From Grinch to Gratitude :: How to Avoid a Stressed Out Holiday Season

It was already happening. My husband was asking me why I was so cranky and stressed out. I was losing my patience quicker than normal, especially with the kids and our dog Ella {stop eating the RUG!!!}. To be honest, I didn’t like the fact that when I looked into the foggy bathroom mirror one morning, it seemed like “Resting Grinch Face” was staring back at me. Not a good look, honey. 

From Grinch to Gratitude:: How to Avoid a Stressed Out Holiday Season | Houston Moms Blog

That was NOT what I wanted as October turned to November and all of a sudden here we are, counting down the days to Christmas! I wanted Christmas cheer and music in the car and laughing at our house! But I ALMOST ruined Christmas before it even happened! Thankfully, I’ve been journaling and praying, soul searching and even doing monthly “goal checkups.” That gave me time to think about what I REALLY wanted for Christmas … and to realize that I pretty much already had it! 

How NOT to ruin Christmas

This tends to be a busier time of the year for most of us moms {if it’s not THE busiest time of the year!} Actually, scratch that. I think we all know it really IS the busiest, craziest, loudest and potentially most WONDERFUL time of the year! So I’m not going to suggest that you start a new habit or try something you don’t already do {I don’t want you to hate me}. What I will say is we could all use a minute of two to catch our breath. My suggestions are ::

  • Take 30 minutes to yourself. 

    • Ok, I know even THAT is hard sometimes. Take 10 or 15 minutes for self care if that’s all you have. Whether it’s earlier in the morning or later at night, whatever works for you, just put that time on your calendar and let’s make it happen.
  • Find a quiet spot 

    • Go to your favorite quiet spot or find a new one! I have a cozy old couch upstairs in the media room that I love to just sit in after everyone’s gone to bed. For you, it could be that chair out on the deck. Or the closet {sometimes that’s the best spot!} Feel free to grab coffee or tea while you’re at it! 
  • Write out your stress 

    • Grab a notebook if writing down thoughts helps you out {it definitely helps me a TON!} and just let it out. Write out anything that’s stressing you out {money? relationships? in-laws?} No judgement. Whatever is causing your neck and shoulders to be stuck in that permanent stressed-out knot, write it down, or just take a few moments to acknowledge it. 
    • I’ll admit it — this can be frustrating and hard. A lot of things can surface that may make you feel like the year didn’t work out as you’d hoped. Maybe you didn’t pay off the debt snowball like you wanted because of unexpected bills or a job change. Maybe you never got around to doing the Whole30 you swore you’d do {No? Just me?} Maybe you wasted money on a gym membership that you rarely used. 

The good thing is, we’re not going to leave all this here! We’re “decluttering our souls” so we can make room for the joy of the season {so as to NOT ruin Christmas!} 

  • Write down your blessings

    • Let me tell you, Mama, when you start this blessing list, or gratitude list, and it starts to flow, you might need a tissue! Especially after we decide to let go of all the stress we wrote down earlier {seriously, channel your inner Elsa and Let It Go!} there is something to writing down and seeing a list of ALL the blessings we already have. 
    • I know writer’s block is a THING, so just in case you need a little help you get started, try this::
      • Pull out a calendar or planner and go month by month
        • January blessings {the kids went back to school healthy, you took a trip, hubby got a promotion, the dog didn’t need surgery … etc!} 
      • Start with each member of the family
        • Celebrate any and all the times hubby cooked dinner {or ordered pizza!} Remember the milestones your kids may have reached. A friend’s daughter is speaking better after therapy. That’s HUGE! 
      • Think life events {your sister getting engaged}, health, personal achievement {you didn’t lose weight…but you also didn’t gain!} 

I’m always thankful for my family! 

From Grinch to Gratitude:: How to Avoid a Stressed Out Holiday Season | Houston Moms Blog

I hope that by the end of this exercise, not only will you NOT ruin Christmas, but it just might be a little more magical and merry … just because you’re stressing a bit less and counting your blessings a bit more.

I’ll be over here, trying to do this at least a few times between now and December 25th … or any time that “Resting Grinch Face” looks back at me in the bathroom mirror. We can’t have that Grinch taking over!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!


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