Managing Stress in December

stress in december

The month of December can be an exciting time of year. For many of us, we organise long overdue catch ups with friends and have work Christmas parties to connect with our colleagues. At the same time, December can be tiring. Our last break may have been some time ago and consequently feeling like we don’t have much left in the tank. We may have projects which need to be delivered before the Christmas break. In amongst all of this, we may also need to find time for Christmas shopping, getting ready to host guests over the holidays, and juggle extra child care once kids start their school holidays. It can feel stressful and overwhelming.

Managing our energy in the lead up to Christmas is important so we don’t feel like we need to use our holiday in recovery mode. In the lead up to Christmas we may continue to strive for our usual level of performance across all areas of our lives despite all the additional activities we need to pack into the month of December. This may lead to feelings of stress, fatigue, and a sense of failure. Focusing on just a few key priorities and consciously deciding ahead of time which things we might pause for the month of December may help to better manage our energy levels in the lead up to Christmas. Taking this approach may help to lower our stress and create a sense of success rather than failure.

tips to manage stress in december

To help make December a success and to reach the holidays feeling like there is something left in the tank, the following tips may be helpful:

  • Identify up to 3 priorities both at home and work to focus on throughout the month of December. When considering our priorities it may be helpful to consider those things which we can’t live without or change, and how critical or time sensitive various activities are.
  • Make a conscious choice about those things at home and work which you will pause or reduce your commitment to during the month of December. Give yourself permission to hit pause on these commitments or to let them take more of a back seat during December.
  • Consider whether there are activities you can outsource to free up some time during the month of December. This may include using meal preparation kits, online grocery deliveries, cleaning, or dog walking. 

Being intentional about the things we want to focus on and those things we can let go until January, may be a helpful way to reduce stress and create a sense of success in the lead up to Christmas.