Is the holiday stress making the season feel like all work and no fun? Driven mamas know the feeling all too well. The good news is…it doesn’t have to be!
🎶‘Tis the most stressful time of the year…🎶
🎶 Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells STRESS 🎶
🎶 All I want for Christmas…is rest 🎶
Are these the tunes you’re singing when the holidays begin to roll around? We driven mamas always have a lot on our plate. And every year, the holidays just seem to pile more on top of our already heaping to-dos. Orchestrating the photo shoot for the Christmas card, and more lists, lists, lists – who gets which holiday gifts, recipients of the holiday cards, what dishes to prepare for holiday dinners, and so on…
Between juggling work, family, relationships, and a myriad of other everyday tasks, much of what has to do with making the holidays magical for the family falls on us. No wonder 44% of women feel stressed out during the holidays compared to 31% of men.
Still, nobody likes feeling like they’re drowning in a vat of holiday-related chores. That’s why we’re sharing our 5 essential tips for dealing with holiday stress as a high-achieving working mom.
Tip #1: Make time for self-care
It’s practically 2023 – this is a non-negotiable! We’ve said it time and again, if we’re running on empty, how can we possibly help others? The act of helping entails giving something of ourselves – our time, our efforts, our understanding, etc.
But an exhausted mama is a drained mama. And when the tank is empty, no matter how much we step on the gas, the engine is not going to run properly. Make sure to get enough sleep and set aside some “me” time. You can do this with a bit of meditation, getting back into your movement routine, or simply by just slowing down to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while keeping your mind calm and relaxed. All of these things can give your overworked brain a quick boost to help you stay afloat in the hustle and bustle.
Taking care of ourselves allows us to have the energy and resources to go through what we need to do – and maybe a little bit more for that extra love and care we want to put into our tasks.
Tip #2: Delegate, delegate, delegate
That said, sharing the workload is key to not running ourselves ragged. Every. Single. Day.
It’s Team Family for the win this holiday season. The best part? You can even make it an all-year thing.
Think kids helping with everyday chores around the house, like cleaning their rooms, doing the dishes, folding the laundry, walking the dog, etc.; a partner or friend helping you run errands like picking up groceries, dry cleaning, packages, etc. At work, make sure you’re not taking on more than you can handle either. Talk to your boss and see if you can get help on a project. All this will free you up to really put in the time to make the preparations that matter – whether that’s sticking to timely family traditions, making time to contribute to a cause that’s close to your heart, or helping bring holiday cheer to your workplace in a meaningful way.
A University of Minnesota study found that having kids help around the house was more likely to instill “a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility, and self-reliance” that would benefit them well into adulthood. Making sure every member has a job to do can help ease the burden and pressure of having to pull off an unsustainable Superwoman throughout the holiday season.
Tip #3: Make time for fun
When parents are stressed, no matter how much they try not to show it, the kids can feel it, too. Everyone scrambling to get everything in order for the holidays tends to put a lot of pressure on those in charge. Make sure everyone gets to blow off some steam every once in a while.
Spending some fun time with the family can help let go of all that pressure and stress building up so we can just enjoy being in the moment. What about allocating a day in the week to visit a local event or attraction? It can even be as simple as decorating the Christmas tree or watching a holiday movie together. It’s quality over quantity, and it’s these enjoyable moments together that create core memories for the whole family.
Tip #4: Strategize your gift-giving and get creative
The holiday rush can be a nightmare. There, we said it. Driving through traffic, competing for the very limited parking spaces at the stores, rushing to beat out other shoppers for that last stock of in-demand items on your shopping list. And the lines…queueing up for hours just to pay for your purchases!
Luckily, we live in the era of online shopping. Why go through all that trouble when you can just have everything shipped to where you are? Of course, nothing really beats having the product in your hands and making your purchase decision after inspecting it in the flesh. But you can save a lot more time (and stress!) by buying the priorities online. When you’ve got the essential gifts locked down and ready to ship, you can add some “just for fun” items when hitting the stores in person – with a lot less stress!
“But what if I took too long and now my gifts won’t be delivered in time?”
Hey, it happens! And it’s the perfect opportunity to join the eco-conscious movement and upcycle! Whether that is re-gifting something gently used that no longer serves you but may be an amazing addition to someone else’s life, or getting creative with materials you already have at home. This article has 100 ideas on how you can sidestep consumerism if it’s not your jam, and create your own locally sourced gifts!
Tip #5: Go easy on yourself!
Truthbomb: The holidays aren’t supposed to be “perfect.” Spending meaningful moments with our loved ones and creating amazing memories is why we’re likely doing all this, to begin with.
As high-achieving moms, we feel the pressure of making the holidays “perfect” for everyone else – and usually, at the cost of our own physical, emotional, and mental well-being. If something is feeling hard, it’s ok to skip it and ease into something else. If you feel like you could or should be doing something more, take a step back and reassess if that one more task is a one-way ticket to exhaustion and burnout.
As Elsa so beautifully put it, “Let it go.”
Everyone experiences a different kind of holiday stress because it’s all very personal. That’s why it’s important to find a coach you connect with and who understands you and your goals.
The Driven Mama is all about helping high-achieving working moms unlock their potential and achieve their goals, without having to exhaust or bleed themselves dry. We also ensure you have the tools you need on your journey to wellness. Sound like your cup of tea? Get started with a free 30-minute clarity call today, and get back to feeling like your best self!