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Tips for Managing Holiday Stress as a Parent

The holidays are right around the corner and while this time of the year is deemed to be the most joyous time of the year, thoughts of the holidays for many parents, news moms and dads and moms-to-be, right now may be causing some feelings of anxiety or overwhelm.

Navigating holiday responsibilities while showing up for your family and you are no easy feat but let us be the first to reassure you that it is possible to get through and that you are not alone. Extra grace and mindfulness during this time, as well as acknowledging that it is perfectly okay not to be okay, can all serve as tokens of reassurance that this too shall pass. Below are some more ways to manage holiday stress for all the mamas out there.

Establish boundaries

For many of us, saying “no” can be one of the hardest things to do. The possible feelings of guilt that may come along with that or fear of backlash or judgement are all things that can hinder us from following through with setting boundaries. However, doing so during the holidays (and in other parts of your life) is an excellent form of taking care of yourself.

So, what are some examples of boundary-setting during the holidays? Don’t be afraid to limit your attendance to holiday events, gatherings, or saying “no” to taking on responsibilities you simply can’t handle. The way you are feeling mentally and physically is more than enough to say no without a need for a long-winded explanation.

Check in with yourself

While an exciting time of the year, the fast-paced nature of the holidays can make it so much harder to keep in touch with how you’re truly feeling. During all the social gatherings, holiday festivities and errands, don’t forget to prioritize taking some time for yourself. Whether you must block off some “me-time” in your schedule or disconnect and decompress for a little bit, do what you must do to give your mind and body the reset that it needs. Everything that needs to get done will get done on their own time; your mental and physical health should always be kept a priority.

Acknowledge the imperfections

Things are bound to happen! Get comfortable with the idea that sometimes things won’t go as planned or work out in ways that you would expect. This is totally normal and is just how things can go. When responsibilities fall on you during the holidays, it’s very easy to want to fulfill or live up to high expectations.

At the end of the day, you can only try your best and do what you can, especially in times when you’re feeling a bit low. The holidays are not all about perfection, especially when it comes to how you’re feeling. Give yourself the permission to feel how you need to, but never lose sight of what matters the most during this time.

One other thing that can help is to try your best not to compare your progress with others. During the holidays, social media can be filled with tons of content that make you feel like you should be having everything together. Don’t let a perception of something discourage you. Focus on yourself, what you can do and take things at the pace you want.

Stick to a routine (for you and baby)

Here at WeeSleep™, we are firm believers that consistency is something that is not only important for you to have in your everyday life but is also incredibly important and meaningful for your baby.

There’s a lot to juggle during this time of the year, and for the new mamas out there that are still sleep training, this is where the power of a consistent routine will shine through. Babies feel comfort during a routine so sticking to the same nap times, mealtimes, and bedtimes as much as possible during the holidays will help you deal with potential sleep disruption or the risk of losing your hard-earned progress.

And as for you mama, don’t lose sight of what a routine looks like for you, either! Aside from mindfulness, your body needs its nourishment and rest during the holidays as well. Stay in tune and in touch with your body as well and don’t let the holidays hinder you from doing the things that are most important for your mind and body.

There’s always so much to look forward to during the holidays, but none of that will truly mean anything unless you’re taking care of yourself first. Stress is something that a lot of people may feel during this time. Give yourself grace and permission to feel the ways that you do, and no matter what, remember that you trying your best is all that matters.