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12 Tips for a Stress Free Christmas

by: Sarah Appleby
Last Updated: December 17, 2022

All I want for Christmas is a stress free Christmas! Right?

For many of your clients, the holiday season may trigger feelings of stress and anxiety. With the world opening up after the pandemic, there seems to be an avalanche of end of year functions. Work parties, school carols and family gatherings are filling our calendars, and at times, the “self-imposed” expectation to purchase gifts and write and send Christmas cards can become too much. For some of your clients the holiday season is the toughest period of the year.

In this post we’ll share our top 12 coaching tips to help manage a stress free Christmas period with your clients.

Help your clients stay stress free this Christmas with our 12 handy tips.
Help your clients stay stress free this Christmas with our 12 handy tips.

1. Say No

It can feel like a endless flurry of end of year commitments at this time of year; especially for the people pleasers out there. The thought of letting someone down can be highly triggering for sufferers of anxiety or other mood disorders.

Coaching tip: Remind your client that they are not obliged to attend every function they’re invited too. Letting go of the expectations they place on themselves will allow them to feel less stress and more joy during the holiday rush.

2. Make a Plan

For some clients, just the thought of shopping for gifts, meeting end of year work deadlines, family commitments, and traveling to visit loved ones, may send them into a spiral of despair. Having an actionable plan will help relieve some of the stress associated with a hectic holiday schedule.

Coaching tip: Help your client set up a weekly or monthly planner. Start by adding all the major functions or deadlines. Next, work backwards, step-by-step for each of these deadlines, doing a small step each day. Include every aspect of daily life in the planner, such as grocery shopping and self-care activities. Also make room for relaxation time. By planning ahead, your client will find pockets of free time they didn’t realize they had.

3. Priortize Self-Care

Often when you’re feeling time poor, self-care activities such a preparing nutritious meals, going to the gym, or even getting enough sleep are the first to go. But, looking after yourself is a top priority especially during stressful and busy periods.

Coaching tip: Gently explain to your client that in order to function at their best, they must first look after themselves. Help them see how they can fit self-care essentials into their schedule such as grocery shopping, meal prepping, yoga and meditation. They will feel more energized because of it.

4. Take a Break

It may seem counterintuitive, but taking regular breaks will increase productivity. Whether it’s a coffee break after a busy morning of Christmas gift shopping, or a warm soak in the tub after a day long day in the office. Make time to switch off and relax, as this will reduce your likelihood of fatigue and distress.

Coaching tip: Discuss with your client how taking a short break will calm anxiety when they’re faced with both small tasks (like decorating their living room with Christmas cheer) as well as longer projects (like planning a Christmas vacation).

5. Put the Phone Down!

Hours can be lost scrolling feeds and watching reels. Device addiction is real, and it’s wreaking havoc with with our mental health. Humans are social beings and our health is reliant on making real face-to-face connections.

Coaching tip: Discuss with your client how to best reduce screen time. Work out a plan to reduce their screen time with strategies such as, silencing notifications, deleting time-wasting apps from their phone, or making their bedroom a device-free zone.

6. Ask for Help

Whether you’re bogged down with an increased workload, or you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of hosting Christmas dinner. Many of us find it difficult to ask for help. However, more often than not, your colleagues, or loved ones will be understanding and happy to take some of the load off your shoulders, all you have to do is ask them.

Coaching tip: Assist your client to see that they are not alone and that it’s okay to ask for help. Help them identify individuals that they can reach out too if a task becomes too much.

7. Kick Perfectionism to the Curb

Striving for perfectionism can lead to feelings of emptiness and frustration. Sometimes you have to let go and accept that “good enough” is just fine. There’s no need to panic if you don’t manage to put up your Christmas lights on your front lawn.

Coaching tip: Help your client to understand that perfectionism can become an endless journey to nowhere. Instead, focus on the aspects of Christmas that bring them the most joy; like spending quality time with their loved ones.

8. Triage Your Tasks

In a perfect world we can do it all; keep on top everyday life AND celebrate Christmas with all the bells and whistles. In reality, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. With work and family commitments, shopping for gifts, folding the laundry (and putting it away), and food preparation for Christmas dinner (if you’re hosting), it’s not possible to do it all.

Coaching tip: Help your client triage their end of year commitments by deciding which are the most important and significant to them, and let go of the rest. Do they need to send Christmas cards this year? Maybe recording a short video that can be shared with loved ones, is a less time-consuming alternative.

9. Make the Healthiest Food Choices in Your Situation

We’re often bombarded with the not-so-healthy food options during the holiday season. Look beyond the sweets and cakes, and you’re sure to find more Primally-aligned food choices. Roast meats, caramelized oven-roasted vegetables and seasonal fruit are all delicious and primally aligned options.

Coaching tip: Help your client to understand that just because it’s Christmas, doesn’t mean that they have to go wild and throw their primally-aligned eating habits out the window. Explain that it’s about making the healthiest food choices in their current situation.

10. Let Go of Guilt

Guilt can eat away at self confidence and can lead to feeling of unworthiness and depression. If you want to enjoy in a ginger bread cookie, then that’s okay. Remember the 80/20 rule?

Coaching tip: If your client is feeling uneasy about falling off the wagon during the holidays, work out a plan that will remove the guilt that surrounds meal time at this time of year. Explain to your client that a single indulgence doesn’t define them, and it doesn’t mean that their health journey has come to an end. Help them see that they can choose to make a healthier option at their next meal.

11. Be Present

For some of us, the holidays are the only time we get to spend time with our loved ones. Make an effort to give them your undivided attention.

Coaching tip: Help your clients switch off from work over the Christmas break by putting in place a barrier between work and family time. This may include silencing email notifications, or “hiding” phones in the evening. Focus on quality time together through shared experiences like playing a board game or watching a Christmas movie together.

12. Stick to Your Christmas Budget

It’s easy to rack up a massive credit card debit during the festive season. Christmas marketing campaigns are everywhere, enticing you to spend big on gifts, lights and decorations.

Coaching tip: It’s possible to create Christmas magic on a budget, it just takes a little planning and this is something you can help your client with. Advise them to work out a Christmas budget. Create a shopping list, look for sales or opt for homemade gifts (if they have the time).

Recap:

To recap, here are our 12 coaching tips to help your clients enjoy a stress free Christmas:

  1. Say no
  2. Make a plan
  3. Priortize self-care
  4. Take a break
  5. Put the phone down!
  6. Ask for help
  7. Kick perfectionism to the curb
  8. Triage your tasks
  9. Make the healthiest food choices in your situation
  10. Let go of guilt
  11. Be present
  12. Stick to your Christmas budget

We hope you and your clients have a wonderful stress free Christmas. Happy holidays!

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