Less Stress December

While we’re usually happy to talk about parties, celebrations, presents, and food and drink in December, we’re often a bit less open about the other side of this time of year. For example: money worries, nasty relatives, depression and SAD, and a general feeling of being rushed and overwhelmed. So I’m setting out to make December less stressful as well as keeping the fun stuff.

Less Stress December relax during the Christmas season

With this in mind, I’ll be doing a few articles throughout the month that focus on wellbeing, and trying to set a good example with my own actions. In particular I have promised to give up trying to multi-task, as recent discussions with friends have suggested that nobody’s really that good at it, and it’s okay to admit that it isn’t my forte (plus I really don’t enjoy it at all). So let’s focus on one thing at a time from now on!

The rough plan for the month is as follows:

  • Week 1 – daily relaxation exercises (see below)
  • Week 2 – organise more, stress less
  • Week 3 – changing focus and thinking of others
  • Week 4 – making plans and changes for next year

For starters, it’s good to get into the habit of setting some time aside each day to actively relax. If you set time aside to keep your body healthy, why not treat your mind to a little exercise too? However busy you are, it’s worth taking ten minutes for yourself – it’s a real sanity-saver. Twenty minutes is even better, but do what you can.

My pledge for the month is to do something relaxing or healthy like this each day, starting with a week of daily mindfulness, meditation or relaxation sessions. Research suggests that just 20 minutes per day for eight weeks can have a huge impact, so that should get us off to a great start.

This week’s challenge

If you’d like to join in this week then commit to doing 10, 15 or 20 minutes per day of any of the following:

  • Sitting quietly, focusing on your breathing and letting the thoughts flow in and out of your mind without getting too caught up in them
  • Using the free timed meditations on the free part of the Calm app for Android or iPhone, or on the Calm website
  • Listening to nature sounds, or walking in meditation in the park and concentrating on your footsteps or things you can hear
  • Doing the free Headspace Take 10 course (this is a 10-day free trial where you do 10 minutes per day)

If you’d prefer to use a paid app, Buddhify2 has just been updated with lots of new exercises and materials and costs £1.99 for Android and iPhone. If you bought the app previously it updates for free.

These are all things you can do this week completely for free, or less than the price of a cup of coffee. Why not give it a try? You don’t have to put off making changes until the new year – you can start now if you like.


Similar Posts


  1. There was a similar article in Men’s Health this month regarding ditching the phone and all the other daily stresses to get back to nature and relax the mind for 20 minutes a day.

    One interesting quote was “using an app to tackle your tech dependency (dependency on modern life and the stresses it causes) is like supersizing your Diet Coke to lose weight).

    Therefore, I think doing this naturally is better than doing it supported by apps. However, I’m definitely in for the challenge and will do it by walking down by the river with nothing on me other than my keys every day for 20-30 minutes.

    Great idea PGL – thanks.

  2. hi I’m new to this savings lark but I’m completely hooked so far! When is the next “tenner week” ? ….if you are a family of four do You just increase it to £40?

  3. Hi Nikki – there’s going to be at least one Tenner Week in January, possibly two. If the whole family wants to join in then you could definitely do a budget of £40. But if they don’t fancy it then just count your share of family things such as food etc, and just do a budget of £10 for yourself. Best of luck!

Comments are closed.