Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
Everyone knows that moms must be diligent when it comes to self-care. Most moms put the needs of their children and their families before their own needs. Often, momís time to exercise, to read, or to follow her passions is invaded by ďmore pressing demandsĒ. This is especially true during holiday times. With travel plans, festive meals to prepare, and houses to clean in anticipation of guests Ė itís not surprising when momís own time dwindles down to nothing.
Holidays frequently mean more stress, and more stress means mom must stand firm in her self-care. Here are some suggestions for maintaining your rhythm of self-care through the holidays.
Take a look at your schedule. Most of us have a weekly rhythm we are accustomed to. Our routines become habitual, and we glide through them week to week. But, at holiday time, it is beneficial to take another look at our schedules. Anticipate the extra tasks that will come up in preparation for the holidays. Will there be meals to prepare? Guestís rooms to make up? Travel preparations? How will you fit in these extra responsibilities? Is there empty space in your schedule that can be used? Is there anything that can be left out of the typical weekly schedule in order to accommodate these additional tasks? Knowing where and when you will have time for these extra responsibilities will ease any anticipatory stress you may be experiencing.
Exercise, sleep, and eat well. We all hear this over and over again, but have you ever paid attention to how it feels when you are exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep versus when you are eating poorly, neglecting to exercise, and skimping on your sleep? All of these things can affect your mood, your ability to function, and management of the additional stress the holidays bring. During holiday times, plan out your meals so youíre not grabbing quick snacks. Make certain to get enough sleep, and do NOT give up your exercise time in order to bake that extra apple pie.
Keep the holidays in mind. They are not just days scattered throughout the year with the intention of raising blood pressures and causing moms to pull their hair out. No matter what your religion or what holiday you are observing, there is a deeper meaning attached to it. Make sure you and your family spend some time focusing on the significance of the holiday. I believe each holiday carries a life lesson to help us become better people.
Monitor yourSelf. You know better than anyone what your stress looks like and how you feel when you are stressed. By properly monitoring your Self, you can avoid hitting the holiday wall and maintain your energy, enthusiasm, and peaceful rhythms throughout the festivities. If you find yourself becoming overly stressed, put a plan in action to alleviate some of the pressures. You may need to ask guests to help out with the meal by bringing a dish, or devote your morning to meditation and yoga, or re-examine your calendar and adjust a few things on your schedule.
Make notes. If you havenít done so for this year, be certain to take notes for next year. Youíll want to jot down anything you want to remember to make your planning, preparing, and executing go as smoothly as possible. This might include a timeline, a to do list including all the things you never remember until the last minute, and things you learned this year that will help you prepare better next year.
Cultivate joyfulness, nurture yourSelf and others, and maintain balance by anticipating, planning and adapting. That is the ultimate rule for holiday planning.