You are doing a great job.
You are appreciated.
You do not have to go crazy this holiday season. Christmas is in just a few days. I know you are feeling under the gun, stressed, have a to-do list a mile long, and are letting your anxiety get the best of you.
I need you to know that is OK to step back and relax. It’s OK to ask for help, guiltlessly delegate and automate. I need you to know that your health, well being and self care is more important than anything else right now.
The world will not end if you don’t get those cards in the mail, or the entire gift list to Santa. Your life will not implode if you buy pre-made food items and opt out of certain holiday parties. Save your sanity mama.
This season is extra hard for me ever since losing my sweet baby brother on Christmas 2016. I am trying my best to stay upbeat and “in the spirit” for my children, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t require mad effort and intention.
I am giving my personal self care some extra attention. I’m throwing myself into yoga, I’m listening to my body when I need to just curl up and rest in bed or zone out with a book or horrible reality show, I’m taking time to meditate and stretch, and I’m avoiding things I know will trigger me.
Here are a few self care tips to remember during this hellish…I mean…holiday season:
Get some sleep
Remember sleep? It’s that thing you used to do before kids. You may have done it once or twice on your last vacation, or that time you had the flu. Many people do it every single night. You can too!
For real, be sure you are getting rest this time of year. Staying up til dawn wrapping or baking, comparison shopping wish list items at various stores online, cleaning out the guest room for incoming family… Yes, it’s important. But not more important than your health. Getting good sleep is crucial for you to function well during the day. If you want to be present with that family coming into town, then go to bed and tackle the guest room another time. When all else fails at night, take a nap in the day!!
Press the easy button
Have the Christmas dinner groceries delivered via instacart or shipt, hell, have the whole meal prepared at your local grocery or restaurant and just pick it up. Gift yourself a house-cleaning, Let the kids decorate (and don’t micromanage) or hire out for that service too.
Basically, outsource what you can and do it guilt free. Consider it your holiday gift to yourself. Free up that time to spend with the kids that are climbing the walls, or take a nap before having to deal with your in-laws…whatevs.
This can be a walk outside, or a dance party for one in your bedroom. Take your favorite class at the gym or just throw on a youtube workout (I love the fitnessblender channel). Get your body moving! Bonus points if it’s outdoors so you can benefit from the fresh air and vitamin D at the same time. But even if it’s indoors, in the pitch black, get your body moving. Endorphins pumping will help you handling the holiday stresses and time sucks.
Please don’t let the M word scare you. This doesn’t have to be a zen, Buddha-like experience, seated on a pillow on the floor in front of a candle. (But it can be, if that sounds delightful to you!) Take a moment to focus on your breath and you’re already in meditation-mode. You can do this anywhere. Home, on the subway, work, out shopping, at a red light, wherever! Just relax your shoulders (cuz you know your Christmastime anxiety has them up right under your ears) and notice yourself breathing in and out.
Try box breathing where you breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4, breathe out for 4 counts and then hold for 4 again. Repeat until you feel like an angel. 🙂
You can also just close your eyes and breathe normally while focusing on the path the air takes into and out of your body. The key is to relax and breathe. That’s easy, right!?
Say the N word
….don’t get hurt now. I’m talking about the word “NO.” Feel free to say no to any and everything you don’t want in your current experience! Don’t want to host Christmas dinner? Say no. Offer to bring a dish to whoever hosts. Don’t want to do the office secret Santa? Say “no, thank you” without a shred of guilt. Don’t want to send holiday cards out to everyone? Don’t! It’s not illegal to opt out of the little holiday traditions that stress you out.
Reminder: No is a complete sentence. You don’t owe anyone a reason for declining their invite or request.
Eat Well & Drink Up
Try to fit in some glasses of water between the egg nog and hot toddies will ya!? Seriously, don’t forget to drink water and eat healthily during this time. I know how easy it is to get caught up running errands, finishing out business stuff, attending the kids’ concerts etc that you just forget to eat, and can’t remember when you last had a glass of water. Please don’t let this be you this year. You need to stay hydrated and fueled so you can deal with the fiftyeleven things that you felt too guilty to delegate like I told you to up in tip number 2! (Use this to get your H20 in)
YOUR PRIORITY IS YOU
Don’t you forget it!!
Please take care of yourself this holiday season.
This is the time of year when folks get colds, flus, tension headaches and migraines. There’s a lot going on. It’s freakin’ stressful! If you’re prone to stress-induced headaches like I am, be sure to have OTC pain relievers on hand this season. (literally, on hand – this thing looks weird but it works)
If you’re feeling especially down or alone during this time, PLEASE talk to someone. If you have nobody you trust to speak to, THIS POST has many numbers you can call and share your feelings for free, and receive zero judgement about it.
I’m here if you need me. And I truly mean that with all of my cold, black heart. @thedanifaust on Instagram and @daniellefaust on Facebook.