The holiday season is a busy time for parents. From wrapping mountains of gifts, to decking the halls, to cooking special foods, to planning holiday parties and outings, December can be a stressful time for people who want to make Christmas perfect for their little ones! It’s okay to put time and effort into making the holidays tons of fun for your kids, but you also need to prioritize fine for yourself. Self care is important for surviving the seasonal stress, so be sure to cut out some quality time for yourself.
In a chaotic effort to make everyone else happy, moms often put themselves last. The holidays are a busy time, filled with gatherings and visits from family and friends. In addition to your regular routine, you might find yourself responsible for a number of extras this time of year: baking cookies for school, making gifts for your child’s teachers, purchasing and wrapping gifts for the family, buying matching outfits or pajamas, and coordinating Christmas parties and visits from out of town guests. This can be fun, but also stressful for moms who already tend to put themselves last. This is the season of giving – but don’t forget to give to yourself, too.
Here’s how you can ensure happy holidays through self care during this busy time of year:
- Stay grateful. This time of year is all about consumerism. The Christmas sales practically started in October, and it’s been a frenzy since then! It can be easy to compare your sparse pile of gifts under the tree and minimal decor when your friends are posting pictures of their magazine-ready houses and boatload of gifts under the tree. Comparison truly is the thief of joy, and this season, don’t forget to continue the spirit of thankfulness that we celebrated just last month. Consider starting a gratitude journal, or discussing what you’re thankful for when your family sits down to dinner. Are you happy? Healthy? Fulfilled? These are all things that not everyone has – and it’s important to be grateful.
- Get outdoors. Nature has healing powers. If you’re finding yourself getting overwhelmed, step outside for a brisk walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride, or go hiking on a local trail. If the weather doesn’t make this easy, just bundle up and enjoy a cup of coffee in your backyard or listen to some music as you sit on your porch. If you’re schedule is jam-packed, consider breaking up your exercise into a few short walks throughout the day. The cold, crisp air can really capture your senses and alleviate feelings of stress.
- Spend time with loved ones. This is a wonderful season to spend extra time with family and friends – especially ones you don’t get to see very often. With kids out of school and many parents off of work (or at least a lightened workload), it can be easier to schedule time to meet up with loved ones. Take your kids to the movies, drive around and look at Christmas lights, host a white elephant gift exchange or ornament exchange, or plan a holiday brunch. Consider taking a drive to see friends or family that you haven’t been able to see in quite some time. The holidays are most fulfilling when you’re surrounded by those who care about you!
- Ask for help. Nothing about parenthood is easy, especially the holidays. With schools and daycares closed, you might find yourself spending an extra amount of “quality time” with your children. Even though this can be a fun time to plan holiday activities and outings with your kids, moms need a break too! Don’t feel guilty for asking for help. Many moms feel pressured to make the holidays perfect for their little ones, but it’s important to take time for self care. Call the grandparents, a friend, or a babysitter, and give yourself a few hours of peace without your children around. Ask for help with cooking or wrapping gifts if you need an extra set of hands.
- Prioritize your sleep. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. But if you’re a mom, you might find yourself scrolling through social media or binge watching the latest shows far into the night. It’s important to value your sleep and get an adequate amount of rest. Take a nap during the day with your kids if you’re able to. Don’t feel pressured to pull an all-nighter trying to make your kids’ Christmas perfect.
- Pamper yourself. Take some time to give yourself a little extra attention when you’re feeling burnt out. Take a warm bath with a scented bath bomb. Attend an exercise class at the gym. Take yourself out shopping.
- Phone a friend. Sometimes moms just need a good venting session to get through the tough times. Pick up the phone, call a friend, and vocalize your worries and stresses. Your friends will probably be happy to lend a listening ear and catch up on life’s happenings!
- Don’t compromise your boundaries. Protect your sanity by setting up clear, firm boundaries. You don’t have to attend every party you’re invited to, you don’t have to spend hours making personalized gifts for your child’s teachers, and you don’t need to wrap each Christmas present with ornate ribbons and bows. It’s okay to take the simple route if it means making your life easier! Have your spouse help cook some meals, have a gift-wrapping party with your friends, and give your child’s teachers gift cards. Prioritize your sleep, go on a daily walk or get some fresh air, and allow yourself to actually enjoy the season!
The holidays are a wonderful, fun time to spend with family and friends. The busyness of the season can make it hard to find time to rest and prioritize self care!
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.
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