How to Handle Holiday Stress & Overwhelm

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We are so excited to have Lora as one of our new Mommy Spot contributors! Lora is sharing her first post with us today and we are honored to have her on our team!

I love the holidays. More than your average person. I’m counting down the days until I can sing Christmas carols. I’m salivating over my Mother’s cheese pennies weeks in advance of eating them. I’m dreaming…of all the amazing things that come with Christmas and Thanksgiving.

But I’m the first person to admit that getting through the holidays can be super duper exhausting and overwhelming. In fact, the most wonderful time of the year can be plain STRESSFUL.

Case in point. In the past week, I’ve fallen behind on every deadline, had my computer and phone both glitch to the point of fear of getting a new one, school meetings, a sick kid, packing for two different sets of trips for Thanksgiving break, temper tantrums, a teething one year old wanting two am cuddles, I could keep going but you get the picture…. all while planning a major workshop designed to be peaceful and inspirational for attendees. Not to mention getting ready for the holidays!  And I’m guessing my list of overwhelm for the week is remarkably similar to yours.

So what do we do to keep from going off the edge? Is it possible to stay happy, grounded and, dare I say it, PEACEFUL throughout the holidays as a Mom?

I’m going to go with Y-E-S.

It takes dedication.

It takes effort.

And it takes making time for YOU.

But it is possible. You can find serenity amidst the chaos of the holidays.

Here’s five cheats to help you get there:

Just BREATHE.

Easier said than done, right? You’ll probably need a bit of help to actually breathe when the going gets tough. Here’s what I recommend: stand or sit in a comfortable position somewhere where you can have a bit of peace and quiet. (I recommend your bed, standing in the bathroom, or even finding a moment in the kitchen or your car.)  Put your hands on your stomach. Take a deep breath in through your nose for a count of four. Feel the belly expand against your hands on the inhalation. Exhale out the nose for a count of five and feel the belly contract. Repeat, breathing in this time for a count of five. Exhaling for a count of six. Continue with this pattern until you reach maximum comfort on the exhale. You never want to feel strained!! Then relax and return to normal breathing–hopefully from a place of greater ease and relaxation.

 

Swing your legs up the wall!

If I only have five minutes to myself, this is where you will find me. With my legs up a wall. Up a door if I’m traveling and don’t have a real “wall.” I’ve even done this up the edge of a bed and modified with my knees bent. If I could only do one yoga posture every day for the rest of my life, this one would be it!!! Stay anywhere for five minutes or up to fifteen if you have the time.

 

Make sure you eat regularly.

Blood sugar crashing? That will quickly send you into fight or flight mode. I’ll suddenly get anxious, hangry and overwhelmed all at once. Take the time to eat real, nutritious meals and sit down and eat mindfully.  You’ll feel so much better as a result!’

Catch up on your zzzs!

Don’t forget to sleep. We cannot expect to function if we do not get rest. Go to bed early as often as you can. Know that coffee is not a substitute for sleep. If you are not well-rested, you will get sick, you will feel cranky, and you will not be able to function optimally. So make a date with your bed and rest. It’ll be worth it.

 

Embrace Imperfection.

We all want the holidays to go *perfectly.* To happen exactly as we picture them in our heads. But it’s impossible for ANYTHING to be perfect. Nothing will ever go exactly as you plan it. Hiccups are normal. Instead of trying to get everything to be a certain way, embrace the journey. Try going with the flow. Your tire may get flat on the way to that holiday party. You may drop an entire tray of cookies on the ground while taking them out of the oven. The store will be sold out of the present you needed. Your decorations just don’t look like the way they had them on Pinterest. It *happens.* Life is messy, life is winding, life is full of ups and downs. And that is where the real magic happens. So let the bumps be just that. Bumps. And try enjoying them. Love yourself and laugh at your mistakes. Find joy in the twists and turns. And know that your imperfections are actually what make you perfect. Just the way you are!

What tricks do you use to make sure you are able to stay relaxed and grounded during the busy holiday season?

Lora Hogan
Lora Hogan
Lora resides with her family on Tierra Verde and is a mommy to baby Corbin and step-mommy (which amounts to the same thing in her heart) to the special eight-year-old Alexander. A yoga teacher since 2009, Lora runs a heart-based wellness business with her acupuncturist husband and personally offers retreats, workshops, and inspiration. With a passion for fashion and beauty, Lora is also a Beautycounter consultant. A constant optimist, Lora believes that everything happens FOR you and not TO you, you can love champagne and croissants and never compost a day in your life and still to be into holistic health, yoga isn't about Instagram handstands, magic is real and that motherhood is a constantly evolving journey of love, femininity, self-realization, silliness and is something that truly takes a tribe. She loves the Arts, travel, baking, giving back to the community, reading, stroller workouts, hugs, spending quality time with her family, and bacon. (Because almost everything is better with bacon!)

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