Holidays can be an amazing season of joy, happiness, and companionship. However, they can also remind you of some of the things you’ve been able to avoid thinking about. For example, it’s easy to forget about financial struggles until you have to buy presents for your kids or host Christmas dinner for your entire extended family. It’s easy to forget that your marriage has lost its spark until you compare yourself to the happy couples you see at Christmas parties.
Staying in routine affords us ignorance. But when circumstances—even those surrounding something as joyful as Christmas—force us to face our struggles, reality can be a cold hard jolt. So while it might not be easy to get over your holiday aversion in the face of reality, these 3 stress relief tips for moms can help you keep the merry in your Christmas season.
1. Adjust Your Filter
Just like with photography tools, we have a way of filtering information. We can become very black and white, especially when stressed. It’s a coping mechanism that helps keep us functioning but doesn’t allow us to live! Instead of seeing everything as a negative, we need to start looking for little positives throughout our days—ways we can regain color and contentment. Start in the morning by listing one positive, for example, the sunrise is beautiful or your coffee is just right! Be conscious throughout your day of different experiences you can see as a positive. Though every day may not be a good one, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not all bad either.
Holidays bring about an abundance of social interactions. It’s important to be intentional with your time and make wise choices that energize you and your family.
2. Balance Social Time
Learning to say no to social gatherings can be one of the biggest steps you can take in making your marriage and family stronger. Look at your calendar and assess which parties you should skip and which ones you should attend. Add family time to your calendar to ensure you are making time to be with your spouse and/or your family.
Though we are in the middle of the holiday season, sometimes all we see are the activities and stress. Instead, we could focus on what the holidays are all about, hope and family! You can also take the Crazy Mom Holiday Challenge to keep the crazy out of Christmas!
3. Regain Focus
Holidays are a time to bring families and the ones we love together. We celebrate our relationships, having food and shelter and living in our country of abundance. When we remember that even if we have little we still have so much, it creates in us a thankfulness and desire to assist others who are not as fortunate. So even if we can’t get our kids the latest toy, we provide them with our time which is much more valuable. When we are discouraged that our marriage is strained, we can find hope in taking little steps to regain wellness. And when we are pressured to go to all the holiday parties, you can find comfort in knowing that saying no is the healthiest action you can take for your family. What aspect of the holidays make you not look forward to them? Finances, family, marriage?
Paige Clingenpeel is a licensed teen therapist and has worked on TV, radio, and web-based media. Her passion is creating health, hope, and humor for youth and their families.