Parents, teachers and caregivers, today I come to you to to talk about self care. I know, you probably just rolled your eyes. I mean who has time or money or the energy to focus on ourselves, right?
There’s laundry to be done, gifts to be bought, a house to be cleaned and meals to be cooked. Yes, my friends, it’s THAT time of year. The time of year where pictures will be taken at every turn and we want to look our best so when our great grandchildren look back on the photos, they will gasp at our beauty, yet this is also the time of year where we are knock down drag out dead dog tired.
It’s November 7. The stress of the season has already started. Snow is here, early this year. So, first came the task of finding the perfect coat, boots and gloves and hat. It went from 60 degrees to 20 in like a day…thank you to the weather gods of the Midwest. After 4 stores, the task was completed.
Three party invitations are in and I’m already freaking out about them. I’m saying no to one and yes to two. So, there’s that. I think attending 2/3 of holiday celebrations is a good start.
I’m already panicking about gifts and who gets what and if they’ll be happy or if it will be what they want. Then there’s the added stress I put on myself…homemade gifts. Why? What made me think this was a good tradition? Oh, you don’t know what I mean? Let me fill you in. In my house, we each give one another ONE homemade gift. I give out 9 homemade gifts. I got a Cricut machine this year. Ya’ll, EVERYONE is getting their very own monogrammed Christmas mug this year because this mama has no time or energy for anything more creative than that!
Then there’s the menu…do you know that in my tiny little home, there are 3 diets? Keto, traditional and what can only be described and mundane clean. That means I will cook the turkey, two kinds of stuffing, green beans with bacon and butter, green beans with olive oil and salt, and green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with and without marshmallows, brussel sprouts with cream cheese and bacon, bread, chaffles, asparagus and a hamburger. This menu will give every person a meat, vegetable and side. Sigh…that’s a lot of food for 4 people. The only good part about the cold snap is that my garage can now be a second refrigerator!
Am I increasing your anxiety yet? Yea, welcome to my brain. It’s not easy to live up there.
What I know is that disease and illness are often triggered by stress. Stress is a killer. I believe that. I try to do things daily that help my body to heal from the stress I place on it. With that in mind, I work extra hard to do what I can to get through this wondrous season unscathed.
I know, I know, we’ll get through this holiday season just like we have every holiday season. So, like every blog post…here’s my top 5 self care tips to live through this holiday season!
- Find 10, 15, 20 minutes for yourself. Don’t say you can’t. Don’t, just do it. Wake up 15 minutes early. Go to bed 15 minutes late. Lock yourself in the bathroom while you let the tv babysit your kids for 15 minutes. That’s it. Just do it. Do something that makes you feel at peace. I like to lock myself in the bathroom, turn off the lights and light a candle…not necessarily in that order. I sit on the floor and ignore the fingers that are reaching under the door for my attention. I just breathe. That’s all I need for a mini-reboot. Maybe you want to sit outside, walk around the block, cook, whatever it is…do something for you for just a bit.
- Exercise. Don’t let the stress of the holiday season knock you off your routine. If exercise isn’t already in your routine then figure out a way to get it in. Science proves that even 20 minutes of exercise can improve your mood. Don’t skip it. Plus, you know you’re going to be eating food you shouldn’t for the next two months, so give your body a little bit of help.
- Boost the vitamins. You’re gonna be running on empty for a bit. You know this. You do this every year. Increase your water, fruits, veggies and vitamins. If you’re gonna be draining your body, you better be filling it up with all the good stuff.
- Avoid the alcohol. I know the festivities are filled with wine and special holiday drinks. Alcohol flows like Niagara. Just because everyone is doing it (think back to your teenage years, what would your mom tell you?) doesn’t mean you should. Alcohol is dehydrating and drains your of energy and impairs your functioning. Instead, opt for non-alcoholic mocktails. Here’s my favorite: carbonated water like Le Croix in your favorite flavor, a little lime juice, a splash of stevia and your favorite juice like cranberry or grapefruit (I use a teaspoon of elderberry for added health benefits).
- Get some sleep! Parents, you cannot function on hope and prayer alone. Your body needs rest. Try to get at least 6 hours a night. 7-8 is even better, but at least 6.
These suggestions are all free and easy. They are just a decision away from making your holidays better. Now, if you are blessed enough and can squeeze in a spa day, go…for…it! But, if not, these are some simple reminders to keep you in tip top shape until you can collapse for a long winter’s nap in January!
P.S. Oh, and if you missed the free gift I offered, here’s your chance to snag it! Click here to download a resource to help make the next holiday, the best holiday. Share this image with family and friends to help make this the smoothest season yet.
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Disclaimer: There are exceptions to every rule. Children and adults with disabilities are people with their own individual needs and desires. The ideas and advice given in this blog are for your consideration only and should not be taken as legal, medical or educational advice, as every single situation is different.