‘Tis the season for unselfish giving, unbridled generosity and selfless acts of heroism. This conjures up ideas of standing in freezing cold midnight lines waiting to snag that perfect toy and barreling through the Holiday season with a fake smile plastered on your face while you bake cookies and buy the perfect present for the 300 people on your Christmas list. No time to sleep? There’s always January!
This is no longer the warm and cozy holiday season you experienced as a child. Oh no, this is the get-down-to-business-super-mom-decked-in-red-and-green-and-going-to-save-the-day type of holiday now. Ugh, exhausting.
For your sanity and well being, this year must be different. This year, YOU get to go on the very top of your list. That’s right, be selfish! I’m giving you full permission.
Here are 3 reasons why being selfish will give you the calm, serene, peaceful and joyful holiday season you crave:
1. Selfish is the new generous. You are your family’s #1 asset. Not sure what I mean? Oh, hello Santa Claus, cookie baker, chief present shopper, wrapper and bow tier. Hello all the million other things you do for your family every day. Killing yourself by neglecting your own needs and running yourself ragged does nobody any good. By taking care of YOU, you are giving your family a gift. They get the fully present, calm and happy mama you want to be. And in turn, you get to fully experience the peaceful, joyful moments you want.
Not sure how to do this? Try more online shopping and less running around. Only say yes to the parties and obligations that you truly want to go to. Keep everything simple from the decorations to the presents and the parties. Give yourself some time and space each week to recharge and do something just for you.
2. Eat clean and be serene. There are two places in your life that get uprooted and can wreak havoc on your life during the holiday season: eating and sleeping. The parties can cause you to overindulge in the wrong things which make you sick and tired. And the stress of the season and all you have to do can ruin a good night sleep. Reframing these two areas as your top priorities for yourself is the ultimate act of self care. Giving yourself the gift of healthy, beautiful food and quality stress-free sleep will keep you energized and healthy (as well as keep the holiday pounds off).
Not sure how to do this? Take some time to plan and prepare simple but healthy snacks and meals for yourself, always thinking of it as a gift. Listen to your body and don’t get caught in the sugar roller coaster. Develop a nighttime routine that is calm and peaceful and make it a priority every night.
3. The holidays start with you. How’s that for selfish? But it’s true. You have more control over the holidays than you think. Your kids will look to you to control the tempo and pace. When they see an overly stressed mom trying to force every ounce of joy out of the season, they too will feel tired and stressed (without even knowing it). Take a deep breath Mom, and your kids will too.
Not sure how to do this? Reflect on what you’d like the season to be all about. What are you truly craving? Prioritize. Slow down. Focus on serene. Then, only do the things that fit into your plan. Listen to your intuition and create a holiday that nourishes and fills your soul.
Originally published in LexFUN December 2013 issue