The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but as parents this season can feel more stressful than joyful. There are gifts to buy, meals to prepare, parties to plan, and don't even get me started on all of the elementary school dress up days all while trying to maintain some sense of normalcy for the kids. The pressure to create IG worthy holiday moments can feel like a LOT.
Meanwhile, I'm in the midst of chocolate season (one of my busiest times of the year) and new year planning on the horizon. It's so easy to get caught up in the rush of holiday busyness and push self-care to the bottom of the to-do list. But running on empty is a recipe for burnout. This holiday season, I'm giving myself permission to rest and recenter and you should too. You deserve to enjoy some holiday magic too.
The Pressure to Do It All
The holiday season often becomes the busiest time of year for many of us, myself included. Between shopping, parties, family visits, running a whole chocolate business, decorating, and everything else on the to-do list, it's easy for me to feel overwhelmed. Many of us put an incredible amount of pressure on ourselves to make the holidays absolutely perfect. There are societal expectations that moms should effortlessly handle it all - work, parenting, household chores, holiday tasks, and more. The expectation that mothers should be able to do it all is unrealistic, yet it's hard not to feel pressured by it. I was judging myself for not living up to impossible standards. Then I had realization and I had to remind myself no one can truly do it all on their own. I prayed and leaned into my husband, family and friends and realized that a little bit of self-care is key especially during the busy holiday season.
Find pockets of time for yourself
It's almost impossible for me to take entire days off during the holidays but I've found that finding pockets of time like in the afternoons in my car during carline or in the mornings before everyone is awake is a game changer. I protect that time to focus just myself or a few minutes. I've also made it a point to wake up early in the morning before all the boys wake up and have time to do my devotional, drink my coffee (while its actually hot), and get my mind right to take on the day.
Unplug from technology
This is way harder for me than I'd like to admit. I found myself mindlessly scrolling through social media multiple times through the day and decided to take an intentional step back. It allowed me to tune out the noise and be fully present wherever I am.
Find calming activities
Fill your rest time with calming activities like reading, throw on your favorite playlist, taking a bubble bath, meditating, or doing gentle yoga.
Get out in nature
Bundle up and get outside for even just 15 minutes a day. Go for a short walk to take in the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. Connecting with nature is restorative. In the last few years, I've taken up gardening and it's been a welcome escape from stress.
Taking a Holiday Break
Don't let the busyness of the season distract you from what's most important - your own health, wellbeing, and enjoyment.
Many of our immediate family members don't live in Texas, so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. The holidays are the perfect opportunity to catch up and spend time with family. My husband and I are very intentional with this time because we know how precious it is.
With that being said, I'm taking some much needed time away between Christmas and New Year's to recharge my batteries, spend time with family and friends, and reflect on the year that 2023 has been. I'll be back in full force in January ready to tackle another exciting year of growth and adventure with y'all!
Happy Holidays y'all! I genuinely love each and every one of you. As always, God, Grace and Good Chocolate. See you in 2024!