Be a Stress Free Mom This Holiday Season!
The Holiday Season is upon us. While everyone seems to be counting down the days, you may feel your stress level steadily rising. With the promise of holiday treats, big meals to cook, abundant shopping to do and extended family members to see, the season can get a little overwhelming. To avoid the holiday stress that seems to come with the season of rush, here are some tips to help you be a stress free mom this holiday season!
Stress comes from how we deal with situations and issues that arise. It is caused by our thought processes around those subjects. This is why some people experience more stress. By planning in advance and using some easy relaxation tricks, holiday stress can be a thing of the past.
Plan your gift shopping in advance. Don’t get stressed out by doing all the shopping in one afternoon or saving it until the last minute. Plan ahead and work within a budget.
Think about handmade items for gift giving. Not only are they greatly appreciated but hand making items is a stress reliever in itself.
Involve your children. If your children come along during your shopping trips, involve them in the gift giving ideas, list making and listen to their thoughts. Bring paper and pencil along so they can make lists with you, and draw or color if they get tired.
Take ten minutes a day and do restorative relaxation. This is deep undisturbed relaxation. Draw down the shades, get comfortable, close your eyes. Visualize each part of your body head to toe, imagining it relaxing deeply, completely and fully. Give each part of your body the time it needs to fully relax. Your muscles should be loose and limp. After your body is fully relaxed, imagine yourself in a peaceful place… a calm garden, a relaxing beach scene or another place you love best. Do this each day for at least ten minutes and watch your stress melt away. If you think you don’t have ten minutes a day to do this, you definitely need this.
Breathe! Even in the midst of the hustle and bustled, you can take a moment for deep breathing. Fill up your tummy like a big balloon with your inhale and then deflate the balloon on the exhale. Practice this balloon breath 5-10 times to center yourself and calm your entire body.
Go to bed early. Twice a week make it to bed by 9:30 pm. The more restful sleep happens before midnight. So the more hours of sleep you get before midnight the more refreshed and restored your body feels. Practicing an earlier bedtime just twice a week lowers your stress considerably, gives you more patience and recharges your battery.
Allow your children to help you in all you do – housework, chores, preparing food, cleaning up etc. You’ll be amazed at how much little ones actually enjoy helping you. Give them responsibilities to clean up after themselves too if they are over 2. They can do it. Not only will it actually help you, but you’ll be teaching the valuable skill of self-responsibility. Once children get into the habit of helping consistently, a lot of the weight of the home chores can be lifted off your shoulders as everyone pitches in and helps. It’s as simple as asking your children to and showing them how. Don’t aim for perfect. Aim for help. They love you, they will be happy to help (especially if you share how much you would appreciate it.)
Exercise and eat healthy. Exercise is a great stress reliever and must not be forgotten especially at this high stress time of year. For 23 hours of non-exercise, you can afford to move your body at least 30 minutes a day! Put on a DVD and just do it! Once those endorphins kick in you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner. Another added benefit is that you will notice that with regular exercise, you crave more healthy food, your body tones itself amazingly quick and you’ll burn more calories throughout the whole day. Don’t forgot the amazing stress relief. You can’t beat that!
Honor your feelings and intuition. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a mommy time- out. Enough is enough and you need some downtime. Ask a friend or family member to care for the children for an hour or put on some relaxing music and just sit down to relax! As moms we tend to be on our feet all day long. You’ll find bliss in just actually sitting down in that recliner and enjoying the moment of calm. Take care of yourself and your stress diminishes.
Above all else this season value yourself as a beautiful woman and a mother. Value your precious role and your family life. Enjoy the time you have with your family. Live in the moment. Before you know it, your children will be grown and having their own families. Create the calm, loving atmosphere you want for your children early in their lives. By setting your positive example, they themselves will grow into adults who deal with stress easily and are equipped with tools for happy living.
Have a Happy Stress-Free Holiday!