Woman Jumping in the Snow

Being jolly, merry and bright isn't always easy when you're stuck eight trolleys deep in a supermarket queue on Christmas Eve with a sleigh-load of your nearest and dearest about to descend. Trust me; we've all been there.

But, if the dizzying array of seasonal demands has left you feeling frazzled, you don't need to reach for the eggnog just yet. Our quick and simple stress-survival strategies are here to help you skate through the holidays and make the Big Day hassle-free and full of ho-ho-happiness.

1. Tick Off Your To-Dos

Santa's making his list and checking it twice, why not give it a try too? If you're caught up in the pre-Chrimbo craziness of cooking, commitments and cleaning, writing things down in order of priority can save you a lot of time and energy, as well as giving you an immensely satisfying feeling when you tick a task off.

Once all your to-dos are down on paper, you'll be able to focus on the job at hand; you can even separate them into 'must-dos' and 'would-be-nice-to-dos' to help you think more realistically about what you'll be able to achieve in the time. Remember to include me-moments between the shopping and the baking. A mince pie break or a doze in front of the fire does wonders at preventing pre-Christmas burnout.

2. Divvy Out the Jobs

Don't be afraid to ask for little helpers, especially if you've got a big crowd coming over. Find someone else to be on fizz popping duty, see if your guests can bring a dish to take the pressure off (and to free-up precious fridge space!), and you can even get the kids involved with setting the table or providing entertainment while you wait for dinner. Sharing the workload encourages everyone to be a part of the success of the day and stops you from being banished to the kitchen.

3. Take a Moment to be Mindful

We tend to go overboard trying to please everyone else at this time of the year and forget there needs to be a balance to avoid stress-levels skyrocketing. Treat yourself to moments of calm amid all the holiday hurly-burly by walking away from your worries. Shorter days mean less sunlight and, as the days get darker, our bodies produce more melatonin (the sleep hormone), causing us to feel sluggish and tired. Getting outside and spending time in nature is one of the best ways to cure festive fatigue and boost positivity.

      4. Don't Forget to Snooze

      Whether it's staying up late for that extra night-cap, sleeping on the guest bed or the general excitement of Christmas, most people's bedtime routines get knocked out of sync during the festive period. However, skimping on your z's is the quickest way to turn even the chirpiest of elves into a real Ebeneezer.

      Make sleep a priority by bringing cosiness and cheer to your bedroom with a set of hibernation-inducing Brushed Cotton Bedding and a toasty tog duvet. Snuggify every corner of your home with layers of chunky knit bed throws and cushions, and dot about a few scented candles (lavender fragrances are the best for bringing calm) to finish off the hygge vibes.

      5. Tis' the Season of Goodwill

      A little unconditional kindness is the best method for stepping away from the 'I want' mentality of the holiday season forced upon us through TV and magazines. Whether it's volunteering at a food bank, donating cakes to a charity bake-sale or simply inviting an elderly neighbour over for a cuppa and a chinwag, there's plenty of ways to spread Christmas cheer.

      Another way to ditch the stresses and focus on the blessings is to hang gratitude's on your tree. Cut out paper hearts or stars and thread them with ribbon, then invite your guests to write something they're grateful for on them and festoon your tree with these decorations as reminders of all the good things in life.

      6. Celebrate the Mishaps

      Finding a way to laugh when things go wrong is one of the easiest tricks for sidestepping holiday anxiety. The dog might 'unwrap' a gift that's not for them, Granny will drink one too many sherries, and Monopoly always ends in tears. But these are the things that make moments you'll remember with a smile during Christmases to come. Try not to fall into the comparison trap and let perfectly curated Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards come between you and what truly matters - spending time with those you love most.

      7. Embrace the Magic

      In the pull of a cracker, Christmas can whizz by, and you miss it. As we run around like headless turkeys, it's easy to fall into 'what's next?' mode. Instead, imagine you're a camera taking snapshots of memorable moments, then stop, take a breath and enjoy them. Savour the smiles, delight in the gift-giving and make the most of being together. You'll soon find stress melts away, and the sparkle of this special day returns.

      We hope these tips help you make this most wonderful time of the year even more delightful!

      Wishing you a calm Christmas and a cosy New Year,
      From all of us at the Secret Linen Store x

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