I just typed “Holiday Stress” into Pinterest and was instantly flooded with headlines like, “Five self care tips to reduce holiday stress”, “What are the negative effects of holiday stress?”, and “Five tips to ensure a stress free holiday season.” So guys, it’s official. The holidays are stressful.
In a world where it seems like stores are rolling out the Christmas decorations and blasting “Jingle Bells” over the loud speaker on Labor Day Weekend, it can be a little much for someone who has never been a huge holiday fan. Okay, listen. I don’t want to get all bahumbug on you, but growing up in a divorced family, the holidays were just plain stressful. Who would I be spending Christmas Eve with this year? Don’t get too comfortable at the New Years Eve party because half way through, you’re heading over to your other parents house. Given the divorce rate, I know you guys can relate. But listen, I don’t want to get too down on the holidays. I was a privileged child from a suburb in California where I got Barbie roller skates, a trampoline, and endless other items every year. And aside from a neighbor mom telling me that there was no Santa Clause at age 4, I think I had it pretty good.
As I get older, my main goal of the holidays is to give my daughter a relaxing and laid back experience. One that she can really look back on with fondness and sentiment. That’s why avoiding stress is top of mind, so that I can stay calm, cool, and collected, and act like I have it all together 😉 The things we do for our kids, right?
So I wanted to share with you my number one tip for reducing stress and improving your life, not only during the stress of the holidays, but throughout the entire year!
A lot of you may know that I struggled as a new mom. I had pretty bad postpartum depression and a child that was not only colicky, but seemed like she didn’t really love life all that much. It was a struggle. I battled with the depression up until about when she turned two. But friends, things have changed a lot in the last 6 months. And as I was telling my best friend Caity the other day, the thing that I am going to tell you about may or may not be the reason that I am doing better. It may not be the reason my daughter and my relationship is completely different now. But I guess I don’t really care. What’s important is the outcome.
For about a year now, I have been writing in my gratitude journal and practicing affirmations every morning. What does this look like exactly? Well, in May McCarthy’s The Gratitude Formula, one of my favorite books on this topic because it is easy to understand and not too “woo-woo” for anyone out there who isn’t too sure about this kind of thing, it talks about how incorporating gratitude, and being thankful for things that you want, as if you have already achieved them, is the key to reaching your goals.
So, as part of my morning affirmations, I would write in my journal that I am so grateful that I have a great relationship with my daughter. That we love spending time together. That I love being a mom and she loves being my daughter. I could go on, but you get the idea. After just a few months of doing this, not only did my outlook about being a mom change, but it seemed to alter her behavior as well. Is that not insane!? Like I said, I can’t tell you if all of this change is due to that. Could it be that she is growing and changing? Of course. But like I said, I don’t really care the reason that things have dramatically changed. All I can say is that I am more happy, and she seems to be as well!
One of my fav candid moments of us on her 2nd birthday.
Now if only I could go back and tell my younger self about this whole gratitude thing. I would have probably made me see the world a whole lot differently, and honestly, I would probably have an entirely different outlook on the holidays in general, right?
So that is my tip for keeping your mindset on track during the holidays. Do you have a crazy aunt that’s coming for the holidays that you are just dreading? Or maybe you’re not looking forward to all the money, and the mall trips, and the Amazon boxes? Maybe in your journal, it would look something like, “I am so grateful for this holiday season. I am grateful that Aunt Cindy will be calm and helpful on Christmas eve. I am thankful that we will laugh together and enjoy each other’s company. I love getting thoughtful gifts for my friends and family. I am thankful that I have so many friends and family to have the opportunity buy gifts for.” Kinda puts a different spin on it, right?
So now you’ve got the mindset part. But I told you the key to a stress-free holiday season was in gratitude AND in holiday decorations, right? That’s where I come in with my holiday banner box of course!
I created this Limited Edition four banner holiday box so that you could have beautiful banners all in one box to hang for the holidays. No DIYing, no last minute gluing or crafting. Just an all-in-one box that makes your life much easier this holiday season.
Each banner is handmade by me with love and comes fully ready to hang on your front door, your mantel, or anywhere else you like. Most of the banners are double backed, giving you durable banners that will last for years to come. I truly hope that they bring you an easy way to decorate your home this holiday season. But don’t forget, they are only available until Friday, September 14th. Get the holiday banner box!
And as I’ve mentioned before, I do realize that there are other holidays that aren’t captured in this box. Maybe next year I will have the bandwidth to do different boxes or switch up the banners, but you have to start somewhere right?
And going back to the gratitude stuff, I would love to hear your experiences with either postpartum, or revelations in gratitude. It is so life changing, I just had to share it with you and I just hope it will be helpful to someone out there who might be struggling in the same way.
Happy (early!) holidays friends!
If you have an event coming up, you can create a custom party in a box with all your decor needs, order from my pre-designed parties on my Etsy shop, or purchase a digital party!