In talking to several friends lately, I am reminded how stressful this time of year can be.
The holiday season, typically a time of joy and excitement, can sometimes leave us feeling a bit down. As I get older and have more children, the holidays become increasingly stressful. Despite having four healthy babies and many things to be grateful for, I still feel a sense of heaviness.
As mothers, we naturally carry a significant amount of responsibility when it comes to our children. It’s second nature to us. Normal parenting combined with the demands of the holidays and end of year can give us extra anxiety. With four kids ranging from 3 to 12 years old it’s not just physically challenging (like the sleep deprived nights of newborn parenting) but now mentally exhausting with kids in all ages and stages (enter middle school).
There are so many holiday activities, events and dinners this time of year. While I appreciate the opportunities, they also add to the overwelm in this busy time. If I don’t occasionally say no, I feel like the season rushes by and I don’t get a chance to slow down and enjoy the simplicity and beauty of it.
My heart is also heavy for those who are struggling during this time. The holidays can be especially difficult for those facing financial hardships, mental health issues, divorce, loss of loved ones, loneliness or illness. Even as I try to bring comfort and peace to my friends and family, my own heart still aches.
As the year comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on my growth or *gulp* goals left unmet. While the idea of a fresh start is just around the corner, there’s always an anxious sense of “here we go again” before embarking on new goals and starting over again.
If you are feeling the blues, know that you are not alone.
How do we prioritize self-care and find ways to navigate through it?
1. Commit to less. It’s ok to say no to certain activities. Focus on what truly matters to you and your family and let go of unnecessary obligations.
2. Take a break from social media. Sometimes social media can amplify feelings of comparison and inadequacy. Give yourself a break from scrolling and instead focus on real life connections and moments.
3. Embrace a slower pace. Enjoy the simple pleasures of spending quality time with your family by playing games or watching movies.
4. Seek inspiration and support. Read uplifting books, listen to encouraging podcasts, attend church or holiday praise and worship events. Surrounding yourself with positivity can shift your perspective.
5. Consider therapy.Speaking with a therapist can provide a safe space to express your emotions and receive guidance during this busy time. Reach out to your church or community for resources.
6. Take care of yourself physically. Engage in regular exercise to release endorphins and boost your mood. Prioritize self-care activities that bring you peace and happiness.
7. Talk with your friends. Even if pulling away may seem safer, chances are you both will feel better opening up about challenges this time of the year. We aren’t perfect, we are human and we all need eachother.
This is a time meant for us to slow down. If you have children there’s beauty in the simple reminder to savor the magic of the season and the reason through their eyes.
Find joy in simplicity.