The holidays. The most wonderful time of the year, right? Everything looks beautiful, the kids are pumped for Christmas, the decorations are gorgeous, the food is delicious. It’s a great time of year. Unless you are the one making the magic happen. In that
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Nutrition and Wellness – Mommy Self-Care
Nutrition and wellness is one of the cornerstones of self-care, all the time. But it can be especially important when you are going through a crazy busy season like the holidays.
Christmas is the time of year where there are treats everywhere you look. I know my husband brings a ton of treats home from work lots of days. And then there are the treats you make, or that people give to you as well. And it’s really easy to be on a sugar high for about 6 weeks. But you’ll also be feeling like hammered out poop if you do that.
So, make an effort to feed yourself well during the season. I’m not saying to on a full blown macro-balanced crazy diet. I’m just saying, throw some meat and salad on the plate every day to offset the sugar and carbs. It’ll keep you feeling good and keep your system working well through the holiday season. And you’ll have some energy to do the 800 things that are on your to do list.
Hydration is crazy important too. Make sure you are getting plenty of water each day. It’s insane how many issues in your body the right amount of water can fix. It keeps you full, gives you energy and makes you look good. It’s a win-win. Drink your flipping water every day, all day.
Keep a bottle of water with you all the time to help you stay hydrated! I have both of these and like the both very much!
Try to get some movement in every day. It can be as simple as taking a quick walk through the neighborhood for a few minutes. I love taking a quick mid-day walk to admire all the Christmas decorations in the subdivision. Even a 15-minute stroll can clear your head and get your blood pumping. If it’s cold, run over to the mall and people watch and get a few laps in!
I find that exercise is vital to my mental sanity. With or without the Christmas season in full swing, I try to make sure I exercise a few times a week. It just keeps me calm and not nearly as stressed. Give it a try. It can’t hurt. I promise.
Sleep is tricky. Sometimes you NEED to get stuff done and staying up late or getting up early is the only way to make that happen. I get it – I am preaching to you from the choir. But, the sleep… it’s important too. And it’s the easiest thing to overlook and sacrifice in your self-care routine.
Everyone is different on how much sleep they need to be able to feel good and function throughout the day. But sleep is so important, and you should try to protect your sleep routine as much as you can, especially during the holidays. You might get a lot done if you stay up late a few nights, but you also will be walking through the subsequent days exhausted and groggy. Get those sleep hours in, and you’ll be more awake and alert during the day to get things on your list accomplished.
Mental Health – Mommy Self-Care
Looking after your mental health is important every day, not just during a holiday season. But I think during the holiday season you are up against a LOT of stressors and it can be easy to start overlooking your mental health and wellness. Here’s some ways that I practice keeping myself feeling even, steady, and calm.
I always find that practicing gratitude makes everything look better almost instantly. Being grateful for all the small and big blessings in your life can make it a little easier to keep your eye on the big picture and not get bogged down in the tiny little annoyances of life.
And don’t get me wrong, if you are in the throes of a horrid day, I know it’s hard to sit down and list out the stuff you are grateful for. But… give it a try. It just might turn your mood and maybe even your day around.
The Holiday Blues
The holiday blues are a real thing. It’s important to feel your feelings and not try to stuff them down or eat them into oblivion during the season. Acknowledge them as they come up and examine them for what they are worth.
Maybe you are missing a loved one, maybe you’ve lost someone this year. Maybe the holidays don’t look like you always dreamed they would. There are tons of reasons why the holiday blues will strike, and all of them are perfectly normal. You aren’t doing anything wrong if you get a little sad and sentimental sometimes during the holidays. It happens.
All you can do is acknowledge how you are feeling and take a break to let yourself move through that moment, however long that moment might be.
Recognizing that you have the holiday blues can also mean showing empathy and understanding for others if they go through the holiday blues. It’s easy to say “But they have so much to be thankful for – what do they have to be sad about…” DON’T do that.
That kind of thinking doesn’t help anyone. You don’t know what you don’t know about their situation. And if you haven’t walked a mile in their shoes, then don’t dare attempt to judge their position. Show them the same kindness you show yourself during the holidays. That’s a WAY more helpful way to support someone during the holidays.
And if the holidays aren’t their thing… then they aren’t their thing. Don’t attempt to drag them through the holiday because you love the day. Show empathy and let them be.
Reach Out and Talk
It always helps me to reach out and talk to someone if I’m feeling overwhelmed by the season (or by life in general!). Talking out your feelings can be really helpful sometimes.
If you feel like you need a lot of help, maybe consider talking to a counselor or a psychologist. I’m a big advocate that everyone should spend some time talking to a psychologist in their lives. I think it can help a ton of issues and give you the tools to manage your stress and feelings way better than you could have on your own. And dang it, sometimes it’s just helpful to have a neutral party in the situation to be able to tell you that your feelings are valid and that you are heard.
So, if you feel like you need it, make an appointment and go speak to someone. There shouldn’t be any kind of stigma attached to seeing a psychologist. You have a toothache; you go to the dentist. Have a heartache, go speak to someone. Mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Loved Ones and Friends
It’s also helpful to reach out to loved ones and friends if you are struggling. Let them know how you feel and why. They know your situations and may be able to give out suggestions for how to manage your stress better than you think. They know you best and they know your history and circumstances already.
And even if you don’t want to talk about your feelings to these folks, it’s wonderful to just spend time with friends and family during the holiday season. It fills your bucket and keeps you going!
If there is an old friend you’ve lost touch with that you want to say hello to, no better time than during the holiday season. If you are missing a friend or want to patch things up with a loved one or lost friend, the holidays are a great time to do that. Reach out, say Merry Christmas, and wish them well. You never know if that might be just what you needed to get the ball rolling for a better relationship.
It’s really, REALLLY important to keep a realistic view of what your holiday will look like in your head. NOT what it looked like in that last Hallmark movie you watched this week. Keeping it real is a very good way to avoid any hard feelings or disappointments along the way.
Keep a realistic expectation of what your holidays will look like, where they will be spent and with whom. And that will help you plan your holidays and manage your expectations through the season.
Time for Yourself – Mommy Self-Care
Try to carve out some time each day for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a huge block of time. It can be a few minutes here and there during the day. But I think it’s important to have some quiet time to yourself each day. It helps me keep my thoughts in order and I feel calmer and more collected.
For quick sections of time I love to play a game on my phone, read a few minutes of a book, sit and enjoy a treat or watch a few minutes of tv. Sometimes I even just listen to a few Christmas carols while sitting admiring the Christmas tree. Just a few minutes can give you a nice recharge and break that you desperately needed during your day.
If you have longer, watch a movie, take a bath or work on a hobby. I’m a perfectly happy little elf with a snack and a drink in front of the tv watching a Hallmark Christmas movie. I love them. It can’t be helped. The guy always gets the girl and the story is heartwarming.
Schedule In the Fun
If there are fun things you love to do during the holidays, make sure you schedule them in your calendar. Don’t get to the end of the season and say – I didn’t get to do any of the things I wanted, I was just too busy.
No way. Put the fun stuff in the calendar and make the time for the things you want to do. Getting to do the fun stuff keeps your holiday joy bucket full and cheerful.
Buy Yourself A Gift
I always buy myself a present at Christmas time. I make it something I’m really wanting but won’t ask for and wouldn’t usually buy it for myself. It doesn’t have to be a hugely expensive thing. It’s just something you want that you can treat yourself to. It’s a little way you can care for yourself and treat yourself during the holidays. And it makes me look forward to Christmas shopping!
Brainstorm Your New Year
Spend some serious time reflecting what you want to accomplish in the coming year. I love New Year’s. It’s one of my most favorite holidays. All the resolutions and fresh starts? I’m here for it!
I love to take some time in December to really reflect on the year behind me and to plan for the year in front of me. Both personally and professionally. I think it’s a wonderful time to assess where you’ve been and where you want to go. I look forward to it each year.
Get a beautiful planner and get to making plans for your new year! Here are a few of my favorite for 2020:
- 2020 Planner – Weekly & Monthly Planner with Tabs
- Blue Sky 2020 Weekly & Monthly Planner
- 2020 Woodlands Soft Cover Academic Year Day Planner Book by Bright Day
Remove Stress – Mommy Self-Care
Stress is such a huge part of the holiday season. It’s just part of the hustle and bustle. But I think there are ways you can manage the stress and even decrease it considerably!
This one is a biggie! Full disclosure? I stink at time management. I’m working on it though. And time management is super important during the holiday season! You cannot wait until the last minute to do everything or it will just be sheer misery all through the celebrations. Go ahead and order gifts and get them wrapped as time allows. Don’t wait until the last minute. That adds a level of stress to your life that no one needs!
Buy Back Time
Order in dinner, send out the dry cleaning, hire a cleaning service and order Christmas dinner to be made for you. These are just a few of the things you can do to take some tasks off your plate this holiday season. You don’t get any kind of award for doing it all yourself with no help ever. Help yourself out when and where you can, and your budget allows!
I think I buy most everything online now. I think most people do. It’s super convenient and I can find most anything I would want to give as a gift. And shopping online allows me to shop in 10 and 15 minute increments when I have time and can fit it into my days.
Tons of places will gift wrap your orders for a small fee. Take them up on that offer and open up your shipment to fully wrapped beautiful packages ready to go under the tree!
Ship to The Recipient
If you are buying a gift for someone you won’t see during the holiday season, skip the gifts shipping to you at all. Have it gift wrapped and just ship it straight to the person you are buying the gift for! Technology is a beautiful thing sometimes!
If you need more ideas on how to manage time, try this article on successfully buying back time.
Keep any money worries away by making a holiday budget and sticking to it. That way there are no surprises when January rolls around and you find that you’ve been on a 6-week shopping spree and your credit card bill makes you want to pull the covers over your head.
Create a holiday budget and then stick to it. And bam! A lot less stress in your holiday season. If you need help making your budget, read this article on The Smart Way To Budget for Christmas.
Just say No
Sometimes it’s ok to say no. If you have too much going on, it’s ok to say no to adding additional things to your plate. Or if you have committed to attending something that just isn’t going to work out for you, gracefully bow out and send your regrets.
You don’t have to say yes to every offer you receive. You do not have to attend every Christmas gathering that takes place. Sometimes saying no can be a really freeing experience.
Just like practicing gratitude, practicing generosity can also lift your holiday spirits and make you feel really nice on the inside while doing some good in the world too. It’s a win-win for everyone.
If you have the money to donate to your favorite cause, by all means, make a cash donation. All kinds of organizations need extra money at Christmas time to carry out their mission.
Perhaps your budget doesn’t have the wiggle room this year to make a cash donation. Have no fear, it’s always a great idea to go through your home and gather up things that you can donate to Goodwill or your local salvage store. The holidays are a great time to clean out the toys and clothes and closets to see what you could donate to give to others and to make room for new items that are coming to your house as gifts during the season.
Don’t forget you can also donate your time. If you don’t have the funds to spare, just inquire about volunteering for your favorite organization. I’m sure they have many opportunities during the holidays (and long thereafter) as well.
And last of all, and most important of all, be generous with your kindness. Practice it always. Always, always, always, always choose to be kind. It costs you nothing. And your kindness and grace could mean the world to someone else.
You never, never, never, never, never know the journey someone is walking. Don’t judge. Be patient. Extend grace. And be kind. Always. Most especially during the holiday season.
Wrap Up – Practicing Mommy Self-Care During the Holiday Season
In conclusion, Christmas is the most magical and beautiful time of year. I love everything about it. But it can also be such an overwhelming time too for so many people. It’s important to take time out for yourself during the holidays. Remember, while you are making things magical for everyone else, don’t forget to make it a great Christmas for yourself too. Here’s to a wonderful, calm, magical Christmas season. And remember as always, to just keep shuffling.
- The 6-Week (Stress-Free!) Christmas Planning Guide
- Overcoming Overwhelm: A Mommy’s Guide
- 6 Things to Do Immediately When You Are Having The Worst Week Ever
- 9 Simple Secrets to Turning Your Bad Day Around