Are the holidays stressful for you as a mother? Are you overlooking your regular self-care routine? Forgetting to drink enough water? Feeling depressed about these gray and rainy days?
Yup, welcome to the club. But that’s not to say there isn’t anything you can do about the stress and frustration of being a caretaker during the holiday season.
Movement and Exercise
If you have a regular movement or exercise plan, stick with it. Even if it feels forced. Even if you don’t want to. Even if you’d rather drink a bit more at the holiday party or stay in bed a little extra. I write this as I try to talk myself into skipping tomorrow’s yoga class – I’ve got work to get done, shopping to finish and it won’t hurt if I take a short break from yoga, right?
But the reality is that I’ll be stressed tomorrow if I don’t go to yoga and I know that if I skip one day, I’m likely to skip a second and then a third class. So really, I need to just commit myself to attending tomorrow’s yoga and stop thinking about all the things I can get done if I don’t go. During the holidays the most important thing is that my family is healthy and happy. And they won’t be if I’m miserable and stressed because I didn’t stick with my regular movement practice.
Your goal this holiday season: At least 3 sessions of movement per week for 25 – 45 minutes each time. Movement can be anything purposeful that increases your heart rate and gets your body active. Think an intentional walk around your neighborhood (bonus if you can absorb some vitamin D and get out in the sunshine), biking to the grocery store, a dance class, a winter gardening session. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Oh, and drink lots of water, especially on the days you exercise (or drink too much at the holiday party). A good quantity of water is about half an ounce to one full ounce for every pound you weigh, on a daily basis.
Alright, now on to your holiday traditions. Reflect on which customs make you happy and which ones kind of
get on your nerves. Give yourself permission to let go of the traditions that cause you and your family additional stress. While stringing popcorn looks beautiful and brings warm memories of your Grandma, if your reality is that it creates a mess, everyone ends up fighting, and it’s you that unhappily finishes the popcorn string, that’s a good tradition to stop. What about eating popcorn and listening to music instead?
Here you have two very different ways you can offer yourself self-care and stress management during the holiday season. These powerful steps can help make parenting a little more fun and hopefully a little more easy.
Oh, and don’t forget to treat yourself to a holiday massage! Your body, mind, and holiday spirit will thank you for all the love and care you’re showing.