More Joy, Less Stress
woman & home South Africa|December 2018
More Joy, Less Stress

Are you frantically trying to get it all done? Stop, breathe – and make this the year that YOU enjoy Christmas...

Sharon Walker

Christmas can be magical, but there’s no denying that the lion’s share of work – as well as the worrying – is done by women. One poll found that 68% of women – and only 40% of men – feel some seasonal stress. Amid all the prep, though, it is possible to stay calm, avoid Christmas burnout – and, most importantly, enjoy it all. Here’s how...


Sit down with your partner over a glass of wine and plan: how do you see Christmas panning out? Who’ll be there, what will you do? If you’re doing the cooking, make a list. Jamie, Nigella and the w&h food section (see page 134) are great for recipes you can make now and freeze. Keep it simple – Juls Abernethy suggests buying a ready-stuffed turkey.

Crucially, you don’t have to do everything alone. The trick is to give others plenty of warning and approach it as a fun project. Can you hand over the Christmas cards to your partner and kids? Or let them buy the tree? Instead of family gift giving, try experiences you can enjoy together like going to the theatre.

STRESS BUSTER Give yourself a relaxing ‘gift’ like a massage, and plan for it during the buildup. It will pay dividends.


A family is like a play; we’re all cast in our roles (the emotional one, the clown, and so on). No matter where we are in our lives right now, throw us back in the family mix and we’re soon acting out our part.


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December 2018