Hey mamas! I see you. It is the time of year that has the potential to bring so much joy, but it also has the potential to be stressful or even painful depending on what is going on for you at this time of year. Although the intention is probably there, women tend to have a harder time relaxing and enjoying this time of year. The invisible workload is high, which makes it feel like there is “always something that needs to be done”.
While last Christmas was sad with all the restrictions in place, some people said they enjoyed how it meant a toned down Christmas with less expectations. It is hard to say what this year will look like, but maybe we can take a few lessons from that. Let’s make Christmas enjoyable for you again!
And so, here is my list of self-care ideas for busy moms during the holiday season. I promise, I’ll give you more than “take a bubble bath” (but I’d likely recommend that too ☺.)
What does this mean? It means that you are juggling a lot of balls – some of them are glass and you really don’t want to drop them. What about the other balls? Well, the reality is that it is okay to drop them. They bounce. Someone else can pick them up if it is important to them. If you aren’t following the metaphor, it means that if you’re feeling a lot of pressure to get a lot done, make sure you consider what is actually really important to you (and what has real consequences if you don’t do it) and drop the rest of it.
2. Seek out pleasure – no need for guilt!
Hey you! You’re entitled to joy and pleasure too! I’m not saying you should eat every Ferrero Rocher in sight and drink every glass of wine – you’ll probably feel crappy if you do that. But I’m also saying you don’t need to feel guilty if you’re indulging or if you decide to buy yourself a little something. Your needs are very important too. Can you check in with yourself every day and ask “what do I need today?”
3. Keep the basics going.
Remember, taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing. If you’re indulging in extra cookies at Christmas, that doesn’t mean you need to throw all your health habits out the window and then “re-start in the New Year”. Keeping the basics in place during this time of year will make it easier for you to get through the days and leave you feeling less depleted at the end of the season. What do I mean by “the basics”?
Keep protein intake up. Protein is important for our energy, our mood and general well-being. Without adequate protein, it is easy to crash.
Keep water intake up. ‘Tis the season where a lot of other drinks are flowing. Don’t forget about your dear friend water.
Keep up your sleep routine.
Keep regular movement in your schedule.
If you have a day where you totally miss the mark when it comes to any of these, it is okay – try again tomorrow. If you struggle creating health habits in the first place or don’t have the “basics” in place – it might be a good time to work with your naturopathic doctor.
4. Give yourself permission.
To do what you say? Well, maybe it is to say no to that dinner you don’t want to go to. Maybe you decline participating in the gift exchange that stresses you out. Maybe it is permission to not overspend. I know saying no can be hard and scary at times and yes, you might let people down. However, this is better than resentment or allowing all your energy to be drained.
5. Schedule in some “you-time” ahead of time.
Time for you likely isn’t going to just *poof* pop into your schedule. You need to make it. Before the craziness sets in, book yourself a massage, some acupuncture, a night with people who uplift you. And most importantly, keep your commitment to yourself!
6. Practice being in the moment.
If you’re thinking about all the things you need to do, the whole season can pass you by and you might miss all the beautiful little moments that make it up. Taking a couple moments to breathe and ground yourself throughout the day can help you enjoy each day rather than just having it pass you by. At the end of each day, reflect on the day and list 3 moments you were particularly grateful for.
7. Communicate your needs.
The invisible workload at this time of year is high. Remember that others around you might not realize what is going on behind the scenes for you. If you are feeling overwhelmed, make sure you let your partner or others in your life know this and don’t be afraid to ask for help. When we don’t ask for help because we don’t want to “burden” someone, you’re taking away their opportunity to make their own decision about the situation. They might really want to help you! And if they don’t want to, or can’t help you, it is up to them, not you, to make that decision.
8. Don’t forget to give yourself props.
You’re doing great. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else – you and your kids are on your own journey. What is best for your family might be different than what is best for someone else’s family.
I hope some of these tips are helpful for you and your family! We at Naturally Inclined Health care want the best for you this season and if we can support you in any way, don’t hesitate to book in!
*I borrowed this quote from a great podcast. If you want to catch the whole podcast, it is called Women’s Health Unplugged Episode 61: Drop Balls That Bounce.