Whew! It’s been a doozy of a year. Am I right?!
Self-care seems like an impossible task right now, especially as another layer gets added to the mix…the holidays. So how do mothers stay sane during a holiday season that is happening during a pandemic? Here are a few ideas:
- Accept that this year is different.
You know this and yet this knowledge may not make it any easier. Be compassionate to yourself that this year won’t necessarily be like the others. If guilt creeps up that you should be doing more, try to summon up the compassionate part of yourself and let yourself know that you are doing the best that you can, given the circumstances.
- Go easy on yourself.
Be kind to yourself. Reframe thoughts that are contributing to thoughts of anxiety, sadness or guilt. You might be too tired to bake or cook the things you normally do and THAT’S OKAY. You’ve been trying to keep your kids engaged, doing online school, trying to keep your house clean while also working. It’s hard so don’t push yourself.
- Create new traditions.
I keep telling myself that 2020 is the year to get creative. I often tell my clients that the difference between being reactive and being creative is the order of the letters. We get to choose how we target our energy, especially during this pandemic holiday season. There are still safe ways to enjoy the holidays. You might need to ask friends what they are doing to get some ideas. When we’re tapped out, it can be hard to get in a creative state of mind.
- Get Mindful.
Stay as present in the moment as possible. Take moments to breathe. When your mind starts to wander, engage your senses. Think of the smells of your favorite holiday foods, light a candle, take a shower and notice how the water feels against your skin, listen to music you enjoy. I like to encourage my clients to use bathroom breaks as a moment to check in and ask yourself what you need. It might be a breath, a pep talk, or a positive affirmation.
- Listen to your body.
What is your body telling you it needs? Is it tired? Is it tight? Is it buzzing? Is it calm? Your body is trying to provide you with valuable information if you are open to listening and responding. Ask yourself if you need 5-10 minutes to sit. You might try focusing on a part of your body that is supporting you and thank it for doing so. Another option is to do a little stretching in the part of the body that needs some extra attention. You can always close your eyes and breathe. Let your body guide you.
It’s easy to feel over-stimulated and overwhelmed in general these days.
You may not get everything done. You may not have a lot of time or energy. Don’t forget to ask for help! Sometimes we just need someone to listen and tell us it will be okay. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking that we are the only one who can do a specific task, but if we really take a look, this may not actually be the case. Don’t underestimate the importance of slowing down. It will give you a chance to check in so you can ask for the support you need.
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Please note that this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice from a doctor or mental health professional.