and accept support. By getting others involved – your friends, your partner, your children – you share the load and build a sense of togetherness.

Don’t leave everything to the last minute – shop for presents early and wrap them early. Do as much food shopping as possible early – just the perishables the day before. Make as much as possible beforehand. Plan a menu that allows for pre-preparation.



I would highly recommend coming in for a Thriving at Christmas personal session to bring you into alignment with yourself which will develop your resilience and increase your fun factor.

Best wishes for an awesome stress-free Christmas!

Vivienne Berry.