6 tips to make Xmas easy

Christmas lights to make christmas easy

News & Insights

MoneyPlus Features Team

8th December 2016 at 9:00am

So it’s that time of the year again, time to brave the cold with your hat, scarf and gloves. Time to wrack your brain to come up with presents for your nearest and dearest. This time of year can be both tricky and testing, if, like me, you go to work when it’s dark and get home when it’s even darker. After all, the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day is search the shops for the perfect present.

These long and dark days can weigh you down, and it is widely recognised a lack of exposure to the sun can dampen your mood.  For some the change in seasons can really affect their mental health and cause depression, but as the charity ‘mind’ explains, everyone can be affected by the change in climate;

‘’Most of us are affected by the change in seasons – it is normal to feel more cheerful and energetic when the sun is shining and the days are longer, or to find that you eat more or sleep longer in winter.’’

And so, if you’re struggling to scrape together the energy required to get through these tough wintry weeks there may be a few things you can do to make them that little bit easier.

Tips to beat the bad weather blues

Eliminate takeaway eating

For me this really is a tricky tip to put into place, it’s so easy to reach for the pizza menu and leave the kitchen chaos for one night. But one night soon turns in to two, and before you know if you haven’t touched any of your kitchen appliances in quite some time. And as Yahoo sports explains, ditching the fast food could be the answer to beating the bad weather blues;

‘…ditching greasy food and candy canes in favour of less processed alternatives will allow you to perk up your mood and reduce anxiety in the process. Plus, you can start working on your summer body a few months early.’

Getting in the kitchen can be fun too, why not try to cook something new and exciting. You can find a whole host of recipes online and the food network have a great list of ‘Rainy Day Recipes’ to lift your mood and make you toss the takeaway menu.

A little physical activity goes a long way

Exercise can be a great way to start feeling good and up the energy levels. Though it sometimes doesn’t feel like hitting the gym is giving you more energy, it really does. But don’t fret, you don’t need to go all out on exercise and sign up for a costly gym membership, as ‘Mind’ explains;

‘While you may not feel like it at the time, physical activity can be very effective in lifting your mood and increasing your energy levels. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly strenuous – doing housework, gardening or going for a gentle walk, if you are able to, can all help. Doing something physical outside in a green space, such as the park or the countryside, has been shown to be especially helpful.’

Schedule in some fun

One of the best ways to perk yourself up is to plan something fun to fill those cold evenings and drizzly days. Why not plan a night out with friends or have a cosy evening in with that special someone? Planning little pick me up activities like this can really break up your week and give you something to look forward to.

And so, there are a number of ways you can try to beat those bad weather blues, but what if you’re also struggling to pick the perfect gift for your partner? Or what if you have so many to buy for that this whole gifting business is beginning to become the bane of your life? Well look no further, we have some handy hints to help with that too…

Wonderful ways to not get bogged down in buying gifts

List it!

This may seem obvious, but listing out who you need to buy for and what you are going to buy them truly is half the battle when it comes to making shopping as stress free as possible. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked department store aisles aimlessly, not knowing what to buy or exactly who I have to buy for. And as Aviva explains, keeping a handy list could be a great idea too;

‘Keep a gift list in your diary – when you’ve spent a weekend with friends or family, try to jot down any ideas for gifts that have come up in conversation or any other thoughts you may have which could be useful…For example, did you notice your friend’s wallet was looking a bit worn? Was your mother warm enough when you went for a walk or could she do with a new scarf or jumper?’

Keeping a note on your person could really help when it comes to deciding what to get your friends and family. A list limits your spending and organises your thoughts, but you can take this a little step further to cut costs…

Set a strict budget

Now, setting a budget may seem boring, and if you simply write one out to not follow it through it can be. But, if you make yourself one that you stick to, and then follow to the letter, it can be really satisfying. Think of it as a challenge, write out everyone you need to buy for and then add ideas and a price you are willing to spend, or can afford, and stick to it!

Why not ditch the high street and shop from your laptop

It’s the same every year, droves of people out in the cold, frantically moving from shop to shop trying to find the perfect gift. But why not avoid the busyness and shop from the comfort of your own home? Now I know the temptation to hit the high street can be rife this time of year but you could save so much time and money by doing all of your shopping online. By sticking to surfing the net you can easily compare prices for the same item, use voucher codes and have everything dropped direct to your door.

And so, if you stick to these top tips you will surely have a Christmas to remember and one that won’t break the bank! Not only that, you will survive the festive season without getting too down in the dumps due to the lack of sunny skies.