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Top tips for a stress-free Christmas

Top tips for a stress-free Christmas
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year...

...the famous festive lyrics proclaim.

But alongside the joy, laughter and twinkling lights, Christmas can bring a high level of stress.

The whirlwind of parties, cooking, decorating and present buying can be tiring and costly. Fraught parents race around during their lunchbreak trying to source the gifts for their children’s stockings, late nights and too many mulled wines leave many feeling tired and little grumpy while anyone hosting a big group of family or friends over Christmas will know that it can turn into a marathon of food, buying prepping and cooking. All this is compounded by the barrage of festive films, songs, adverts and articles which increase the pressure by building unrealistic expectations of a perfect day.

But Christmas does not need to be stressful. It should be a time when everyone simply comes together to relax and enjoy themselves – it is a holiday after all so don’t let the stress take over.

To help ensure a smooth, happy December for all, here are our top tips on a stress-free Christmas.

Learn to say no

We’ve all done it – overcommitted, saying yes to every invite from family and friends dotted all over the country and then spent most of Christmas in the car racing from place to place, trying to pacify bored and squabbling children.

Learn from this, you do not have to accept every invitation. Be selective and organise your diary to keep travel to a minimum and factor in downtime. With the family together there is nothing better than staying at home. If you are planning visits, keep them local or arrange one big trip and stick at that. You might find a quieter Christmas is your best one yet.

Ask for help

No-one should feel they must prepare everything - decorations, food, presents and so on – on their own. Draft in the help of family and friends and delegate out tasks so that everyone is involved – that way everything gets done without anyone being overstretched. If you are hosting Christmas lunch, ask one of the guests to bring nibbles, another to bring mince pies and a third to bring the Christmas pudding. If you have the kids rampaging around the house, task them with some decorating. If you are going to be doing most of the cooking, perhaps your partner can sort the Christmas shopping.

If all the Christmas preparation falls to one person, it quickly becomes a burden leaving them worn out by the time the big day comes. When shared, preparing for a magical Christmas is not stressful but fun and festive.

 

Christmas card cheats

It is a lovely thing to do to handwrite Christmas cards for all your friends but if you are run ragged and lacking time it is also completely unnecessary. There are lots of other options for sending festive love and good wishes to those you care about without spending hours bent over pen and paper. Happy Christmas messages can be sent as texts, whatsapps or emails. If you are determined to send cards, which are admittedly a joy to receive – and can be used as decorations - then you can either share out the writing between all family members or you could pay a company to write and send them for you. No-one will ever know.

Get some fresh air

There’s lots of sitting around, drinking and eating over Christmas which can leave you feeling a bit lethargic and scratchy. Getting outside for some fresh air and exercise is an instant energy and mood lifter. We all know that exercise helps reduce stress and releases happy hormones so if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the onslaught of Christmas, it is the perfect antidote. Yes of course the weather may not be great but a good trudge in the crisp air will blow away those cobwebs and get you feeling fresh and ready for your next round of festive toasts. At Porlock Weir Hotel, we’re very lucky to be surrounded by the stunning Exmoor countryside, a beautiful coastline and miles of wonderful walks in every direction, making fresh air and exercise a pleasure come rain or shine.

Introduce Secret Santa

If you are spending Christmas with extended family, partners and assorted friends, the numbers can get quite out of control. Do not fall into the trap of feeling you must all buy presents for everyone attending. Introduce a Secret Santa style game in which everyone buys just one present, and everyone receives one present. This means you can all still enjoy the Christmas tradition of gift giving and unwrapping without everyone being forced to spend more money and time than is reasonable.

Eat and drink well

Christmas is traditionally the season of excess with endless feasts and fizz flowing freely but that doesn’t mean you have to overdo it. You can eat, drink and be merry while remaining healthy. That way you won’t stagger towards the New Year feeling bloated and hungover. Much traditional festive food is very nutritious – smoked salmon, dark green veggies such as broccoli, spinach and kale, Brussel sprouts, carrots, turkey, satsumas and nuts are just some of the health boosting foods you are likely to enjoy this Christmas. This is not about denying yourself but trying to enjoy a magical Christmas of delicious food and fine wine while avoiding the kind of overindulgence that makes you feel sluggish. Enjoy a healthier Christmas and you’ll be full of energy and festive cheer throughout.

Go away and leave the hard work to someone else

Have you ever thought about taking off over Christmas? Book into a hotel with the family and leave the hard work of decorating and cooking to someone else. You could spend Christmas on the coast with us at Porlock Weir Hotel where we are offering the perfect festive break – a three night dinner, bed and breakfast package including a mouthwatering six course Christmas Day lunch.

Our wonderful team will give you a warm festive welcome, greeting you with mulled wine and mince pies on Christmas Eve before showing you to your beautiful rooms. With no need to spend any time sweating over the oven, you can relax by our log fire surrounded by our coastal themed festive decorations and loved ones.

What our guests say...

"Exceptional in Every Way!" - MJM48 via Tripadvisor.co.uk

From the moment we walked in we knew we had made the right choice - such a warm, friendly welcome. The hotel was beautifully decorated for Christmas and with the lovely open fires made us feel festive. Our room overlooking the harbour was absolutely lovely, spacious and spotlessly clean. The bed was very comfortable, shower excellent. We had dinner both nights of our stay, good quality ingredients...

"A Fantastic Find" - Lorraine via Booking.com

Stylish make-over, good staff, excellent food - breakfast was superb. We stumbled across the hotel by accident, a fantastic accident! Lovely little harbour with amazing views. The hotel was freshly made over, the staff could not have been more pleasant and helpful. Wood fired pizzas freshly made on the patio. Would highly recommend. ...

"Wonderfully Spoiling, Relaxing Break" - Penny V via Tripadvisor.co.uk

We have been coming to this hotel for many years and have seen it through many reincarnations. We are so happy that the current management has taken this much-loved treasure over and given it such a wonderful new lease of life. We stayed for 3 days with our dog. The staff were absolutely delightful and went out of their way to ensure that we were all safe in a way that was so unobtrusive that we almost...

"Lovely Staycation Find" - Rob A via Tripadvisor.co.uk

Just spent 3 nights here in these difficult times we now live in. Faultless is the word I would use to describe Porlock Weir Hotel from the time you book until the time you leave they can’t do enough to accommodate you. Under the leadership of Michell and Miquel the hotel is run impeccably from front of house to housekeeping nothing less than 10/10 and that’s before you get to dine where...

"Wonderful Two Nights Stay" - HolidaychicLondon via Tripadvisor.co.uk

We had room 4 looking out to the harbour. The room was spacious and attractively decorated. The breakfast were very nice, a very long wait the first morning though but not the second one - so all good. We had dinner there one evening which was delicious and great service and everything about the hotel is Covid friendly. The staff and guests all wear masks when moving around the hotel, there’...

"Just Like Home" - Justhadtosay via Tripadvisor.co.uk

Fabulous hotel which is hard to fault. As someone there said, you feel like the first person to use the room. Beautiful rooms and bathrooms and we had a view of the sea and bay which was just what we needed.We had a long walk one day which was such a tonic after working at home for so long. In our arrival back it was like getting home with a log fire, friendly welcome and home made cream tea.The staff...

"Hotel Top Of It's Game" - Nocky-1975 - via Tripadvisor.co.uk

Just spent 3 nights here in these difficult times we now live in. Faultless is the word I would use to describe Porlock Weir Hotel from the time you book until the time you leave they can’t do enough to accommodate you. Under the leadership of Michell and Miquel the hotel is run impeccably from front of house to housekeeping nothing less than 10/10 and that’s before you get to dine where...

"Dog Friendly Birthday Break" - Ardel R via Tripadvisor.co.uk

Lovely hotel with wonderful views over Porlock Weir, food was great and staff lovely, friendly and dog fans too. So a perfect break all round. We stayed in October and had a room with views out over the sea. We took our golden retriever with us and the place is very dog friendly with towels to clean their muddy feet if needed....

"A Peaceful Relaxing Place to Chill Out" - Joanna via Booking.com

Stunning, peaceful setting alongside a quaint little harbour and pebble beach. The secluded hamlet down country lanes offered a couple of shops and a good pub next door. The small hotel did not disappoint! Undergoing extensive refurbishment, the overall ambiance was stylish but relaxed with a modern twist on traditional. The completed bedrooms were relaxing and comfortable and our bed provided a ...
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