Mom's Holiday Survival Guide

No matter what you celebrate, the holidays can be a stressful time for moms. Avoid burning out with our new holiday survival guide that’s perfect for any mom.

Mental Health

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Yet many moms put their families first during the holidays, a fact that can negatively impact their mental well-being. Acknowledge that the holidays will bring an increased amount of stress; plan ahead as much as you can. Make shopping lists to avoid last-minute madness at the mall. Spread holiday activities over a period of several weeks.

Don’t feel guilty about saying no to yet another holiday party; realize that you have limits and respect them. If having the holiday dinner at your house again this year is too much, ask a loved one to take over the hosting duties. Or have a potluck.

Ask your husband, partner or children to help out. Holidays are about spending time with your family, not about you being chained to the oven cooking yet another holiday feast. Moreover, involving the whole family in holiday preparations is a great way to teach life-long skills to your children.

Have practical expectations; no holiday is perfect. Be optimistic, but accept the fact that no holiday runs totally as planned.

Physical Health

A great way to reduce stress is to hit the gym!

Exercise reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone that shoots up when we’re stressed. Working out makes us feel rejuvenated, both physically and mentally. Plus, it can help burn off those extra carbs that you’ll probably be consuming during the holidays.

Walking is a great low-impact exercise, and can be done alone and with a friend. Meditation, tai chi and yoga are other great options in cleansing your mind.

If you prefer more high-impact workouts, lift weights. Swimming is a terrific all-over body workout. And skating is a perfect winter work out that’s perfect either alone or with the family.

Treat Yourself

The holidays may be all about giving, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t (or shouldn’t) treat yourself to a little something special.

Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give your family. Something as simple as an afternoon at the spa can help you rejuvenate and take your mind off your mile-long things to do list.

Or, if you’re not feeling too overwhelmed, why not volunteer for a few hours at a local shelter or food bank? Helping others is a great way to regain your sense of self. By taking time to value yourself this holiday season and to help those less fortunate than you, you’ll also make a great role model to your children of what the holidays are truly about!