Merry Stress-free Christmas

It’s a time of cheer and festivity. But unfortunately, the holiday period can come with its fair share of stress, too. From pressure to attend events, spend money on gifts and time with loved ones to organising the perfect day and having guests to stay: The festive season can too easily come with a hefty mental load. Give yourself the gift of peace of mind this Christmas with Metropol’s round up of tips from the experts.

The Mental Health Foundation advises Kiwis to keep its Five Ways to Wellbeing in mind: Connect, give, take notice, keep learning, and be active. Especially the give bit. “Try to keep in mind that the true gift of the season is our presence, not our presents,” advises the foundation. “Giving our time, our words and our presence makes others feel great, but it also lifts our own mood and makes us feel our lives have more meaning.”

This year, deck the halls with delegation. Don’t give into out-dated expectations to do it all. If you can, buy pre-made or delivered menu items and invite guests to help by not only bringing their own contribution on the day, but also with preparations and clean-up. Kids and grandkids can also get in on the action with small jobs. Big family? Why not introduce a spending limit, or pull names from a hat to get one nice gift each.

Getting out in nature is another science-backed mindfulness hack endorsed by the Mental Health Foundation – and what better time to do so than during a Kiwi summer! Head to the beach, on a nature walk or even just out into your backyard. And, why not combine this mindful activity with other proven pick-me-ups by doing so with friends and family, exercise or relaxing with a book, podcast or music?

Cultivating gratitude – where you focus on what’s good in your life – is widely acknowledged by psychologists as a powerful mental healthiness tool. Evidence from too many studies and experts to list here shows those who regularly practice counting their blessings are happier and less depressed. Start writing down a few things each day you’re thankful for this festive season, and watch the stress melt away. Check out for resources and tips.


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