The holidays can be a really stressful. There is just so much to do for us mommas… shopping for gifts, holiday get togethers, school activities, performances, planning meals, entertaining kids when they are out of school. It can all get to be overwhelming and you find yourself stressed out. But this is the season of joy and we should be finding ways to enjoy ourselves more. So here are 8 things you can do to help destress your holidays.

  1. Say No. There are the things that you have to do, the things you want to do, the things you feel obligated to do and there is always some random things that come up when you least expect it. But the key is to remember that you don’t have to do everything that people ask you to do. Decide what is necessary and or important to you and say no to the rest of it. Yes, that is sometimes harder said than done but giving yourself permission to say no and following through with it will help keep a lot of holiday stress at bay.
  2. Ask For Help Or Delegate. Everything on the holiday to-do list doesn’t need to be on your to-do list. That is hard for a lot of busy moms to put into practice because in some cases it’s just easier to do things yourself. But, if we are being honest, that often leads to anger and stress. Your partner or spouse is capable of taking on more and yes that may mean that you actually have to ask or give specific directions. And yes that can be frustrating, but it does payoff in the long run. And if you are doing this parenting thing alone, lean into services like Amazon for your gift shopping, Instacart for groceries and GrubHub or UberEats for dinner.
  3. Buy Less. The amount of money that we spend on the holidays is one of the most stressful parts of the holidays especially if you budget is tight. But a lot of us are spending way more than we need to. You don’t need to buy a gift for every teacher your kid has, everyone at work and your third cousin that is visiting for the holidays. Cut your list down. And reduce the amount of crap you buy for your kids. You don’t need to buy them everything on their lists. A great guide to use for buying gifts for them is something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read and something to experience.
  4. Do Less. You don’t need to attend every holiday party or volunteer for all the school activities.  You don’t even have to decorate your house if  that is something that stresses you out. Take a look at your to-do list and scratch off the things that are not important to you and your family. Trying to do all the things is the fast lane to a holiday burnout. And none of us have time to recover from a burnout.
  5. Focus On The Things That Bring You Joy. This is the season of joy, so yes, you should be doing the things that bring you joy. We all feel a lot of obligation during the holidays to live up to the fabricated expectations  perpetuated by social media. But at the end of the day none of that matters if you are feeling like a big ball of stress. Find the things that bring you joy and make them a priority. Binge watch stupid Christmas movies, declare weekends as rest days, wear cozy pajamas every day… find ways to enjoy the holidays whether big or small.
  6. Prioritize Quality Time With Loved Ones. All of the shopping, crazy traffic, holiday parties, extra cooking, and more can be draining. So be sure to prioritize quality time with the people that fill you up. Whether it’s movie time with your family or a girls’ night with your mom friends, make the time. It will probably mean saying no to other things. But The last thing you want is to resent the holidays and turn into Ms. Scrooge because you are drained for doing all the things with people you don’t even like spending time with.
  7. Treat Yourself. Put yourself on the gift list and make sure to get yourself something nice. You are most likely the one making all the holiday magic happening so be sure that you have a gift for yourself that you will actually like. And you should even go all out and wrap it up with a gift card so you can open something fun right along with your family.
  8. Make The Holidays Yours. The way you celebrate your holidays should be about you and your family. Your holiday celebration doesn’t need to meet anyone’s standards but your own. If that means you rather order takeout because you hate cooking… do it! If you want to give your kids an experience instead of buying a ton of gifts, go ahead and book your flight with no regrets. The important thing to focus on is is creating a holiday experience that aligns with the wants and needs of you and your family.

The point is to finds ways to enjoy this season of joy. Ask yourself what can I do to destress this holiday season for myself and actually follow through with it. You will thank yourself for prioritizing your needs too.

For more ways to practice selfcare through the holidays (and anytime for that matter) check out 25 Days of MomCare: A Selfcare Advent Calendar For Moms. And join our selfcare email list for weekly selfcare checkins.

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