Let’s face it: we all want a picture-perfect holiday, but at what cost?
It’s November, and the stores are already decorated for Christmas. The radio stations couldn’t wait another three weeks to play holiday music. The TV commercials are setting the tone for shopping, decorations, Santa’s list and more.
Women are more likely to experience high stress during the holidays than any other time of the year. According to recent studies, women report an increase in stress in the holidays compared to men. Working women are constantly juggling tasks all year around. Then in November and December, they are bombarded with pressure to create or recreate the magic of the holiday advertising.
In addition to the increased traffic, the long lines in department stores, the growing children’s list, the menu and anticipation of dealing with the relatives, (everyone has one of those relatives that just can’t ride the holidays without some drama), the overall stress level increases around the holidays. Instead of responding accordingly, like taking time to relax, women tend to bite the bullet. As a result, they end up sick, worn-out, overwhelmed and even burnout. The solution is and has always been, having some self-care, but can you do it? Here are my suggestions for you to change your old ways this holiday season:
1. Pay Attention to Your Body.
Stop the bus. No one can be running on low or no fuel. Because stress will reduce your sensitivity to hearing your body’s needs, set regular schedules for eating, sleeping and disconnecting from people and electronics. I know it is not easy to tell the children that you need twenty minutes alone, but you can do it. If this is not on your agenda, it is unlike to happen. So do it now.
2. Ask for Help.
Women have a hard time asking for help. They thrive on wearing the superwoman cape and singing the lyrics “It’s not easy to be me” from Five for Fighting song “Superman.” Most women who avoid asking for help are afraid of rejection. They just don’t know how to hear the word “no,” so they settle for doing it all themselves. Asking your partner, your children and your relatives for help will reduce your stress, and you won’t have to do everything by yourself. Most people are willing to help if you believe and really want their help.
3. Make Time for Yourself.
People wonder how can one make time for themselves during the holidays when all year around, there is very little time already. The key is to create the time and the space to recharge. You can’t serve others from a place of depletion. Also, no one wants to be around a host that is tired, cranky and unhappy. Mark the time on your calendar when you will have uninterrupted quiet time. You can also say no to the holiday events you don’t want to attend. There is nothing wrong saying “I’m sorry I can’t make it, I already have plans” and leave it at that.
4. Be Kind to Yourself.
The holiday season is a good time for women to lower the expectations of themselves and others. Kindness is a gift. Self-kindness is a must. The increased stress women experienced around the holidays is self-imposed, although they are not aware. When we remember to be kind, not only to the organizations looking for our contribution but to ourselves first, kindness has a way of making the holiday season special. January 2nd will arrive, and you won’t resent the way you spent your time for the past six weeks.
5. Embrace Chaos.
I hate to break to you but… if you follow the last four suggestions above, your holidays will NOT be perfect, but it will be real. You may have an epiphany that the holiday season is about family, connection, fun and really messy. And that’s okay. You will have a renewed relationship with the holidays. You will know what old traditions need to be broken.
To help you on your road to self-care this holiday season, I have a giveaway (valued at $70.00 including shipping and handling) starting November 13, 2017, and ending December 9th, 2017.
To Enter, click here
Two lucky winners will win a Self-Care package that includes:
* The book Women, Rice and Beans by Ana Barreto,
* The Women, Rice and Beans Tote,
* A box of the Wellness Collection Organic Tea from the English Shop,
* and a Calming Pillow Spray from Natural Aroma Therapy Company