As we come up on the holidays, I’m excited to share some great tips for how to get your self-care/self-love in from one of my dearest friends. I know you ladies have seen Raewyn around here before and love her. I know this time will be no different. Let’s give her a warm welcome and lots of love as we gear up for the holidays and learn how to love ourselves and getting to spend time alone!
Oh yes, I know how chaotic the holidays are, especially as a new mom. This will be my second holiday season as a mom and I definitely thought my life was chaotic pre-motherhood. Last year, we didn’t go all out for our holidays because my daughter was only 5 months old, but this year I am figuring out how to juggle #allthethings (with guidance from Yvonne, of course!)
Last year, the week before Christmas my daughter went through the 5th developmental leap and was so clingy that I literally had to wear her in my Moby Wrap constantly. It’s safe to say that I got minimal time for myself and, as a self-love coach, I know how important carving out that time was for myself and my family. Let’s just say we all have a better time when mom is feeling less like a chaotic hot mess and more like a refreshed human being.
Set a Timer For Mommy Time
Right now, I want you to get out your schedule for the holidays and pick a block of time for each day to devote to yourself. This could be reading a book, a bath, some pampering or even just a quick run to the coffee shop. This is Mommy Time, and you need to be sure to tell your kids that.
When you go over your day with your family, tell them about the Mommy Time Timer. When you are approaching the time that you’ve set aside for yourself, give the family a 2-minute warning with some silly words like, “It’s almost Mommy Time! Do you know what that means?” Set a timer for 2 minutes and when that timer goes off, let them know that it is mommy time and they need to do something on their own for that time. Then set another timer for your Mommy Time so that they know when it is over (and come smother you in love and requests, of course.)
It might be difficult to set a timer for Mommy Time when you have a small baby who may not understand. This works best with preschool-aged and older children. If you have a baby, you can still use Mommy Time, just be sure to do it when there is someone else to watch your babe or during nap time.
Two Minute Check-Ins
If that seems impossible, my two-minute check-ins might be a little more do-able. I started doing these check-ins when my daughter was small. As I mentioned above, I have a high-needs baby who is very attached. I had to learn how to work cooking, eating, housework and time for myself around holding and nursing my girl.
I like to do a two-minute check-in at least every three hours. It is as easy as it sounds. Do something that takes two minutes for yourself. Some of my favorites are applying a face mask, giving myself a hand massage, reflecting on my day or doing a crossword puzzle.
Even with a clingy baby, I was able to take two minutes for myself by putting her in the bouncer or on tummy time. Taking two-minute increments throughout the day helps you to feel refreshed and rejuvenated throughout the day, keeping burnout and chaos at bay.
Talk Gratitude with Your Children
Gratitude is everything and I know that you’ve heard that before on The Dahlia Scene (have you checked out the gratitude journal??), but it is 100% true. Mindset is so important to me and practicing active gratitude keeps me in a positive and productive and grateful mindset.
It is so important for our children to learn gratitude and have it at the forefront of our minds. I try to talk gratitude with my daughter every day, even though she does not know how to talk yet! We do have thank you down in her sign language vocabulary.
Because our children are our everything, it can be so easy for the whole family to get swept up into the chaos of shopping, presents, and stress. Our kids can sense those and they will become to expect it as they grow older. It is so important to me to instill that sense of gratitude, especially during the holidays.We also try to express our gratitude in giving back whenever we can, and we are very big on including our daughter in any volunteering that we do.
Celebrate Your Favorite Traditions From Childhood
This is my favorite and most fun way take time for myself during the holidays and I’m not even doing it alone! For years as a young adult, I missed being able to take part in the fun childhood traditions, but now I get to introduce them to Delainey and create new ones as a family.
I thought back to all of my favorite tradition memories and figured out ways to incorporate that into our holidays. For example, when I was a kid my dad always would give us a Christmas outfit on Christmas Eve. It was my absolute favorite to see what he would get and now I have fun taking the time to pick an outfit for my daughter!
Allow Yourself Grace and Set Boundaries
This is the number one thing that I work on with my clients and friends. We accept that not every day is going to go as planned. That is so, so hard to accept but we usually work on this with mantras, mindsets, and two-minute check-ins.
The holidays are stressful, but they don’t have to take control of your life. Set boundaries for yourself with the plans that you make and the tasks you try to take on. You might want to cook the entire holiday dessert list, but that might not be feasible if you have a clingy baby like I did last year. If you’re juggling holiday programs at school with family parties, maybe you grab a veggie tray from the supermarket instead of cutting your veggies in cute like holiday shapes.
Raewyn is the founder of Be a Warrior Queen and co-founder of Shield Sisters Initiative, with a life goal to empower women to embrace self-love and inspire self-love in others. She’s also a wife and mother to a baby girl, learning to navigate these new waters while maintaining her sense of self. While self-love and changing the world has always been important to Raewyn, she really found her passion and calling in coaching after the birth of her daughter. As a feminist since childhood, Raewyn thinks that women supporting each other is paramount in life. Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shield Sisters