December 05, 2016

Mamahood

Self-care for the Holidays…

Getting swept away in the hustle and bustle of the holidays is incredibly easy to do. So much so that year after year, the mere thought of the holidays can become a source of anxiety. You find yourself saying phrases like “The holidays are so stressful” and “we just gotta get through the holidays”; almost like they are negative self-fulfilling prophecies we utter as we place the elf-on-a-shelf in its 20th hiding spot for the month. Not to sound like a cheesy holiday card or a positive affirmation one-liner from Aunt Gladys’s coffee mug, but let’s reclaim the sanity of the holiday season. Where do you start? My friends, it all starts with YOU!

Self-care is key to your holiday season sanity. Let’s be completely honest, self-care is key to my busy Mom sanity any time of year. Sadly, as the holiday season winds up to a hectic pace, self-care can fall to the very bottom of our over-committed holiday to-do list.

This year I’m drawing the line in the sand. I refuse to get pulled in the holiday season mania. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Bah Humbug kind of girl. I LOVE the holidays and making beautiful memories for my girls but, I’m going to also make a conscious effort this holiday season to make sure to make time for self-care. In all honesty, pausing for self-care can actually make you more productive in your holiday hustle. Taking care of ourselves means we can give from a full cup.

The painful reality we need to face is that pushing ourselves to the point of mental and physical exhaustion in the name of the holidays really doesn’t put us in any better place. Did staying up till 2AM wrapping a closet-full of gifts get me anything other than a headache and a grumpy, thinned patience attitude from lack of sleep?  I want to make magical memories with my family, but I don’t believe you have to get the magic at the sacrifice of your well-being.

Here are my tips for trying to infuse some much-needed self-care into your holiday season:

Self-care is key to my busy Mom sanity any time of year...

It all starts with YOU

You are the captain of the ship. Don’t let the madness of the holidays pull you under. If you find you or your kids are getting riled up by the holidays, hit the pause button. Make time, right then and there. Even if it is just for a few minutes. Put on a favorite song and have a dance party. Sit in your car quietly for ten minutes in between errands or before school pickups. Spotify  and Pandora  have hundreds fo playlists to help you find your Zen. Meditation is also a great avenue to finding peace during the hectic holiday season. Here is a great article from Mindful.org on how to get started with meditation. Remember to listen to your body and don’t forget to breathe.

Do things in moderation

There is NO reason to take the holidays over the top. You are the only one that loses in that equation. The holidays are notorious times for us to over-commit in every way. Overspending, overeating, the list goes on and on. Running yourself into the ground for the sake of making the holidays perfect for everyone else, will surely backfire. Your family would much prefer having you of sound mind and body! When you find yourself getting swept up, remember the wise words of Aristotle; “all things in moderation”.

Let go of expectations

The holidays are jam-packed with traditions that sometimes create unrealistic expectations. We always do this, or we have to do that. Let it go like Elsa! Ramping ourselves up with expectations is only adding gasoline to the fire. How about starting new traditions that are self-care based? What about a “family movie night”? What’s better than getting in your jammies, having hot cocoa and enjoying your favorite holiday movie with your family? Integrate some family down time into your holiday scheduled. Give you and your family permission to let go of the holiday pressure.

Did someone say spa treatment?

When someone says self-care, one of the first images that flash through my brain is getting a massage. Wishful Thinking! The holiday hustle and budget mindfulness, typically doesn’t give you the opportunities for spa days, however, you can easily accomplish spa bliss from the comfort of your own home. I love taking a bath after a long day. This wind-down bath recipe  is perfect for soaking your cares away. This practically edible scrub  is sublime smelling and makes your skin feel heavenly. This turmeric mask  recipe will have your skin glowing. Of course, we can’t forget my baby, Cocobaba   for those of you in Europe! If you are looking for more home spa treats, check out my previous post HERE .

Laughter is the BEST medicine

Spend time with people who bring you joy and laughter. Getting sucked into the holiday madness? Take some time to watch a funny movie. Call that friend who makes you laugh till you pee your pants.

The most important thing, is to give yourself a break. I mean that in the literal sense as well as metaphorically. Look at it this way, time with loved ones is the true gift. Try to ditch all the yuck and stress we feel around the holidays as it is mostly self-imposed. If not self-imposed, then take back your power and chose to not engage in the madness.

What are your favorite self-care practices?  

Wishing you and yours the very best (and stress-free) holiday season!!

 

Emma xx

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Lizzie Rothwell says:

Thank you Emma for your words of wisdom. I really was beginning to feel panicky all of a sudden. However you are soooo right. It begins with selfcare and then we can go on to share the Christmas care with everyone in our family!
Hope you and yours have a marvelous time, as I am sure Me and mine will, armed now with a new Christmas Spirit.X

Emma Heming Willis says:

It’s a great reminder for me as well!! Happy Holidays to you and yours!!

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