If you're already decking the halls and singing Christmas songs at the top of your lungs, chances are you're getting prepared for the holiday season. This time of year is supposed to be full of joy, laughter and rest. For moms, however, it can be a time of stress, exhaustion and overwhelm. Here are five simple ways to overcome feeling overwhelmed this holiday season.
The holidays create a sense of urgency and the need to overdo even the simplest tasks. Whether it be stressing over what your family is going to wear for Christmas cards or what elaborate dessert you're going to bring to your family gathering, there is always something that has the potential to get out of hand. Try simplifying by using outfits that you and your kids already have, or baking your tried-and-true chocolate chip cookie recipe. The heart behind these gestures will remain, but remove all the complication from the tasks.
I am most frazzled and overwhelmed when my schedule isn't planned out. To avoid stress during the holidays, I make sure to have everything written out on my calendar at least a month in advance. This helps me to know when I need babysitters, when we're celebrating Christmas with different sides of the family and everything in between. Planing ahead with our schedule (and our finances) helps us to feel less stressed and more joyful during the holiday season.
Prioritizing is HUGE. There are so many opportunities for fun things during the holiday season: tree lightings, friendsgivings, gift exchanges, parties, work events and so on. If you want to attend them all, by all means: go for it! If that stresses you out, learn to prioritize the people and the events that are most important to you. AND don't be afraid to say no when something comes up you can't attend.
Focus on Making Memories
A huge way to overcome overwhelm during the holiday season is to adjust your mindset and choose memories over things. Instead of a million toys, give your kids the gift of experiences and time together as a family - these memories will last a lifetime longer than a new Lego set.
I have found that the best way to overcome overwhelm is to express gratitude often. Tell the people you love how grateful you are for them. Remind your kids of all the blessings in their lives. Place your focus on what you have and not on what you may want.
Bonus Helpful Holiday Hacks:
- Pre-plan your holiday menu around what works, not what you think you SHOULD do. If cooking a whole turkey is too stressful, just buy turkey breasts!
- Shop online for your holiday groceries. It will save you the stress of the parking lot and keeps you focused so you won't be tempted by seasonal chocolate displays
- Buy and wrap some chocolate or wine for those unexpected moments when someone brings you a gift. That way you can quickly grab something to reciprocate.
- Prepare your kid's gifts before wrapping them: add the batteries, cut all those pesky packaging ties etc. (This will avoid the meltdown while dad takes too long to cut the toys out of the package and search for batteries)
- Having a lot of guests this holiday season? Prepare and freeze your favorite soups to pull
out in a pinch
- Stay out of the busy mall traffic and do your holiday shopping online. Just be sure to place your orders before the shipping cutoff!