How to Survive the Holidays During a Pandemic (AKA self-care all the time not just now)

Anyone else feeling a little like you’re living on a dream and lots of caffeine? 🤪 It seems that in a typical year, we are often hurrying from one activity to another. And I don’t know about you, but for me, by the time Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, I am EXHAUSTED. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love this time of year. I love the magic of this season — watching my kids’ excitement as we drive around looking at Christmas lights, or family conversations and memories made and shared. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. But…like I said, in a normal year – us mama’s get exhausted by this time with all the hustle and bustle of every day life…nevermind we now add in the holidays in the middle of the weirdest year in my lifetime. It all makes for some pretty stressful – less than joyful kind of moments.

I won’t tell you that I have it all figured out. I don’t. I wish I did. But what I do know, is that regardless of our current life experiences, there are some things we can do that help us navigate it a little easier. Truthfully, these are things I try to do always. And way back in March, I forgot about them for a while and made some less than healthy choices which then left me feeling pretty shitty in my personal and professional life. So today, as a reminder not only for me, but maybe a tool for you – here are my “How to Survive the Holidays During a Pandemic (AKA self-care all the time not just now) Tips”

  1. Exercise. Yes, I know you’ve been told this before but SERIOUSLY, moving your body every day is SO important. If you aren’t a fan of exercise classes or videos and you have a hard time with group sports – try walking. When I was very out of shape, when I was pregnant with my kids, and when I just need to do SOMETHING – the easiest solution is to go for a walk. Here’s what it does for you:
    • Walking 20 minutes a day may reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 30 percent
    • May slim you down
    • May increase your brain size (did you know your brain shrinks as we age? – it does and walking can help reduce that shrinkage!)
    • BOOST YOUR MOOD! Endorphins get released when we exercise. Endorphins make us feel good. We all want to feel good.
    • Sleep better! Which I’ll talk about more in Tip #2
  2. Get your ZZZ’s Ok. I know I am not always the best at this. In fact, my clients and friend often ask me, “Do you ever sleep?” I promise that I do. Just not always as much as I should. What I do know is that when I am well-rested, my whole sense of self feels better. I don’t yell at my kids as often, I am generally much more motivated to complete tasks I need to do, and I’ll say it again…I FEEL BETTER.
    • Healthy sleep allows the mind and body to recharge
    • Can keep diseases at bay and helps body funtion and mind to recharge
    • How much sleep do most adults need is the next question, right? Most adults between 26 and 64 need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. I’ll be honest here and tell you I often get about 6. I’ve been working on getting more and consistent sleep. But…I do love my quiet time after everyone has gone to bed! Which brings me to…
  3. Take time for YOURSELF This one is probably the hardest for most women to do consistently. But, I dare say it’s also the most important. Taking time for YOU doesn’t have to cost a lot (or anything) and it CAN be done if you put yourself on your priority list. My FAVORITE ways to take time for me that are FREE:
    • Binge watch The Bachelorette
    • Join a book club and READ A BOOK (here is my Goodreads profile for some of my personal favorites)
    • When it’s warm out, I sneak outside with a hot cup of coffee for a quiet minute in the morning
    • Take a long hot shower or bath (and we have a don’t interrupt mom rule at our house)
    • Have coffee, tea, or wine with a friend
    • I love to hike, cross country ski, and spend time with friends – that is definitly ME time
    • Hide in my LuLaRoom (yes, I do this to sneak away and have some peace and quiet).
  4. LEARN TO SAY NO or at the very least, “No, thank you.” As a “likes to just do it all” kind of person, this one is REALLY hard. But, here’s what I’ve learned… Doing ALL the things makes me HATE doing all the things becuase I’m pulled in too many directions to feel like I can do anything well. I’ve been learning how to say NO to things that don’t bring joy to my life or to my kids’ lives. Of course, there are the things we HAVE to do but I’m talking about the things that alone, don’t seem to be too big of a deal, but when added into what you already do, can make you go a little batty. Maybe you don’t have to make holiday cookies or send out Christmas cards. It’s ok. Prioritize what is ACTUALLY important to you and do those things.
  5. Last but not least – learn to delegate and let go. Look, we ALL have a crap ton of stuff going on. This year has been one intense moment after another for pretty much everyone. You do NOT have to be Martha Stewart, do ALL the things, or be all the things. I know, it sounds way easier said than done. I also know not everyone has a support system in place that allows for this to happen easily. Heck, even those with a good support system are struggling. But, I bet you might know someone who might be able to tutor your kids in exchange for you getting her groceries for her. Share responsibility with your kids. They can do chores. They can help. And guys…not everything needs to be done perfectly. My clean clothes are in a giant pile next to my dresser (thank you wrinkle free LuLaRoe). Of all the improtant things in my life – folding laundry is at the bottom of my list.

I know that many days are long, stressful and overwhelming. But if I stop and think about the things that I DO have…this life is still pretty dang good. I know we can all survive this time of year if we take care of ourselves.
❤️❤️

always,

Sara

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