Five Steps To Help You Stress-Less This Christmas

Look, if I had a house worthy of being featured on the real housewives of Cheshire (yes it's a real programme and yes it's definitely on my guilty pleasure list), then I would be taking it all in my stride.

It's officially 4 more sleeps until Christmas.

My gorgeous niece and nephew (my countdown clock) were delighted to remind me as I picked them up for a spot of super aunty babysitting.

While on the outside I was doing all the right things - smiling, being excited and talking about all the wonderful things that these types of festive occasions bring on the inside I was dreading it.

Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas.

I'm up at 5 am and downstairs watching rubbish on TV in my PJ's quicker than any kid but it's what comes next that is causing me all kinds of havoc.

This year it's our turn to host.

Yup, it's Christmas at the Woodland-Jacks residence.

Now, thankfully Mr Jacks does the honours in the kitchen when it comes to making the dinner.

I get to play in the kitchen the day before making all things yummy and pure indulgence.

We're a regular ½ & ½ household.

But - it's not the cooking, or the baking that's the issue.

It's the thought of having 10 people in the house who all want entertaining, all want feeding and all wanting your attention at exactly the same time.

Look, if I had a house worthy of being featured on the real housewives of Cheshire (yes it's a real programme and yes it's definitely on my guilty pleasure list), then I would be taking it all in my stride.

I would also have an army of cooks, cleaners and servers.

But like 99% of the population we don't live like that.

While it's super tempting to crack open the wine as soon as it turns 12pm (there always seems to be an unwritten rule about when it's ok to start drinking).

This always ends up in complete disaster.

The food burns, the family are all piddled and arguing and by 3pm no one even remembers the true meaning of Christmas - fun, laughter and all things chocolate.

So, I'm going to help you out a little and give you my run down of 5 steps to a stress free Christmas.

Step 1: Get up at least 1 hour before everyone else

Trust me - this time alone is vital.

Being able to spend some quality time just enjoying Christmas before the hustle and bustle starts will be your true saving grace.

Get yourself a cup of hot chocolate, a sneaky candy cane of the tree, a couple of minced pies and sit down in your favourite spot.

Read a book, watch a little bit of indulgence TV, play a game of patience (with real cards if you've got them)...

If you can think right back to what you used to do as a kid and do that (unless what you used to do consisted of bouncing up and down on your parent's bed - your partner will definitely not appreciate that!).

If you've got dogs then it's a great idea to get them well and truly knackered before everyone comes over and simply adds to the mix of stress.

If not don't worry a Christmas stroll is a great way to calm, relax and find your mojo.

Step 3: Set up your emergency meditation space.

Whether you have a yoga mat, pillow or just a space on your bedroom floor where you can sit down get it ready early.

If you listen to music, or have a favourite mantra have it all ready and to hand.

Any time you feel yourself getting stressed excuse yourself and recalibrate for 5-10 mins.

No one needs to know what you're doing - remember it's your Christmas too!

Every room downstairs in my house has a diffuser and if ever there was a time capitalise on these awesome products and cheat yourself to a relaxed state then Christmas is definitely it!

A combo of frankincense, cinnamon and orange will smell super seasonal and have the power to chill even the most uptight in-law...

Step 5: Play with the kids

I don't mean make up their toys and then let them run riot while you have a chin wag.

I mean get down, in the mud and in all the mess of the play dough.

Set an alarm on your phone and tell the kids you'll play with the in such a time, for 15 mins (individually).

Give them the phone and let them be in charge.

When it's time let yourself go, have fun and laugh like you're going to wet yourself.

Not only will you feel great - they'll happily entertain themselves for the rest of the day leaving you to practice adulting.

Good luck Katie!

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