10 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress!
Do you get stressed out during the holidays? Shopping for everyone on your list, and fighting the crowds to find that one “toy of the year” that seems to be sold out everywhere you go! Lots of wonderful, but also not very healthy for you, food at parties and get togethers with family and friends. The decorating, the traveling, the visits to see Santa… While all of these things can bring you joy, they can also bring you stress and feelings of anxiety. Don’t worry mama! We’ve got some quick-fix tips and stress busting strategies to help you make it into the New Year!
#10. She’s making a list and checking it twice- Get organized by making yourself lists. Sometimes it’s easy for us to forget, especially when you have little ones constantly grabbing your focus away, but making lists will help you keep your mind on track! Whether you are shopping, making dinner, packing for a trip, planning your daily tasks, take 5 min and jot it all down. Plus, you get that extra satisfaction by crossing off those items once they are completed! #iwritethingsdownjusttocrossthemoff
#9. Food is Fuel- Let’s be honest for a minute. We all know that our eating habits during the holidays can become less than squeaky clean. Don’t beat yourself up about it though! Allow yourself to indulge a little bit, but make it up at the next meal by eating cleaner. Have one holiday cookie, but not five. If you know you’ll be out shopping, plan ahead by tossing a healthy snack in your purse. Understand that what we put into our bodies can have an effect on how we feel! By eating clean, healthy foods, you will have more energy to complete all those things you wrote down on your list ;)
#8. Practice Saying “No”- This can be incredibly hard for mothers to do. And I’m not talking about saying “no” to your kids, that’s easy J I’m talking about saying “no”, when you are starting to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes you can’t make that holiday party, because it starts at 7, and your kid goes to bed at 7:30. Or maybe someone asked you to bake cookies for a bake sale, and you don’t have the time. Maybe you are traveling back home for the holidays, and your family wants you to make one more stop at “so&so’s house”, because they haven’t seen the baby yet, and all you want to do is get that baby down for a nap and relax! It’s difficult to say “no” when you feel like it will let people down, but you need to also think about yourself mama. What are your needs? Try saying “no” at least once, maybe more, this season.
#7. Take 5- If you feel yourself starting to become stressed out and anxious, take 5. Go for a walk, grab a cup of coffee, or if you’re getting cornered by your sweet but overbearing MIL in the kitchen, fake a diaper change emergency and go hide in the bathroom for a few minutes J Whatever the situation may be, sometimes all you need is five minutes to step away and regroup. You’ll come back to the situation recharged and ready to tackle the “When are you going to have another baby?” conversations!
#6. Stick with one routine a day- Maybe it’s your morning cup of coffee, maybe you call your mom at the same time every day, or you read before going to bed at night. Sticking with at least one activity you do each day will help you manage your stresses. Having that one constant to hold onto, even if you aren’t in the comforts of your home, will be beneficial to your well-being.
#5. Find Happiness in the Imperfections- No matter how much preparing you do, something can, and usually does, not go as planned. You had the outfits all picked out for that gorgeous family holiday photo, and baby has a blowout 5 minutes before picture time. It’s ok. It happens. Think about what a funny story that will make for their future spouses. Try not to obsess on having everything go perfectly as planned. Dinners get burned, babies cry on Santa’s lap, drinks get spilled on carpets. Allow yourself to find beauty in the imperfections.
#4. Exercise- “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!”-Elle Woods. Seriously though, mama! Get out and get moving! Go to a Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, or Fit4Baby class! Join one of our Body Back mini-sessions. You won’t regret it! Plus, you get to see other mamas who are just as stressed out about the holidays as you are! Which brings me to tip #3….
#3. Keep Calm and Get Together With a Friend- Getting together with our friends always makes us feel better! Our friends make us laugh til our belly hurts, and have the best advice! Need help planning your holiday party, call your friends. Trying to find that one toy your kid has to have, call your friends and have them search with you! You don’t have to try and manage the stress on your own. Ask for help! Chances are they have been in your shoes!
#2. Do Something for You!- Get a mani-pedi. Go get your hair done. Get a massage. Buy yourself a new workout top. Do something for you this holiday season. It will help you focus on yourself, and taking some time out to relax will benefit those around you. A more relaxed and less-stressed mama makes the whole house happy!
#1. BREATHE- It’s so simple, but you would be surprised at how often we hold our breath during the day and at times of stress. Take a minute to center yourself. Focus on your chest rising and lowering with each inhale/exhale. Count in your head and breathe in for 10 seconds, and exhale for 10 seconds. Do this for at least one minute then gauge how you feel. If you are still feeling stressed, try doing it again!
Above all, take the time to slow down this holiday season and enjoy the little things. Your child’s face as they look at all the Christmas lights on your tree. The joy on the grandparents faces when they see your little one as you are getting together to celebrate. The sound of laughter coming from sharing fun times with friends. The way your spouse’s hand feels as you’re walking through the store shopping. Where ever you find joy this holiday season, take the time to embrace it!
Happy Holidays Mamas!