It’s official—the holiday hustle is in full effect.
This is the most wonderful, and busiest, time of the year. For us working mamas, our schedules runneth over with work and home obligations on a regular basis, but during November and December, it seems as though we are double and triple booked. Can you relate?
For years, I stressed myself out trying to do it all. Between holiday parties and deadlines at work and a bevy of the family outings and get togethers and shopping and taking care of family, it can be a lot. Too much! I decided last year that I would actually enjoy my holiday season, and if that meant saying no, then so be it. I wasn’t going to allow myself to be an exhausted mess, because that makes me good to no one, including myself.
I started making ME a non-negotiable for the holidays–and that means choosing myself over everyone.
What does that actually look like, you ask?
It means that I only commit to things that I truly want to do, because I look forward to doing them, and not out of obligation or for show or to look busy.
It means that I opt out of Secret Santa, and hosting large events in my home, and shopping for people who aren’t in my family or aren’t close friends. It means not breaking the bank to impress people. It means investing in time with those I love, and not stressing myself being everything to everyone. It means saying no to extra work because it’ll make me look good at work. It means carving out ME time on a regular basis in my calendar without feeling guilty.
While the holiday season is about love and making joy for others, if I don’t make joy for myself, what good can I be for others?
Here are my rules for self-care this holiday season:
Stick to a budget
This is the time of year where I’ve went broke in the past trying to keep up with what everyone else is spending. Not anymore. I have a budget and I will be sticking to it. No extras, no last minute purchases. My budget includes gifts, holiday decor, travel, food, and entertainment, and I keep track of every penny I spend.
This also means that I have a list of gifts that I am buying people, and I will be done shopping before December 5th. There will be no last minute rushed shopping trips for me. I am not planning to go out like that.
If it’s not an immediate yes, it’s a no
If I am asked to do something for someone else and I don’t have an immediate yes on the brain, then I say no. No thinking about it, no “I’ll let you know next week”, and those types of shenanigans. If I am not excited about doing it, I won’t be doing it.
As I’ve preached for many years, I have appointed scheduled downtime in my planner, and I stick to this ritual, even during the holiday season. It’s a non-negotiable, and I will not break it for the sake of decking the halls. My me time is when I pour back into myself.
When it comes to hitting the party circuit, I have a limited amount of fetes I will be attending this year. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, I am attending a total amount of 5 get togethers/parties/soirees. Anything more than that will drive me crazy. It’s important that we understand our limits and stay within them.
I will not be a stressed out hot mess this holiday season, and I don’t feel guilty about putting myself first. When you see me smiling in my holiday pictures and whatnot, know that it’s a smile that is sincere and deserved.
Mama’s got this!
Photos shot by Chip Dizard