The 1st November is National Stress Awareness Day and it seems appropriate to think ahead to that stressful time of the year and share our top tips for reducing the overwhelm at Christmas.

The Christmas cards and decorations are in the supermarket and perhaps you are already experiencing the tightening in the chest and anxiety is taking hold. We are here to share our top tips to reduce the Christmas stress, which in the main affects women.

The pumpkins might only just be turning mouldy but starting preparations early for the festive period will help to ensure YOU enjoy the holidays as much as everyone around you.

Shop early, but don’t shop randomly.

Make a cup of herbal tea, or pour yourself a glass of wine, and write a list of those loved you wish to buy for and think about the gift. It will save you time in the long run and prevent you from delving into a cupboard come January to find those items you bought and didn’t give.

Do you really need to send Christmas cards?

Card writing takes considerable time, so why not give to charity this year and let your friends know what you’ve done on Facebook. Or buy and write them now before November has ended, just don’t forget where you put them or to give them out.

Most supermarkets will deliver to your door…

…and not only will this save you time but also stress on your neck, back and arms carrying those heavy bags. Don’t panic or over buy, plan your meals in advance and keep in mind that shops are rarely closed for more than a few days.

Think about you…

…what do you want to do or achieve before the office closes. Perhaps you want to get your nails done, have a massage or would love a new outfit for the day itself. Book these now, so they are in the diary and you are not forgotten, including time out to shop for you.

Don’t take on too much.

It’s easy to say yes to every invitation between now and the New Year or try to cram as many family and friend visits in before you’re back to work. Why not start the visits early or plan some in January to avoid the post Christmas blues.

If you don’t ask you don’t get the help you need.

Write down those jobs that could be done by others and share the load. How many times have you heard ‘I could have done that’? – by giving thought in advance to what others could do you will hopefully never hear that sentence again.

Finally, if you are struggling with aches and pains don’t ignore them – possibly they will get worse over the festive period. Seek help, support and advice before they prevent you from enjoying Christmas in 2017.