Routine and mindset hacks for overwhelmed mum’s!
It’s the most wonderful time of year, right? Right?? How can we stay calm this Christmas? Can we just take a minute to breathe already. Millions of mum’s throughout the world are literally emerging from an ongoing global pandemic that saw them stressed, working from home, zooming, homeschooling, creating new humans and generally doing all the things in a highly pressured environment. Whilst trying to maintain calm and positive for their children. It’s been, well, a lot.
And so now comes the huge pressure of creating a super duper show stopping magical Christmas to make everyone feel better! Where you need to rain down Christmas magic on the household, buy that overpriced thing that’s sold out everywhere, force your toddlers to sit down for an elaborate meal that don’t really want that took you a day to prepare. All whilst remembering to sprinkle magic reindeer dust on the grass, clean the house, factor in time for self care and not wrap your kids gifts from Santa in the paper they saw you bring home from Tesco’s. All while trying to balance a box of quality street on your head after a mad dash on November 30th to see if anyone, anywhere has any advent calendars left.
Also, the Elf.
Want some simple tweaks and tricks to help you stay calm this Christmas? Read on….
Stop the Madness. (Hint, you get to enjoy Christmas too.)
YOU GET TO ENJOY CHRISTMAS TOO.
Let’s just take step back for a second and let me ask you this: if your goal is to create the perfect most magical Christmas for your kids – what do you think they would prefer? A mum who is stretched beyond her means, trying to do it all and too frazzled to play and engage with them? Or a mum who has spent a second investing in her own needs and mental well-being, therefore giving herself more energy to have fun and enjoy her family?
To help stay calm this Christmas it’s really a no brainer. Our problem lies within the fact that society as a whole has put such a pressure on mum’s to do all the things that we often don’t stop to question if this is normal. Yet again hot mess mum culture works against us, leaving us feel like we do have to do all the things, and that we have to earn our fun by exhausting ourselves. Which is ridiculous, when you think about it. Who says that? Who says you can’t enjoy a Christmas evening snuggled up on the sofa with a glass of wine if you haven’t run yourself into the ground shopping all day. Is there a limiting belief lurking in there somewhere that you feel like you won’t be respected unless you’re exhausted? Let’s just chill the F out for a second.
Want to simplify this Christmas so you can actually enjoy it too?
Here are some ways to lean in to what you really want your Christmas to feel like, so you can feel more at ease and restored – allowing you some mental clarity and space to unwind too this December.
1. Get clear on your intentions for the holidays.
To help stay aligned and calm this Christmas sit down with your partner and kids, or just journal by yourself first if you want to, and ask what you really want out of the holidays. This may look different for each family and situation. It’s about dissecting what the holidays really mean to you, what do you enjoy about them, what do you hate? Here are some good prompts:
- What are your favourite holiday family traditions, and what traditions would you like to start?
- What are your favourite holiday social gatherings?
- What are you doing / going to out of obligation instead on enjoyment?
- Are you in alignment with your gift budget?
- What do you want your kids to receive on Christmas morning? I say this as many mum’s are overwhelmed by the thought of their house being over run by excess toys. This just results in more tidying up down the line. What other gifts might your kids like? Ask them, it might be theme park tickets, craft supplies or a new pair of trainers.
- How do you want to FEEL this holiday? Set the intention. Fun? Carefree? Excited? Rested?
- What needs to be done? What can you skip? What can you delegate?
Get clear with your intention of how you and your family want to feel and how you want to spend your time. Maybe cooking is really important to you and you have special memories of baking cookies as a child at Christmas and want to pass that on. Similarly – if you hate cooking don’t feel the need to do that just because your friends posted a picture of baking with her toddler on Instagram!
What social occasions are you dreading? Does the thought of cooking a Christmas dinner send you into corner quivering like a nervous puppy? then don’t do it. Could you delegate the dinner to someone who loves to cook? Could your mum bring a freshly made turkey? Could you just put out a yummy cold pre brought buffet for everyone to help themselves to. Do you have small kids that have zero to no interest in a roast dinner anyway?
Zone in on what you really want, and set plans around making that happen.
If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
Get honest with yourself, and think about how many events and gatherings you’re committing to over the holidays. Now out of all these events, how many are you looking forward to? Do you have commitments with anyone that drains your energy instead of restoring it? If so, can you let it go? Of course there is always those few Christmas events that light up your children that you do for their enjoyment, because it makes you happy to see them enjoy themselves. In order to stay calm this Christmas – you don’t have to sit through a Christmas eve dinner with a cousin or colleague that rattles you with their opposing views and opinions if you don’t want to.
You get to decide what to do for you. If you’d rather be sipping a negroni on the sofa after a hot bubble bath and arranging everyone’s gifts do that instead. A simple “that’s not going to work for us this year” will suffice.
Have some down days.
Space creates calm. Take a breath. Here’s a light-bulb moment for you: You don’t have to do something / go somewhere every day of the Christmas holidays. No, your children will not care – they may even enjoy it. I know for many parents the thought of being cooped inside being the sole entertainer of their children fills them with anxiety. Know this, their holiday will still be magical even if you haven’t paid through the nose to cart everyone off in the freezing cold to see that super duper Christmas whatever it is everyone is talking about.
A lazy day here and there never hurt anyone, and will give you all a chance to relax (as much as you can of course with toddlers hanging off your feet.) Here’s a few ideas of things to do in the slower paced days to help you stay calm this Christmas:
- Bake Christmas cookies, yes it’s messy, just go with it.
- Create a hot chocolate bar in the kitchen – pop to the shop and get some yummy hot chocolate, squirty cream, candy canes and flakes / marshmallows and set them up a festive hot chocolate bar!
- Get cosy and watch a Christmas movie, make some fresh popcorn then stir in some melted butter for a snack.
- Go for a walk – I know many of us are “walked out” after lockdowns but you can try and make it fun. Take a scooter for older kids or get toddlers to find some pine cones to take home and decorate.
- Make Christmas cards.
- Create a TikTok dance routine!
- Build a den.
- Create a Christmas treasure hunt in the garden.
- Find a relative to babysit for the afternoon and have a relaxed moment by yourself somewhere! (Need some self care ideas, I got you covered with my guide just here xo)
Don’t leave everything to the last minute!
Grab a notebook and plan out your Christmas a little in advance. Food, budgets, gift ideas etc – this creates space and clarity to avoid impulse buying or over spending. Try and do a little in advance so as soon as the school holidays hit you can slow down and relax a little. Try wrapping as you buy, or paying extra on amazon for the gift wrapping service. I make sure I use a different wrapping paper for each child so I can leave gift tags and ribbons and bows to Christmas eve if I feel like it.
Another useful top is buying a festive food or drink item every time you do a food shop in the run up to Christmas (I start in November) so you have a little store of treats ready for Christmas week!
Do more of what restores you.
It’s easy to get caught up in everyone’s demands, asks and needs at Christmas. You feel this huge responsibility on your shoulders to make things magical for everyone else. You will not win a badge of honor for running yourself ragged so look after yourself.
To help stay calm this Christmas ask yourself – what restores you and your energy? Baking? Running outside? Journaling? Find time to factor these things into your days to avoid getting burnt out, what restores your energy restores your joy.
You will also be in a much better headspace to deal with all the extra demands and tasks if you’ve given yourself a second to breathe.
Ask for help.
A key element of helping you stay calm this Christmas is asking for help. You know you can do that right? Let me let you in on a little secret – people love to help! Especially if that help plays on their strengths. Stop trying to do it all. Take a step back from your daily, weekly, Christmas to – do list and break it down. What do you enjoy on that list? What can you delegate? What can you let go? Sometimes people are happy to help and you just need to ask.
- Can your partner help with the gift buying or wrapping? Write them a list – ask them to pop in the toy shop after they finish work early?
- Can a relative or friend bring part of the Christmas lunch such as a dessert or side to lessen your overwhelm?
- Get your kids helping around the house! (they are capable) – maybe if you have a house full assign them all a room to tidy after dinner so you can all sit down together and relax instead of watching them relax while you do everything.
- Can your partner prep the Christmas vegetables while you arrange gifts on Christmas eve?
- Can a parent help with your over flowing laundry?
Look at the task list with an aerial perspective and start delegating like an f-ing CEO.
With that in mind, go make yourself a hot chocolate and put your feet up! Revel in the festive magic like a kid and have the best damn Christmas you can have. Just remember to slow down long enough to enjoy it!
Thanks for stopping by at my corner of the internet, I’m Maz – you can read about me here – it’s my mission to lift the lid on motherhood and make your parenting journey easier. Stick around for recipes, hacks and tips and truths on lessening the overwhelm and simplifying motherhood and twin parenting. If you enjoyed this blog pop me a message or comment – I’d love to hear from you!