The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, celebration and peace— but most moms know better. After all, we’re often in charge of pulling it all together. In addition to our busy, daily schedules, the holidays transform us into personal shoppers, interior decorators and even bakers.
We also have more events on our schedule with holiday concerts, classroom parties and other commitments. How can we do it all and still manage to keep our sanity? Here are some tips on how to beat holiday stress.
Prioritize and Simplify
Our society has certain expectations about what makes the holiday season special. It’s easy to get too busy to be present and enjoy what we’re doing. When I gave birth to my third child in the middle of October, the last thing I wanted to do was host a large holiday get-together.
With three small children, I broke the holiday season down into parts and decided on what was important to us and what wasn’t. For example, it’s not Christmas for us unless we put up a tree. So, the tree went up when the baby napped, but the cookies for the class parties didn’t get baked.
My advice is to let some things go and don’t feel guilty about it. If an activity doesn’t increase the quality of your holiday season, get rid of it. Instead, focus on things that mean the most to you and your family.
Rise to the Occasion
Instead of being stressed this holiday season, be challenged. When you start to get annoyed at a slow cashier in a store, challenge yourself to rise to the occasion and show your best self, even when the conditions surrounding you may not be ideal. A quick change of attitude can play a big role in beating holiday stress.
Learn more about managing stress.
Show Your Spirit
Kids love getting presents, but they need to know there’s more to life than material things. Take your kids to help people who are less fortunate. When my kids were younger, I took them to a high school to join hundreds of volunteers wrapping presents for families living in shelters.
Although my youngest was only four at the time and his wrapping skills were nonexistent, he understood we were there to make disadvantaged kids happy. This simple act teaches your kids the true meaning of the holidays.
Take Care of Yourself Too
When you’re stressed, your blood sugar is already high. Too much alcohol and sugar on top of that will make you feel lousy and tired, and interrupt your sleep. You won’t have the energy to enjoy the holiday season. Stay hydrated with water or green tea.
Don’t forget to move your body in a way that actually feels good. Forgo the treadmill and add some fun to your exercise routine instead. Dance to your favorite holiday song or take a nighttime stroll to admire the lights.
Focus on Family
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to remember — the holiday season wouldn’t mean as much without the people we love the most. I love spending the whole day with my kids reflecting on all the blessings that have come our way.
We cherish the holidays by simply being together and doing the things we love — like baking, singing, playing in the snow, enjoying light displays and talking late into the night. Years down the road we won’t remember the gifts or the perfect decorations, but the warmth of being with people we love.
How do you beat holiday stress? Let us know by commenting below.