Top tips: How to survive Christmas D&B style

December 12, 2023

Top tips: How to survive Christmas D&B style

From a beautifully decorated home and perfectly cooked turkey to buying (and wrapping) thoughtful gifts and nailing the festive outfits, women are often the mothers of Christmas. But, with one in three of us experiencing festive burnout, there must be a better way!  

"Where art thou, Mother Christmas?
I only wish I knew
Why Father should get all the praise
And no one mentions you.

I'll bet you buy the presents
And wrap them large and small
While all the time that rotten swine
Pretends he's done it all.

So Hail To Mother Christmas
Who shoulders all the work!
And down with Father Christmas,
That unmitigated jerk!"

Roald Dahl

Avoiding Christmas burnout

We love Christmas for family time, for a sparkle in mid-winter, for an excuse to celebrate. But we also feel the festive pressure, which still sits pretty squarely on the shoulders of women. Have we got all the presents? What’s the vegan going to eat? Have we got enough chairs to seat everyone? Is the spare bed made up?

In most heterosexual households, women do the heavy lifting over Christmas. According to a UN report, women do three times more unpaid domestic work than men, and this is heightened at Christmas. On top of that, many of us have work dos to dress up for and children’s carol concerts to go to. The result is that the season to be jolly can feel more like the season to be stressed out.

From delegating chores to building rituals, there’s loads you can do to avoid burnout. We like these tips from Headspace. But, being champions of the female body and mind, we wanted to think about how women can go a step further and feel better about ourselves over Christmas. So, we’ve put our heads together and come up with our top tips for bossing the festive season – and it involves taking time out, having fun, rebelling against expectations and a healthy dose of silliness.

Deakin & Blue Long Sleeve Swimsuit Plum

1. Prioritise pleasure (yours)

Finding space in an overflowing household isn’t easy. Between visitors and your own family being off work and school and all those Christmas parties to go to – even the extroverts among us can get a bit overwhelmed.

We find scheduling time out really helps. Go for a cold swim or a walk, eat chocolates in the bath (don’t forget to lock the door), read, meditate – whatever makes you feel good. Putting it in your diary makes it more likely to happen.

2. Find the family feels

For us working mums, time with our children is really important. In team D&B, our children range from not-yet-born to almost eighteen-years-old, so it’s about finding our family’s sweet spot according to their age. That might be a pregnancy massage and nourishing food, a first trip to Santa’s grotto or watching Home Alone together on Christmas Eve. Whatever sparks joy for your family, the key is carving out time where nobody’s stressed or busy to enjoy being together.

Deakin & Blue Signature Swimsuit Black

3. Exorcise expectations

Since Victorian times, women have taken the role of ‘kin-keeping’, social networking and projecting an image of perfect household. But Victorian women didn’t have Instagram. Studies show that we share more images of our beautiful Christmas decorations and joyful family activities than at any other time. If you add in the fact that Christmas is emotionally difficult for many of us, there’s little wonder all this pressure can take its toll.

From taking a break from Instagram to dressing up in bikinis and bobble hats and jumping waves with our friends, we love to rebel against societal expectations. That little bit of freedom, silliness and rebellion not only makes us feel wickedly good, but it also helps us cope a little better.

Deakin & Blue X-Back Swimsuit Scarlet

4. Wear your confidence

Let’s talk about bodies. Have you noticed how you’re inundated with conflicting messages – especially over the festive period? Indulge in food and alcohol, but don’t overindulge; wear stunning clothes, look festive, but don’t overdress; look cool, but don’t try too hard – we love Cynthia Nixon’s recital of the poem, ‘Be a Lady, They Said’.

Over the years, we’ve learned that comfort and confidence are key. As we negotiate the office parties, drinks with neighbours, meals with friends, Christmas concert wardrobe minefield, we pick outfits that make us feel good. And if we could wear our D&B swimsuits to the pub, we would.

Deakin & Blue X-Back Swimsuit Teal

5. Live your values

Ultimately, the key to a truly happy Christmas and New Year lies in living your values. A moment before the festivities kick off to think about what matters to you might save you from burnout.

Firstly, it’s ok to feel overwhelmed or anxious – one in three adults suffer from festive burnout, according to a recent survey by Slumber Cloud. By thinking about what really matters to you over Christmas, you can manage your own and others’ expectations and get to the New Year with your sanity intact.

To all you Mother Christmases - have a happy one x