Updated: Aug 3
The holiday season is great for so many reasons! And, like we all know, it has its challenges. We have more stress, more obligations, more time with family while still trying to balance being able to celebrate and make room for ourselves. Here are some tips to keep in mind for the next month!
Say no so that you can say yes!
During the holidays, we tend to be pulled in all different directions. There are events at work, events in our social groups and events with our families. A lot of times we can feel pressure to say yes to everything! Which typically ends up in either canceling last minute because you overbooked yourself, or getting burnt out and not enjoying your time or the people around you. When you say no to some events, it allows you to say yes to events that are really important to you and that give you energy! You will be able to say yes to being in the present moment and enjoying your time with the people you are with!
Practice self care
Practicing self-care is something I that we all know is helpful in keeping us sane! It is also one of the first things to go when we have a full schedule. We do not prioritize our mental health over events and there are consequences to that. During the holidays, rather than stopping self-care all together, prioritize what self-care activities have the most bang for their buck and do those! Maybe the house will be a little messy, but you were able to get in your 10 minute walk. If you typically take 30 minutes or an hour to do something, rather than not doing it at all, shorten the activity by a few minutes so that you get in at least some of the benefits.
Work on time management
When we are not paying attention to how long things will take us, we are prone to overbooking ourselves and getting stressed, feeling embarrassed and even feeling shamed. This goes along with the first tip of saying no! If you have 2 events to go to in 1 day, being able to say no to bringing something might help with actually being able to get to the events in time and enjoying yourself while you are there.
Use strategies to help with distractions
Distractions are also a huge part of this season. Make a plan for how you are going to manage distractions so that you can do what you need to do! This might look like putting your phone away, or deleting social media apps during the day, and then reloading them when you have some free time. You might want to schedule things in your calendar that you normally wouldn’t, like working out, eating or calling a friend.
Set boundaries that protect your mental health.
Setting boundaries during this time of year , especially with family members, can be really difficult, and also very rewarding. If being around a particular person drains you to the point where you are not able to enjoy your time, set a boundary that you will not spend time with that person. That could mean not going to events that others feel lare obligations for you, or leaving events early if they become draining. It is usually easier to let people know what your boundaries are before you have to enforce them in the moment. Check out my resource page for a guide to follow to express boundaries.
Enjoy the little moments
There are so many stressors that we can forget to slow down and enjoy the little things. Make sure to sit down, take a break, and enjoy yourself and the people around you! Call a friend that you have not talked to in awhile and wish them a happy holiday. Sit down after the kids go to sleep and have a cup of tea while you talk to your partner. Look at the homemade ornaments and allow yourself to remember the good times in the past. While you are at an event, take the time to have a one-on-one conversation with someone that you really enjoy!
Allow yourself to feel other emotions other than happy or joy!
Just because it is the holidays does not mean that we stop being human and become joy and gratitude robots! We have other emotions and are allowed to feel sad, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, disappointed and and and. If we add on the pressure of always needing to be happy, it can actually have the adverse effect. We need to leave room to feel our emotions so that they pass. If we bottle them up, it can come out in ways that you do not like or are not proud of.
Hi, I’m Kristina Anzell, I am a Clinical Social Worker dedicated to providing compassionate and tailored mental health support for moms at all stages of motherhood. My mission is to empower you to thrive in your role as a mother while nurturing your own well-being. If you enjoyed this blog post, check out my blog here! If you want more information or are seeking treatment, feel free to reach out!