We have been writing about boundaries this holiday season with our time, activities, and people. The closer to Christmas is gets, it is becoming obvious we need to set boundaries on how much we are thinking about the season to dos and holiday itself. Outside of the Christmas season our thoughts may jump from chores to work to raising kids to marriage to calling that friend to figuring out dinner. During this season interject thinking about buying, wrapping, Christmas cards, gingerbread houses, holiday treats, Polar Express train, seeing Santa, school program, and the list goes on and on. No wonder parents are tired!
By the end of this season, I do not want my children thinking I have acted like the Grinch due to the holiday to do list they know nothing about. I want them to remember a joyful and peaceful mother exuding those qualities we talk about this time of year. I hope they learn more about the true meaning of this season than feeling rushed around doing all of the holiday stuff. So let’s take a few practical steps to protecting our mental energy this season so we can be the parents we want to be.
Write It Down
We cannot control the popcorn thoughts that come into our mind during the day. We can keep a list going of what we would like to do so we do not forget. When something comes to mind like, “ Oh yeah, I need to get a gift for my child’s teacher,” jot it down and shelf it for later. When you have a minute to yourself (which can be few and far between) spend some time planning and wrapping your brain around it.
One Thing at a Time
We are tempted to multitask when we have many things going on at one time. It usually does not make things go faster. Let yourself focus on one task at a time, work on being present with that task rather than letting your mind race over everything you need or want to do. You will enjoy it more if you are in it. Reframe the word “task” and change it to “experience.” Experience the advent calendar or cookie decorating rather than getting through it.
Make it Pleasant
Whatever the task, experience, or event, how can you make it more meaningful or fun? Light candles, listen to music, put a movie on or call a friend to chat while you wrap, address cards, or cook. Which member(s) of your family can you involve to make a memory instead of just completing a task. Practicing gratitude during this season is always a good idea and proven mood booster. Remember to look at Christmas time through the eyes of your children, they notice the things we take for granted.
Experience this season rather than trying to escape it. Write down your to dos and look at your list when you are ready. Take one thing at a time and do your best to enjoy it.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a replacement for counseling or medical services. The information on this site is intended for general and educational purposes only. Before taking action based on the information you find in this blog, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance on any information found on this site is solely at your own risk. You are welcome to contact us in response to this post. We will not provide online counseling services via our contact form. We encourage you to seek counseling services of your own if you are looking for more support, help, and advice. If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.