There are two guaranteed times of the year when as a mother, I feel like I am running out of gas. One is the homestretch at the end of each school year, and the second is all the -BER months. That is right. As soon as October hits, I can feel the anxiety ticking upward, and the grasp on my sanity slowly ticking downward. These are the months of the parties, the crafts, the costumes, the travel, the photos, the cards, the gifts, and for my family, three birthdays! *pauses to take some breaths because just typing that has raised my blood pressure*
The worst part is that as mothers, we typically put ourselves on the back burner, especially in busy season. To avoid complete burnout, my friends and I remind each other to “put your mask on first.” If we are not well, the ship begins to sink, so while society will have you feeling like self-care is selfish, we as mothers know that it is the total opposite.
And even though I say this and believe it to be true, I am still terrible at doing it. This year, I am making a conscious effort to improve in this area, and I have included a few tips if you want to join me in staying healthy and balanced during the busy holiday season.
1. Prioritize self-care. Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your schedule. Whether it’s meditation, a warm bath, or a good book, set aside time for activities that relax and rejuvenate you.
2. Set realistic expectations. Don’t overcommit to events or tasks. Set achievable goals and boundaries to prevent stress and burnout.
3. Stay active. Maintain your regular exercise routine or find opportunities for physical activity, like a winter walk or a dance party with friends and family.
4. Eat mindfully. Enjoy the holiday treats, but also prioritize nourishing your body with healthy, balanced meals. Don’t forget to stay hydrated.
5. Get enough sleep. Quality sleep is essential for your overall well-being. Aim for 7–9 hours of restful sleep each night.
6. Practice gratitude. Take a moment each day to reflect on the things you’re grateful for. This can help reduce stress and promote a positive mindset.
7. Delegate and ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance with holiday tasks or delegate responsibilities. You don’t have to do everything yourself.
8. Limit screen time. Set boundaries on your screen time to avoid spending excessive hours on social media or work-related tasks.
9. Plan and organize. Make lists and plan your tasks in advance. This can help reduce last-minute stress and ensure you don’t forget anything important.
10. Learn to say no. Politely decline invitations or requests that you can’t manage. It’s okay to say no when you need to prioritize your well-being.
11. Connect with loved ones. Spend quality time with friends and family, but also ensure you have some time for yourself to recharge.
12. Practice mindfulness. Be present in the moment and try to manage stress through mindfulness techniques like deep breathing and meditation.
13. Avoid overindulgence. While it’s okay to enjoy holiday treats, don’t overindulge in unhealthy food or alcohol, as it can affect your physical and mental well-being.
14. Celebrate your achievements. Acknowledge your accomplishments, no matter how small, and reward yourself for staying on top of your self-care routine.
15. Take breaks. In the midst of holiday preparations, remember to take short breaks to relax and clear your mind.
Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s essential for your overall health and happiness. By following these tips, you can navigate the busy holiday season with more ease and joy.
Follow me @fit_enough for help with #3 and #4!