Mostly, Christmas is a fab time of year. Fun music, everyone excited for a few days off work and so much food, plus everyone seems a little kinder and full of generosity. There’s definitely a ‘spirit’ to Christmas. However, the food, presents and even decorations don’t happen without a little stress; will the Turkey cook in time? What if it doesn’t all fit in the oven? What did so-and-so want for Christmas? etc. So here are five ways to de-stress around Christmas time, so that you can really enjoy the festive spirit.

1. Candlelit baths

A bubble bath is always a good way to relax, especially on cold winter evenings. It’s also a fantastic excuse to use up the last of the previous year’s bubble baths in time for a fresh batch as this year’s pressies. Light a few scented candles, your fave or a new festive one that you just couldn’t leave at the store and there you have it. (For really stressful days, add wine.)

de-stress at Christmas

2. Downtime

Downtime is really important at this time of year, because we spend so much time preparing for family-time that it’s easy to forget that you need to enjoy yourself too. My favourite way to chill out is to curl up with a mug of tea and a book, but Christmas films are also a fantastic way to feel festive and put your feet up.

de-stress at Christmas

3. Prepping things in advance

Pretty obvious and I won’t insult your intelligence by going too deep here. Whether this means getting your presents wrapped before the 20th rather than rushing through it on the 24th, or getting veggies prepped on Christmas Eve so you can spend Christmas morning with your family instead of in the kitchen peeling (because let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to be sat in front of a Christmas tree instead of a chopping board, amirite?!)

4. Enjoying festive specials

I bloomin’ love Christmas foods (except mince pies – I know, don’t hate me). So when the festive menus appear in shops I get very excited, even though this usually happens in November and nowhere near Christmas! This year I have discovered the black forest hot chocolate in Costa, which I recommend – especially to anyone with a sweet tooth. I’m not a coffee lover, so a variation on chocolate was always going to be a winner!

5. Letting Christmas music lift your spirits

Finally, Christmas music is a great mood lifter. Even if you’ve had a hectic day at work and had to hit the shops for half an hour before you finally get home more than twelve hours since you left for work, throw on your PJs and dance around your living room to a bit of Slade or Mariah Carey and suddenly it seems much more worth it and the excitement builds again.

Here’s one of my favourite Christmas tunes (I’d totally belt this in the street too if I had a voice like Ms Deschanel, then again I might do it anyway in the interests of Christmas spirit).

What are your tips for de-stressing during the festive period?

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