5 Tips to Help Moms Avoid the Holiday Blues Donít let the holidays become overwhelming. Use these tips to stay on top and ahead of the game. BY MIA REDRICK
Be sure to carve out some me time to help release some of that stress--playing with your husband is always fun.
“ Kids thrive on routine. A routine will keep them well-behaved and in good spirits in the end, even if they protest.”
According to a recent poll by the American Psychological Association (APA), the holidays are a source of "multiple stressors." Sixty-nine percent of respondents cited "lack of time" as a major stressor, 69% cited "lack of money" and 51% blamed extra stress on "the pressure to give or get gifts."
Stress is bad for our health, our attitude, our happiness and our overall well-being. The APA study also asked respondents how these stressors manifest themselves in their lives. Fifty-nine percent said they experienced sadness, 56% said they were having trouble sleeping and 55% said they had a lack of energy.
As moms, the last thing we need is additional stress, so Iíve compiled a list of six tips to help moms avoid the holiday blues.
Watch your diet: The last 20% of the year is full of unhealthy eating options from Halloween candy to a giant Thanksgiving dinner to Christmas cookies. Thereís nothing wrong with a little indulgence, but realize that a poor diet will add to your guilt-related stress, as well as make it more difficult for your body to physically deal with the extra stress that comes with the holidays.
Avoid the hustle and bustle: Nothing defines holiday stress like late-December shopping at the malló"Jingle Bells" at full blast, frantic, wide-eyed shoppers, hungry sales associates and inflated prices. Shop online or go shopping during the middle of the week. Decide what you are buying and where and go to the store with focus. Of course, much of this stress can also be reduced even further if you begin your shopping months in advanceósomething to keep in mind for next year.
Maintain your kidsí routine: The holidays are full of excuses to let them stay up late, let them eat junk food and give them license to do things they wouldnít normally be allowed to do. Kids thrive on routine. A routine will keep them well-behaved and in good spirits in the end, even if they protest. Any lack of consistency can introduce chaos into the parent-child relationship and, ultimately, make your life more difficult. Stick to mealtimes, bedtimes, and pre-established rules.
Enroll your support network: Maybe you and your friends can synchronize the holiday shopping or get together and make Christmas cookies with each other. This will give you an opportunity to spend time with the oneís you love (which is what the holidays are really about) and accomplish holiday goals at the same time.
Donít forget about Mom-me time: In all the craziness, the hustle and bustle, the parties, the church events, the kidsí recitals, the shopping, the gift-wrapping, the cooking and cleaning, still make time for yourself. Take yourself on a date once a week. Overall, donít forget about your routine. However, this doesnít mean that you have to do everything you normally do on top of your holiday obligations. Blend. Perhaps your weekly date with yourself could be attending your office holiday partyóby yourself. Just enjoy the off-time with your co-workers. Or maybe your weekly date is holiday shopping with the girls. Just remember to enjoy itómake a day of it. Have a coffee before you start shopping and see a movie afterwards, for example.
The holiday season doesnít have to alter your life. Remember that it is a time for family and friends and not only about gifts and sugary treats. Continue to treat yourself right as if nothing is different.