Advice for staying well and reducing financial stress over Christmas
The pre-Christmas rush is well underway, we’re all looking forward to getting a break over the next few weeks and to enjoying the festivities. It’s a heart-warming time of year when we get to catch up with family and friends, ring out the old year and look forward optimistically to the new one.
Christmas can also be a time of heightened demands and expectations – you’ve got to buy this, do that, go here, meet so and so. These demands can really start to wear you down, so we’ve set out a few thoughts on how to help you and your family with reducing stress levels over Christmas.
Share the workload
If there’s one thing you can do this Christmas… Make sure it’s an enjoyable time for all the family and not just a holiday for the lucky few.
Nothing will drive up the stress levels and temperature at home more than one person is left to do all the shopping, cook the meals, keep the house clean and wrap the presents! Share out the workload and better still, build in some pleasant surprises for he/she who does the lion’s share of the work – an unexpected breakfast in bed or a kitchen takeover for a day will bring many smiles to faces.
Don’t overdo the socialising
Of course, we will all want to go out, and meeting family and friends is such an important part of Christmas. But not every night, as you’ll end up tired, irritable, and fraught from partying too hard. Closely linked to this is looking after your health and not overdoing it in terms of alcohol. Don’t let your Christmas holidays pass you by in a cycle of big nights followed by days feeling quite tender. Apart from the unhealthy impact on your body, it will likely cause arguments and frustration at home. Make sure you’ve enough alcohol-free nights to let your body recover.
Spend quality time with family
And during those days and nights at home, be present as opposed to just there. You’re not much good to your family if you just collapse on the couch, watching TV on your own. Engage fully with them by getting out for a walk, watching a movie together, or playing a game. Try and create a few memorable days over the Christmas season.
Everyone has their part to play here, and this may entail setting boundaries around phone usage, time spent gaming, sitting down for dinner, etc. Clear boundaries agreed upon in advance will help avoid nightly stresses borne out of frustration.
Reduce social media use
This is a bit of a modern first-world problem but doesn’t overdo your use of social media. Hours can get lost mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds, time that could be much better spent elsewhere. Also, very few people have perfect lives, even though you might think otherwise looking at social media. Social media gives you a single window into another person’s life and often hides a less-than-perfect reality. Spending too much time on social media can leave you feeling that everyone has a perfect life, except you. Don’t leave yourself over-exposed to this distorted picture of most people’s lives.
Have a Christmas budget
Without turning into Scrooge, we must bring up the subject of money – it’s our job! Don’t put yourself on the back foot by overspending at Christmas time. Set yourself a reasonable budget for Christmas presents, socialising, and stocking up with food and drink… and then stick to it. Christmas will be over before you know it – don’t let the legacy of it be a big credit card bill and financial pressure from the very start of 2022.
However most important of all, we hope you get to recharge your batteries, enjoy a peaceful and very happy Christmas and have your best year yet in 2023!
Talk to us now and make an appointment with one of our Letterkenny team of QFAs. We are here to help with your Financial Planning Concerns. Ask us questions on Retirement & Pension, Life Insurance & Protection, Mortgages, and Investment Advice. Get in touch here or give us a call at 074 91 03938.
Financial Services firms in Ireland are regulated by the Central Bank.
For the latest updates and financial news, connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.