There are a lot of expectations around the holidays. As a mother, you’ll probably feel the pressure to cook the perfect meal, buy the best gifts, and attend every social gathering, while still managing your regular day-to-day responsibilities.
Balancing these tasks can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you don’t take care of yourself. However, with realistic expectations, mindful planning, and a little self care, you can keep holiday stress at bay. Here are five simple ways even the busiest mamas can navigate the holiday season:
Balance Social Obligations
The holidays are a great time to gather with family and friends. However, committing to too many social gatherings can become more of a stressor than something you enjoy. Consider which holiday gatherings you’d like to host and attend versus the ones you’d rather skip.
Be sure to prioritize important family traditions, and don’t be afraid to say no when you don’t feel up to going somewhere. If you have to turn down an invitation, consider sending a thoughtful thank you card, or offer to meet up at a later date. The holidays are a busy time for everyone, so chances are they’ll understand.
Treat Your Body Well
During the busy season, it’s easy to push your own needs to the side. However, prioritizing your health and scheduling time to focus on yourself will help you keep up on your mental and physical needs amid all the holiday chaos. Be sure to carve out time in your schedule to take care of yourself and practice self care.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating healthily. In addition, consider blocking off a day to treat yourself to a stress-relieving spa treatment. Or, if you’d rather stay in, buy some new skincare products to indulge in at home. When you look and feel your best, you’ll feel more confident and energized to push through the holiday season.
Make a Plan
It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays. Ahead of the busy season, take some time to list out all of your responsibilities. Then, create a schedule for yourself, and set flexible deadlines to keep yourself on track. Break up activities, such as gift buying and home decorating, over a few weeks so you’re not scrambling to get everything done at once.
The holidays can get expensive, so it’s also good to prepare a budget ahead of time. Project the amount you anticipate spending on gifts, food, decor, and travel, and try your best to stick to your budget so you’re not overwhelmed when the bill arrives.
Get Your Kids Involved
Striking a balance between your family, career, and personal responsibilities is a task for a super mom. When you’re running around trying to get everything done, you may feel a strong sense of mom guilt. However, your responsibilities don’t necessarily have to take you away from your kids.
Consider involving your children in holiday activities, such as gift wrapping, decorating, cooking, and cleaning. This will give you peace of mind in knowing you’re spending quality time with your kids while also accomplishing tasks around the house.
Ask for Help
You may not feel comfortable admitting you need help, but doing so will help take some of the weight off of your shoulders. All moms need a break at some point, and your social network of support will help reassure you of that.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, consider delegating some responsibilities to your partner or a close family member or friend. Free up some time for yourself to relax and decompress, and remember that you can always return the favor when things have settled down. Asking for help not only allows you to enjoy the holiday season but also makes others feel good, too.
Give Yourself A Break
You don’t need to throw the perfect family gathering, buy the best gifts, or attend every holiday party to have a joyful holiday season. Remember, you can’t be two places at once, and you can’t expect to do it all on your own.
Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go as planned. Instead, acknowledge what went well and cherish the memories you’ve made. Things will likely settle down come January 2nd, so go easy on yourself, and don’t sweat the small stuff.