Top tips for mum to avoid the Christmas stress!

The festive season is a busy time for mums. This advice will let you relax and enjoy it

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for children as they love the toys and presents, the lights, the smells, the songs and the sparkle of decorations but it can also have lots of pressure points for mums too!  With all the preparations, presents, decorations, cards and cooking, Christmas can sometimes be more like work than a holiday! 
Start with the premise of making Christmas fun and keeping it simple. Spending time with friends and family is what’s most important so don’t worry about perfection and getting everything right; be satisfied with good enough.  Enjoying fun and happy times together is what people remember most so be present with your family over the Christmas break and do not worry about what you haven’t done.  
Planning and preparation in advance will help to take the fuss and stress out of those Christmas chores.  Make a list of essential tasks and delegate them to your nearest and dearest.  Children love to help with all the Christmas preparations and are wonderful at decorating the tree, designing wrapping paper, wrapping gifts, writing and making cards – there is so much that they can do to help with all the preparation.  
Giving children chores to do helps them to feel involved and gives them a sense of self-worth and achievement at the same time. Ideally, the more organised you are with any preparation you can do in advance, the better. If you are relaxed and stress-free, the chances are that everyone else will be too.  If your family is together and you have home full of people enjoying themselves, they will not worry if you burn the pudding or if the brussel sprouts are soggy! 
In the lead up to Christmas, try to keep your calendar free and enjoy simple things with the children at home like making a batch of pancakes or banana and cinnamon muffins.  It’s also a good idea to take an afternoon off and have some quiet time together, maybe go for a walk, or wrap up in the evening and walk to the post box to post all those lovely cards that your children have made. 
Enjoy treats the right way and try to avoid giving your child too many sugary treats.  It also helps if you limit them as well as too much added sugar can cause blood sugar highs and lows, leaving you feeling more anxious and less able to handle stress.  And don’t forget to squeeze in some relaxation time for yourself! It’s crucial to find a release that works for you. Try a few minutes of dancing, singing (put on some holiday tunes!) or deep breathing.  
Take time for you! Have a mini break from all the preparations to read, take a walk, snooze or simply take a relaxing bath.
Written by Dearbhala Cox Giffin- Early learning & development expert with Family Friendly HQ.
Dearbhala is Director of Childcare with Giraffe Childcare 

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