At this time of year many mums are feeling slightly frazzled and in need of a well-deserved break.
Buying gifts for everyone in the family, wrapping all the presents, sorting costumes for school plays and gifts for teachers, doing the Christmas food shop and planning Christmas dinner (all whilst going to work as normal!) can take its toll and leave you feeling burnt out whilst everyone else is enjoying the festivities.
A week or two off work at Christmas time may sound great, but if you’ll be rushed off your feet the whole time it can turn into a very stressful ‘holiday’.
If all of this sounds familiar, have a read of my Christmas self-care checklist to make sure you get some time off to relax amidst the madness. Here are my 7 self-care tips for mums at Christmas…
Don’t plan too much
This is easier said than done, especially if you have lots of family to visit, but try to avoid booking yourself up completely with visits. Set boundaries with family so they know their visit is just for a few hours, or agree to meet at the pub or go for a walk so you don’t end up stressed and hosting everyone at your house all the time.
Have a few days at home over the holidays so you’re not always rushing around or looking after guests. This is also important for the kids who will appreciate time at home to play with their new toys.
Have some time to yourself
You deserve a break as much as everyone else so make sure you plan in some ‘me time‘ to relax and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. It doesn’t matter what you do with your ‘time off’ as long as you enjoy it and can unwind.
Tell the rest of the family to fend for themselves for an hour or two and go and have a bath, read a book, go shopping, or whatever it is that helps you to relax.
Avoid people who stress you out
If you don’t get on with certain family members or friends, why not just avoid them completely. Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones but if the day will end in tears is it really worth it?
It’s not always possible to avoid some people completely if there are family gatherings, so try to limit the time you spend with them where possible. Keep visits short, meet in a bigger group and don’t be bullied into seeing people or going to events you don’t want to.
Related post: Ways to cope with last-minute Christmas stress
Get out and about in the fresh air
You probably spend most of your days cooped up at work, in the car and generally rushing around. Over Christmas, you can spend a lot of time indoors visiting family or hosting visitors at your own house, so once the main days are over try to get out in the fresh air.
A walk down the beach or in the countryside will wake you all up, give you some much-needed exercise after all that Christmas food, and leave you feeling refreshed.
Don’t pig out too much
Ok so this is a silly thing to say because we all know we’ll pig out on chocolates, crisps, booze and everything else for a few days over Christmas. We also know though that we’ll start January and head back to work feeling sluggish, unhealthy and with trousers that are suddenly much too tight.
If you can try and be a little bit sensible you will thank yourself for it in the new year. Make sure you eat some fruit and veg in between all the chocolate and drink lots of water.
Have a ‘Digital Detox’
With a blog called ‘Digital Motherhood’ and having confessed before to being a complete social media addict, a Digital Detox might be a surprising suggestion from me. Bear with me though…
Sometimes social media can leave you feeling inadequate, jealous, a bit of a rubbish mum, and generally not good enough. If this is the case it’s probably wise to limit the amount of time you spend on social media when many mums will be posting picture perfect photos of their homes, kids, the pile of gifts they’ve bought (and received!) and telling everyone how lucky they are to have such amazing lives. Even though we all know it’s more often than not a load of crap.
If you have a week off work, do you need to have your phone in your hand constantly? You won’t be getting any emails from work, all your friends will be busy with their families, and you don’t need to check for messages from your other half as they’ll most likely be with you.
Leave your phone in another room and spend time in the real world with your loved ones instead of on social media.
Spend time together as a family
Following on from the above point, use your Christmas holiday to spend lots of quality time with your family. If you’re like me, you’ll spend most of your life moaning that you never see each other as you’re both at work, the kids are at school, and most of the time in between rushing to and fro.
If you don’t make the most of this time off, you will most definitely go back to work in January regretting it and counting down to your next week off in the summer.
Play board games, go for walks, curl up on the sofa and watch a movie, have a day out – do whatever you all enjoy doing and have fun together!
How are you feeling as we get closer to Christmas? If you’re feeling stressed out or anxious do you think these tips will help you?
If you have any other self-care ideas for parents let everyone know in the comments below!