The weather outside may be frightful, but the warmth of the holidays is sure delightful...even when we know things can get crazy and overwhelming during the months of November and December. But, our Founding Mama, Lisa Druxman, made this little checklist to help keep you sane this holiday season, while also keeping the holiday season merry and bright.
How To Stay Sane Through The Holidays
1. Brain dump.
Give yourself ten minutes to brain dump all that is on your mind and that you think you have to do this holiday season.
2. Create a budget.
How much are you prepared to spend this holiday season? Make a list of all the gifts and things you need to buy and assign how much you plan to spend. Consider doing secret santas or putting price limits on gift exchanges to keep you from going over budget. A thoughtful gift goes a long way.
3. Order ahead.
What gifts can you buy ahead of time? Set a goal date to have all shopping done.
You know you are going to want a clean house when company comes and you know that you will be adding to your stuff when gifts come in. Use the time before the holidays to clean up and clean out. Donate non-perishable foods that you don’t need to a food bank. Donate gently used toys and clothes to a shelter.
5. Schedule Your Minimum Effective Dose of Self Care.
What is the minimum amount of self care that you need to feel well? Make that a non negotiable to be on your calendar. What daily rituals should you maintain during this holiday season?
If you see a crazy busy week with holiday stuff, balance it with an extra space of quiet time. Ask for spa gift certificates as a gift so you can splurge with some relaxation!
7. Plan it out.
If you are hosting a holiday, break up the planning in to bite size chunks. Write out your menu, write your shopping list, get your ingredients, do your food prep. Break it all out. What can you make and freeze ahead of time?
8. Ask for help.
It takes a village. Don’t be afraid to ask your neighbor to pick up milk when she’s at the market. Also, ask your guests to help when you host. This year, I’m going to have a jar where each guest picks a task that they can help with. Examples include serving the food, clearing the table and doing the dishes.
9. Good enough is good enough.
There are no perfect holidays. Set yourself up to let go of unrealistic expectations. Hosting? Consider using paper goods or buying some ready made food. Ask your guests to bring a side dish or dessert. It really is ok!
10. Say “no.”
Please do not say “yes” to every party and gift exchange. It is okay to say “no.” Hold your boundaries. In fact, this year, I’m even saying no to giving holiday cards. And you know what? It will be okay!
11. Chill out!
We don’t want to show up as Scrooge during the holidays. Play some music, set the mood. Meditate for 10 minutes. Breathe. Do whatever you need to so that you can enjoy the holidays too!
Even if all you have is 5 minutes to spare, get outside and get some fresh air! Is your weather frightful? Get some cardio in at the mall when holiday shopping! Can't break away from your kiddos while they're on Thanksgiving or Christmas break? Strap them in your BOB Stroller and go on an adventure!
Want more tips to stay sane? Here are a few other recommendations by our Founding Mama, Lisa:
- If sending gifts via mail, go to the post office ahead of time and get boxes and tape early so you're prepped and prepared when it comes time to start wrapping and mailing gifts out
- Research delivery and shipping deadlines and policies ahead of time; Amazon, USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc...
- Schedule in a holiday bucket list. Put it in your calendar to do festive activities with your family, friends, or just yourself.
- Take a few hours to declutter; are Thanksgiving leftovers still lurking in the fridge two weeks after the holiday? Get them out! Toss out expired condiments, baked goods, etc.
- Take a little time to make a little room in your life by making a simple to-do list
- Make and freeze meals ahead of time so you have things to eat or serve to your family even if you've been out late holiday shopping or are putting in overtime at work.
- Remember to create a family tradition and stick to it!
- Don't hold yourself to sending out Christmas cards if it's too overwhelming with all the other holiday hustle and bustle; It’s okay to send New Year’s cards! There are many apps or online sites that make sending e-cards or paper cards pretty easy!
Find more tips to get out of overwhelm in The Empowered Mama,
on sale now at empoweredmamabook.com!