Welcome to the holidays! As a parent, you are likely planning meals, wrapping gifts, decking the halls, and keeping your family busy with seasonal activities. But when the chief elf is preoccupied keeping everyone happy, how much time are you giving yourself?
Protecting your own well-being and happiness, especially during the holidays, is SO important and helps you be more present for your littles. It's more than okay to put mental health first and to find time for self-care during this hectic time of year.
Prioritize yourself with these self-care tips that expert moms take on during the holiday season to destress. Go ahead, we give you permission…
Spend Time Outside
When the going gets tough, leave the room (or building). The simple act of being outside can instantly lift your mood. Whether a casual stroll or a bike ride, fresh air helps you destress and improves your physical and mental well-being.
Consider a few short walks if the schedule is tight. Physiological evidence suggests spending time in nature - even just 10 minutes - reduces stress and helps you spend less time thinking about problems.
Start a Gratitude Journal
The idea of carving out time to write for fun sounds like a luxury. But an important aspect of self-care is checking in with yourself and understanding what brings you happiness. Studies show that when you are grateful and acknowledge your happiness, it instantly transforms your mood.
Spend a few minutes each day at the kitchen table, writing down what you're grateful for to generate emotions that give you the energy to power through anything that comes your way.
So many parents find themselves burning the candle at both ends, especially during the holiday season. But lack of sleep can have huge implications on your happiness and health. Even with a long list of things to do, some things can wait. A good night's sleep will make you more present and focused for the day ahead. So go on, put on your Little Sleepies pajamas, turn off your phone, and get some quality REM.
Call a Friend
In the era of constant text and direct messages, a phone conversation is quickly becoming a lost art. By nature, we are social creatures, and spending time with family and friends can work wonders for the soul. Even when done over the phone, hearing familiar voices can instantly boost your mood!
A phone call with an old friend can provide emotional support and joy this holiday season. Reminisce on a childhood memory or share a recent embarrassing parent moment. Take the time to connect and find your spirit instantly lifted.
The holidays are one of the best times to start setting boundaries. As much as you love going to every family function, donating baked goods for the local fundraiser, and sewing costumes for the school play, you also have limits.
Boundaries are a form of self-care. When time is tight, it's okay to protect yourself from overcommitting at home, with family, and at work. Speak up, and don't be afraid to say no — you can't do it all!
Take a Solo Drive
Sometimes, you just need to get in a car and take a drive alone. This time of year, going on a drive while listening to your favorite radio station (or the Taylor Swift album, again) is not self-indulgent or selfish.
Being alone in the car is also the perfect time to escape with your favorite podcast or audiobook. Just getting away from the day-to-day and sitting in a quiet car is a pretty quick way to refuel your engine.
What Makes You Happy?
This is a serious question, and no one is checking answers. Is it watching reality television? Getting your nails done? Having dinner delivered? Whatever it is, do it. These small pleasures go a long way during the holiday season when it seems you're doing so much for everyone else.
No mom-guilt needed!
Self-care and taking time for mental breaks takes discipline. Even the most hectic schedules can incorporate small self-care practices that make a big impact. How do you practice self-care? Do you make time for it during the holiday season? Share your best advice in the comments below or in our Facebook VIP Group.