I don’t know about you, but the holiday season is SO. DARN. STRESSFUL.
Let’s be real. If you are like me, you have multiple lists going – gift ideas, things to buy, things to do, things to pack for trips, etc.
Let’s just slow things down a little bit. Take a few minutes to breathe. I swear, my mind has had a million things going through it the past few days and it almost got to the point where I couldn’t even enjoy the place I was in and the company I was with. So stop. Slow down. This is such a special time of year and I would hate for you to miss it. You only get these moments once.
In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, take some time and read Luke 2:1-21. THIS is the reason for the season. GOD sent His own Son to earth, to live as a human, grow up and become a man and then give himself up as the perfect sacrifice to save us from our sins. What an incredible gift. The song Mary, Did You Know? has been playing over and over in my head recently (Pentatonix does an INCREDIBLE version of this song) and the verse that stands out the most as a momma of little boys is “when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God”. This brings tears to my eyes and gives me chills…Can you even imagine how Mary felt? What an incredible honor and responsibility she must have felt. Then I wonder, how was Jesus as a toddler? If he is sinless, then did Jesus have tantrums? Did He throw his food on the floor during dinner time? How did He react when Joseph told him, “No Climbing, get down from there”?
Seriously though, it is a struggle to keep Jesus at the center of everything but it is something I really have been working on this year. When I am stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, or just plain at my wits end, I just go to HIM in prayer. Ask for strength, guidance, patience. Ask for a more positive mindset. THANK HIM FOR ALL OF THE INCREDIBLE BLESSINGS HE HAS PROVIDED. Let me tell you, I feel REALLY silly giving out my Christmas list after I just look around at all my blessings. I have a roof over my head, a loving husband that willingly provides for my family, and two healthy and happy little boys that bring so much joy to everyone they know. I have a full pantry of food and clean clothes in my closet. We have air conditioning (yes, in November, it’s Texas, y’all) and heat when it occasionally gets cold. Practicing gratitude is a wonderful way to turn your whole day around and reduce stress.
Get organized. My calendar is extremely full this year and it is imperative that I stay on top of all that is going on. I have to put reminders on my phone AND write them down in my physical planner. Do you use a planner? You should. My Erin Condren Planner is my absolute favorite and there is just something about being able to write something down then cross it off your to-do list.
Start a family tradition. Yes, this might be something you need to schedule, but it is family time! Something I remember doing as a kid with my family is jumping in the car and driving around listening to Christmas music and looking at Christmas lights. It was a great time to marvel over some incredible light displays, laugh and sing with family and just enjoy time together. One of my favorite bloggers does something similar – they all dress up in their pajamas, drive to Starbucks and GO INSIDE and order their special drinks, then go look at Christmas lights. I definitely want to continue that tradition with my little family as they get older!
Something we did a few years back and unfortunately it never came to fruition because I was pregnant, had a 6 month old and completely dropped the ball was recreate old family photos… We had a blast trying to get the “scenes” just right and laughed until we cried trying to get our faces the same way.
Sometimes I just need out of the house and I go take a walk. Getting fresh air and a little cardio goes a long way for lifting moods. I turn on a great playlist or a podcast and listen as I push my littles along in the stroller.
Treat yourself to a mini-spa hour. Put on a face mask, paint your nails, take a bubble bath and give yourself a few minutes just to focus on yourself.
Pictured here: Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Face Mask, Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial in a Box, and Sephora Pearl Face Mask
There you have it! What are your favorite ways to reduce stress? Let me know in the comments below.
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