The holidays are designed to bring us true joy, happiness and love. This festive time is fun, beautiful and delightful…..most of the time. It can also be demanding, exhausting and depleting with a shopping and errand list a mile long.
As women and mothers, we end up doing everything… decorating, cooking, hosting, shopping and making sure everyone is happy, healthy and festive. Most of us have those thoughts in our heads…well if I don’t do it, who will? And isn’t that my job? To make sure my family has the best holiday ever?
But what about us? Where do we fit in? When is it our time to relax and enjoy the season? To slow down for just a minute to actually be able to take pleasure in one of the seven dozen cookies we spent two days baking?
This holiday season, I want to remind you to put yourself first on your to-do list! Yes you! If you are too busy, stressed and tired, how can you create a memorable exciting holiday for your family?
Here are some tips to have the best and brightest holiday season ever!
- Plan for some quiet YOU time every week. It doesn’t matter what it is...as long as it replenishes and refuels you.
- Grab at least 15 minutes for yourself every day, even if you have to wake up before everyone else to have that cup of coffee in silence. Or take the long way home from work.
- Repeat after me: “I do not have to buy every toy possible for my kids and family to have a fun holiday.” Actually write it down and keep it in your wallet next to your credit or debit card.
- Remember you are responsible for the energy you bring into your home. If you are stressed and worn out, that is what everyone will feel.
- Say NO to events and parties that are not important. Believe me, the party will go on without you. Just because you are invited, it doesn’t mean you need to attend.
- When you are gathering with people you love, sit back and soak it all in. That’s the good stuff that makes us feel whole and nourished.
- Remind your kids (and yourself) what the holidays are really about: love, joy, happiness, togetherness. It isn’t all about the newest most expensive gadget or trying to outdo the neighbors.
- Your home doesn’t have to be perfect so don’t stress out. Even if you are having company, everyone knows that where there are children, there is usually a slight to moderate to massive mess. Just do your best, tuck the clutter in the closet or upstairs and don’t let anyone in there.
- Don’t carry the entire holiday burden of cleaning, hosting, shopping, cooking, wrapping....delegate and be kind to yourself, you can only do so much.
- HAVE FUN and enjoy! You are making memories that will be cherished for years to come. Take care of yourself so you can enjoy them too!
Wishing you all the joy and happiness the holiday season can bring!
Julie McGrath, author of Joy-Worthy: A Mother's Guide to More Joy, Less Stress and No Guilt, is a licensed social worker and joy coach. With her tips and techniques on how women can find time for themselves without the guilt, she empowers mothers to reclaim their joy, find their passion and feel worthy of unlimited joy. She works with women individually, in groups and publishes a free online magazine for women called The Joy Ride. www.thejoysource.com