The holiday season is here (or as I like to call it “eating season.”) While the memories made and family time are always awesome in hindsight, the reality of them can be a tad stressful. I’m no expert at remaining calm cool and collected but I am an expert on stress! Especially when I start to remember all the shopping, packing, traveling, planning, and calories involved. That’s why I chose to write this post, I’m writing it for me AND for you if you find yourself in a holiday frenzy. I’m hopeful by remembering some of these things I can keep my joyful holiday spirit intact with less mommy meltdowns!
Make a list, check it twice…and immediately cross half the things off.
I’m not kidding. Give yourself permission to not attend EVERY holiday party, ugly sweater gathering, church potluck, dirty santa swap, school program, food drive, parade, Santa shindig, etc. December can be overwhelming with options and you need to tamper down your FOMO and only keep the things on the list that mean the most to you. Then you can really enjoy your choices instead of rolling your eyes as you dart from place to place without a moment to catch your breath.
Shop ahead of time or all online.
I find it’s easier on the budget and the brain if you shop throughout the year. You can remember things people in your family might really need or want instead of just cramming a bunch of impulse buys from an end cap at the store all in one week. The online shopping can also help impulse buys because you don’t have to browse all the aisles to get to what you’re really searching for.
Don’t neglect your self care.
Whatever you like to call it: gym time, me time, mommy time outs, this necessary and healthy moments often get pushed to the back burner when the busy holiday season is in full swing. Which is another reason people get burned out. Even if you’re out of town you can exercise at a hotel gym or take a quick morning jog or sneak away for some yoga. You can actually hide in your bedroom during family gatherings if you need a nap or a few minutes to read a book. Don’t apologize for putting on your oxygen mask before helping others!
Keep the traditions alive.
The holidays can be hard for many reasons. Often times sadness can set in with memories of lost love ones, broken families, or other stress in general. When you don’t find yourself wanting to be merry and bright, keep the traditions alive and just go through the motions. It sounds hard to do and I know it is, but the magic of the season can find itself through many ways. Putting those ornaments on a tree with your kids, caroling with loved ones, or going to special church program might just be the thing your heart needs even if you don’t know it.
Tis better to give than receive.
There are so many opportunities to reach out to others during this holiday season. From toy drives to food pantries to angel trees, pick at least one way that your family can give back to people in your community this month. It’s a way to keep the focus outward instead of inward during a time when your kids are getting a lot of gifts. Anytime I’m starting to feel stressed I know by giving of my time to others my outlook on life is shifted and the stress melts away as my perspective changes.
After trying these things, if you still find yourself freaking the freak out with your elf on the shelf in the same place it’s been for over a week and visions of sugar plums smashed under your feet instead of dancing in your head, just remember….there’s always another chance next holiday season! Good luck!