Stop the Holiday Stress Before it Starts

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Stop the Holiday Stress Before it StartsThe season has changed and with it so do the expectations as a Mom. I really think we put more pressure on ourselves than needed. I don’t know about you, but if the long season of Spring 2020 to now has taught me anything, it’s that I’m really thankful for the people that live in my house and I want less of the “outside stuff” to interfere with our peace.

With this season come fall festivals, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, ending with a big bang of “resolutions” of ways you can do better in the next year. I usually have more lists of To Dos on my phone now than any other time of the year. And for what? To enjoy life? Help others? Create a magical childhood of perfection for my kids? Show that I’m the Mom that has it all together with the Pinterest-perfect decorations?

This striving towards expectations already has my kidneys hurting from stress! I decided to take social media off of my phone and just check in as needed as I run a business that’s mostly online. But cutting down the scroll has been so peaceful and I don’t have anything to compare. Leaning into the close friends and family I have face to face will be a time of healing. Skimming the lists like Santa does for naughty and nice looks more like “What brings peace? What’s bringing on feelings of striving?”

As the gatekeeper of my home, the director of my kids’ lives, and the Master Chauffeur, I’m saying “No” and steadying my “Yes” to line up with the big picture. Your big picture will probably look differently from mine, but for me it’s that I have a short time here on earth, my kids are getting older and I want to cherish the time with them all under my roof, and the life lessons I want my kids to remember have little to do with painting pumpkins and more to do with being kind to others and finding what makes them unique then using those gifts to help others!

Seasonally, you might deal with health stuff that is the effect of grief or stress. I’m a big believer that our emotions play a role in our overall physical health. This time of year is marked by grief, loss, and past hurts. You might feel the strain of family issues, a date reminder of a lost loved one, co-parenting through the holidays, or the memories of a not so great childhood. I don’t know if it’s the loss of sunshine or the colder temperatures, but I can really get down and depression can creep in as well.

If we look at the animal world, they’re resting! They have stored up, filled their bellies and even go into hibernation during the cold months. Oh, to be a true Momma Bear this time of year and enjoy a long nap and less worry about mealtimes! What if we took on that attitude and worked backwards? Instead of ending the year with events and expectations of greatness, what if we rested in all that we have overcome this year and celebrate with thanks giving and giving back?

If you’re looking for permission to shorten your Christmas list, make a double portion of your dinner and give it to a neighbor, create a boundary even with your family, or say no to the Fall Festival, here it is. Make this season one marked by healing, letting go of expectations, keeping your eyes on the joy your kids have in the small things, and leaning into all the ways you’ve adapted and grown this past year.

If you are looking to add a little seasonal festivity to your calendar (my rule of thumb is one “event” per season), here are some ideas around Chattanooga:

Halloween Events, Fall Foliage , Pumpkin Patch Round Up, Bald River Falls Hike

Want to focus on your emotional or physical health this season? Here are some ideas:

Elderberry Syrup, For the Divorced Mom, Crushing Mom Perfection

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