I'll admit I'm a control freak. Not even a little one, a huge giant control freak. It's hard for me to relax during a normal week, but add holiday stress into the mix and I'm a hot mess. Finally after 5 years of being a working mom I'm learning to ask for help and do things for myself. I'm realizing how important self-care is for my mental health and without that, I can't properly take care of the kids and myself.
Here are my self-care tips for mothers, especially new mothers, around the holidays.
Let others do the cooking.
Touching on the topic of me being a control freak, I used to stress myself out doing a million things rather than try to ask for help. This is definitely the hardest for me. Why would I want to spend 10-15 minutes explaining something and answering questions, than just doing it myself? Well it took me almost 5 years to figure out that I didn't have to do everything myself and if I took 10 minutes explaining how to clean or cook something, or even where to take the kids, I could have 45+ minutes to myself. Instruct someone how they can help you out by cooking or what to cook. If you're hosting a holiday party, have people bring side dishes and desserts!
Pictured below is an incident from one week after Christmas, being at 37 weeks pregnant trying to bake birthday cupcakes:
Take a walk.
I'm not talking about around the mall while you're shopping for gifts, I mean getting outside! Exercising can boost your mood, and this is especially important to postpartum mothers. Also, if you live somewhere where it's cold and gray during the winter, you could also be at risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is another good reason to get outside in the (limited) sunshine during the winter and get yourself some vitamin D.
Whether It be an extra coffee, tea, glass of wine, massage, or splurging on that $10 bath bomb. Make sure you do something extra for yourself! You are more than likely doing most of the shopping and planning for the holiday, you deserve an early gift.
Take a break from social media.
Taking a break doesn’t have to mean a week; even if it's putting your phone up for a few hours, or a whole day. It's hard to not compare yourself to other families or moms that have their whole homes perfectly decorated. I grew up in a house that was beautiful every year, and do I remember what it looked like? NO! I remember the experience of putting ornaments on a tree and going to dinner at my grandmas. Live in the moment with your baby/kids and enjoy it!
Hope these tips help you relax a little bit and remember it’s ok to be selfish once in a while!
written by VHS contributor// Britney Kaufman
The Busy Boy Mama