Ahh, the holidays… “The most wonderful time of the year” often comes along with mixed emotions for moms and caregivers alike. While the happy celebrations, special traditions, and time spent with family might feel merry, the underlying pressure and stress can sometimes be overwhelming. This year it’s especially trying due to the pandemic hitting families hard. Give yourself the gift of self-care this holiday season. Taking time for yourself will not only benefit you, but also positively impact those around you.
Take time for yourself each day
The hustle and bustle this time of year might feel fun at first, but after a few days burn out sets in. Without taking time for yourself during the whirlwind of extra tasks and caregiving, you’ll end up exhausted and run down. Remember that this time of year it is about being grateful, generous, and kind. If you can be that way towards others, you can be that way towards yourself.
Make sleep a priority
It might be tempting to stay up late wrapping gifts, preparing the next day’s meal, or chatting with any visiting relatives. Don’t let yourself fall into unhealthy sleeping habits during this time. Make sleep a priority. Aim to get between seven and eight hours each night. This will keep your immune system, and your spirits, bright and strong.
This doesn’t mean shop ‘till you drop or wrap presents till your hands are numb. Fitting in movement everyday that is unrelated to the holidays can give you a positive energy boost. Exercises such as yoga and walks around the block can be a metaphorical and literal breath of fresh air. These exercises don’t have to be time consuming or intense, as long as they are allowing you to feel your best. Plus, staying active can help burn off some of the holiday treats!
Eat healthy and hydrate
Healthy eating during the holidays? Yes, it’s important! While a cookie here or there is fine, don’t let yourself fall into unhealthy eating habits. Monitor your portion sizes and make sure you aren’t repeatedly eating too much fat and sugar day after day. Eat plenty of vegetables (not cooked in butter or topped with gravy) and drink plenty of water. This will not only keep your body in balance, but can provide you with a boost of positive energy.
Say no when needed—it’s okay, we promise!
During the last few months of the year, parents can find themselves stretched too thin. From creating a festive home atmosphere to keeping the family happy, especially during these trying times, undue stress can arise. The pressure from relatives to visit, even during a pandemic, can feel like an epic guilt trip. Remember that saying no is okay! You are not beholden to every aunt, grandparent, or cousin who wants to involve themselves in your holiday plans.
Don’t pressure yourself to be perfect
We know that the holidays are a memorable and meaningful time, but the mentality around making this season perfect can set you up for failure. Perfection doesn’t exist and forcing yourself to overwork and overstress will only make you go crazy during an already stressful time of year. Let go of the idea of perfection and instead focus on an authentic and loving celebration.
Spend quality time with your kids instead of making ten different types of cookies and carve out time to call relatives and friends instead of spending hours hanging outdoor lights. Most of all, make sure you are giving yourself the love and support you deserve all season long!