This time of year might be busy for us mamas, but it doesn't have to be crazy!
Ah, Christmas week is here. No matter how much you’ve simplified or prepared ahead, there’s no getting away from the fact that for most mamas, this is going to be one busy week — but it doesn’t have to be crazy! Here are five simple ways to keep your mind clear and your soul peaceful during the hustle and bustle of the week.
1Clear your mind every morning
With so many things on your plate, it’s more important than ever to start your day with a little “me” time. Whether that’s getting your heart rate up at the gym, calming your body and mind with some quiet reflection, taking time for prayer, or just getting up before the rest of the house for a cup of coffee, the rest of your day will go much more smoothly if you give yourself the space you need to get started with clarity, focus, and peace.
2Stay productive, not just busy
When I get overwhelmed with all the things on my to do list, one of my bad habits is to occupy myself with the endless busywork around the house. I’ll find myself doing dishes, doing laundry, picking up toys … all things that need to be done but aren’t on my essential to do list. During your morning “me” time, make a list of the things you must get done, and start with the one you want to do least. The momentum from having accomplished this one task will propel you through the rest of your list and before you know it, you’ll be done with your list and able to focus on the busywork … or just relax and enjoy your family!
3Marshal the troops
When my kids are out of school, I try and think of ways to occupy or entertain them — but during the Christmas season, I need all hands on deck. What I began doing last year is dividing our tasks for the day up between the kids in age-appropriate ways. For example, the seven-year-old can do a lot more than just take out the trash – he can crush up candy canes to be sprinkled on cookies later or wipe down counters after the baking is done. The 11-year-old can help with wrapping presents and curling ribbon, and the 14-year-old can basically be assigned any task that I’m not doing at the moment. Use your resources and let your kids help you with the work of the season so you can all enjoy the play of the season together afterwards.
4Nourish your body and brain
When you’re surrounded by the mouth-watering aroma of baked goods and all the temptation that comes with preparing food for the Christmas feast, it’s easy to find your self overindulging. Not once a day, not even twice a day – between sampling the cookie and taste-testing the fudge, I sometimes end up having four or five times the amount of sweets I’m used to. All that sugar does not help your mind stay clear and focused–and worse, it shuts off hunger signals so you tend to eat less nutritious food. So not only are your body and brain being overloaded by sugar, they’re also not getting the healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals they needs to operate at maximum efficiency. So dust off that self-control and resist the temptation to sample every treat that comes out of your kitchen. If you save the feasting for Christmas day, getting there will go a lot more smoothly.
5Give yourself the gift of a good night's sleep
Sleep is so crucial, but it’s usually the first thing to go when we get busy and stressed. Whether you’re staying up late to finish wrapping presents or just letting your brain shut off in front of a Netflix binge, every precious hour of sleep you lose will cripple your productivity the next day. So when you’re tempted to wrap just two more gifts or watch just one more episode, remind yourself that you’ll be able to complete the wrapping or baking more quickly after a good night’s sleep … and you’ll be much happier in the process. So give yourself and your family the gift of a well rested, happy, healthy mama this Christmas season.