Keep calm and carry on
1. Whether it’s when you’ve finished the shopping, how you do the decorations or the pressure to cook the elaborate pancetta-with-everything Christmas dinner (we’re looking at you, Instagram) there’s something about Christmas that brings out our competitive side. Repeat after us: it’s not a race, or a contest, and it always sort of comes together at the end anyway, right?
2. We’ve seen your diary, and there’s not a free five minutes in sight until the New Year. By all means plot in the parties, but consider officially scheduling in the calm moments too, like time for a long bath or lie in. (Plus, save on a couple of nights out and the endless stretch to January payday will feel that little bit swifter.)
3. Time missed with guests is a recipe for resentment, so if it’s your turn to host, think about what you can coordinate ahead of their arrival. It might mean getting the guestroom sorted with fresh bedding a few days before, setting the table on Christmas Eve or even cutting down on complicated cooking – but it’ll be worth it.
4. There’s no cure for festive indulgence like a blast of fresh air. Get as many of the gang as possible out the door – only Grandad snoozing on the sofa gets a free pass – and declare it a new Christmas tradition. Desperate for some alone time? Pop out under the guise of posting a letter or doing a quick dash with the dog.
5. Find some space away from the flurry of the festivities. Bedroom, bathroom… it doesn’t matter - just make sure you’ve got space to sit, read, meditate or take a few deep breaths. Pimp it out with soothing home fragrance, your favourite fluffy throw and take heed of some very wise words from Katherine Ormerod: “I always come prepared with books. It’s actually quite rude to stop someone reading, so it’s amazing how much you can hide behind your book”.