The holiday season is approaching at a rapid speed, and it’s stressful to say the least. More than a third of people get stressed out about the holidays, and moms have even more to juggle than the average person.
If you’re worried that the coming weeks will be more about fretting than having fun, try incorporating these seven strategies into your plans.
1. Make Schedules and Lists
You may feel like you don’t have a spare moment to waste when you’re already overwhelmed, but taking 10 or 15 minutes to create a rough schedule or list of what you need to do for the coming days can be a great way to reduce your stress levels.
A list or schedule gives you a means of visualizing what you need to do, and that can help you realize which events and activities to prioritize.
2. Take a Breather
Between the kids, their friends, your family and all the things you need to do, you can easily build up so much momentum that you burn yourself out before you know it.
To help pace yourself, it’s important to take short breaks and evaluate how your stress levels are doing. It’s okay to leave the kids, cooking, wrapping or socializing alone for five minutes and get a breath of fresh air.
3. Be Flexible
We all have our own ideas of how we want holiday events to go, and it’s natural to be disappointed when they don’t go to plan. However, getting too focused on your perfect plan is unhealthy.
Things go wrong and people often want to switch things up in ways that you may not love. Accepting that circumstances might change will encourage you to go with the flow and enjoy your time with friends and family.
4. Pack Plenty of Entertainment
When your kids are part of the celebration, you want to keep them entertained without the unhealthy effects of too much screen time.
The solution? Stock up on board games, card games, art supplies and outdoor activities to keep the little ones busy. As a bonus, you’ll be able to offer something different to do when it’s time for the grownups to unwind.
5. Fuel Up on Healthy Snacks
The holiday season is one for feasting, but you still need to make sure you’re getting adequate nutrition to fuel your festivities.
You probably have the carbs and protein covered, but leave room for snacks that give you the fiber, vitamins, minerals and water you need to feel your best this season.
6. Pick Your Battles
While we would all like our family gatherings to be harmonious, there’s often some conflict to be endured during holiday events. Whether it’s one of the kids starting a “she hit me first” argument or an argument about who’s responsible for burning the pie, you can’t win them all.
Sometimes you just have to evaluate the situation. Ultimately, keeping the peace is more important than proving you’re right.
7. Set Boundaries
Holiday events ask a lot from all of us, and moms have the extra job of managing kids’ wants and needs with the demands of the event. To make sure you don’t get overworked, you have to know what things you just aren’t willing to do, and stay politely firm when people try to push.
If you’re busy coordinating a game between the kids or even just taking a five-minute breather, it’s okay to tell people “no,” or “I can’t do that right now.” Spreading yourself too thin won’t do anyone any favors.
8. Keep a Positive Mindset
Worrying too much about everything that can go wrong is the surest way to stress yourself out during the holidays. By giving yourself permission to enjoy the holidays and focusing on the positive over the negative, you can make it through the season with your mental health intact.