Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just Say No to Holiday Stress!

With a newborn and toddler at home, sometimes in a normal month, there just aren’t enough hours in the day….Add the holiday season and all the many tasks that go along with it, and sometimes I go into full blown panic mode!

My goal this year is to try to enjoy the holiday season, even though my house may not be immaculately decorated and the Christmas cards may go out a little late. In order to enjoy the holidays, I have to say goodbye to the stresses that come with it. But how do you do that? Check out some holiday stress busters below that will help busy moms everywhere learn to take the holidays in stride.

- Get organized. Make your holiday to-do list and decide each day one or two things you want to accomplish. This will give you a sense of control. If you try to do too many things each day, it will just overwhelm you and you’ll focus on what you did not accomplish. Instead, make manageable goals for each day.

- Don’t try to do it all. When making your holiday “to-do” list, decide what is important and don’t try to do everything just because it’s “what you’ve always done.” If you need to take a year off from the annual Christmas party, then so be it!

- Lower your expectations. Not everything has to be perfect. If your Christmas tree does not look like it belongs in Martha Stewart’s magazine, it’s okay! If your gift wrapping is less than stellar, that’s fine, too! Family, friends and holiday cheer is more important than over-extending yourself to make everything about the holiday season perfect.

- Get enough sleep. Don’t skimp on your sleep in order to get everything accomplished on your holiday “to-do” list. It is more important to be well-rested and enjoy the holiday season than it is to stay up late accomplishing holiday tasks. You’ll risk being irritable and will end up not enjoying the holiday season (and others may not enjoy you either!)

- Delegate. You do not have to do everything yourself. Enlist help from family members and make accomplishing your holiday “to-do” list a team effort. Let your little ones put stamps on your Christmas cards. Ask your husband to take care of the exterior house decorations. As a team, your family can accomplish more, and in the meantime, you’ll build a sense of holiday spirit while working together!

- If your kids are out of school and you still have a million errands to run for the holidays, take turns with a neighbor watching each other kids or hire a baby-sitter. It might be easier on both you and your kids to tackle some of your holiday “to-do” items sans children.

- Count your blessings. When you are overwhelmed, tired and stressed, it is easy to focus on what is wrong in your life. Instead, focus on all the many blessings and be thankful for all the positive things in your life, such as family and friends. If you take five minutes out of your day to focus on the many blessings in your life, you’ll shift from a stressed-out frame of mind to a more relaxed attitude towards the holidays.

Here’s to a stress-free and enjoyable holiday season from Pure and Honest Kids!

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