Thriving Through the Holidays: 3 Stress-Busting Tips for Busy Moms

The Emotional Labor Of Holiday Planning Is Real

Are you a busy mom? As the holiday season approaches, our to-do lists seem to grow longer, and the stress levels can skyrocket. Amidst the festive chaos, it’s crucial to remember that you deserve joy and peace just as much as anyone else. So, let’s take a deep breath together and explore three fabulous and effective ways to manage stress during this wonderful but busy time of the year.

…Just before we get to the first tip, can we revisit that last sentence? This is a wonderful time. But it’s also a busy time. It’s magical. And it’s stressful. As a licensed therapist I am often encouraging my clients to embrace what we call the dichotomy – the difference or contract between our experiences. It is possible to feel both things at the same time. Let’s hold space for that because no one wants toxic positivity at their Christmas party – am I right?

Prioritize Self-Care At Christmas To Reduce Stress 

In the midst of decking the halls and planning the perfect family feast, it’s easy to forget the most important person in the equation—you! None of this gets done unless you, my dear, are in good working order. So this self-care thing, it’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity, especially during the holidays. Carving out time for yourself might seem impossible, but trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Consider starting your day with a few moments of mindfulness. Whether it’s a short meditation on YouTube, a few pages of a favorite book, or simply sipping your coffee in peace, these moments set a positive tone for the day. Remember, a well nurtured mom is better equipped to spread love and joy to her family. This means that your self-care is good for you and for everyone else.

How do you make space for self-care? As the holiday obligations pile up, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. It’s okay to ask for help. They may not do it just like you but Involving your family in the preparations—it’s a fantastic way to bond and share the load. And most importantly, schedule ‘me time’ on your calendar. It might be a bubble bath, a walk in the crisp winter air, or even a quick power nap. These small acts of self-love can make a world of difference in keeping your stress levels in check.

Woman holding a lit sparkler at dusk.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify: Embrace the Magic of Minimalism At Christmas

It’s tempting to create the picture-perfect holiday scenario, complete with elaborately decorated houses, charcuterie boards and an array of festive activities. But guess what? Your family doesn’t need a Hollywood-style holiday—it needs you. Embrace the magic of minimalism by simplifying your holiday plans.

Start by scaling back on decorations. Focus on a few cherished pieces that bring joy rather than drowning your home in tinsel. Streamline your holiday traditions, choosing quality over quantity. Pick activities that truly resonate with your family, and let go of the rest.

You might choose to head to the Tuacahn Center for the Arts and have pictures with Santa but skip the light display at the Red Hills Desert Garden. Several of my clients have opted to visit relatives the week before Christmas so that they can spend Christmas day in their own home. Others have given up elaborate turkey dinners for buffet style taco bars – why not?! Whose Christmas is this anyway? It’s yours my friend.

Consider the gift of experiences over material possessions. A family game night, a movie marathon, or a day of baking together can be more meaningful than any store-bought gift. Personally, my son’s favorite gift this year may end up being a coupon I made him for a special sleepover at his grandma’s house (without his baby sister!). By reducing the number of decisions and purchases you make, you’re simplifying your holiday agenda. You can create space for genuine connection and reduce the overwhelming pressure that often accompanies this time of year.
Joyful woman laughing outside modern building.

Master the Art of Saying No During the Holidays: Boundaries Are Your Superpower

As moms, we often find ourselves juggling a multitude of responsibilities, and the holidays can amplify this balancing act. One key to managing stress is mastering the art of saying no. It’s not about being a Grinch; it’s about setting healthy boundaries to protect your well-being.

Politely decline invitations and commitments that add unnecessary stress to your plate. Your time and energy are precious, so allocate them wisely. Learn to distinguish between what is essential and what is optional. Remember, saying no isn’t a rejection; it’s a declaration of self-respect.

Communicate openly with your loved ones about your priorities and limitations. You might be surprised at the support and understanding you receive. By setting clear boundaries, you create the space to savor the joy of the season without feeling overwhelmed. In fact, deciding what you’re saying yes to in advance gives you the power to tell others, “Oh darn, I’m already
committed at that time.”

Woman preparing dough, kitchen baking scene.

St. George Moms Are Reclaiming Christmas.

In conclusion, dear moms, remember that the holidays are meant to be a time of joy, love, and connection. By prioritizing self-care, simplifying your holiday plans, and mastering the art of saying no, you can navigate this busy season with grace and ease. You are the heart of your family, and your well-being deserves to be at the top of the holiday priority list. Wishing you a stress-free and truly magical holiday season!

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