Have a Merry Christmas as a Mom! Taking Care of Yourself During the Festive Season

by - December 03, 2018

As women, we tend to be naturally caring. We nurture our children and in many cases are their primary caregivers. We run around making sure everyone is fed, clothed, have what they need and are taken to places on time (this sometimes includes our husbands or partners too!). This is a role that many of us are happy to fulfil, but what it can mean is our own wellbeing is put on hold. When we’re constantly putting the needs of our children and family first, we can find ourselves getting a little run down, tired and overworked. Over the festive season it’s a particular issue as there’s so much going on- and due to the weather there’s a lot more illnesses going around as well. Here are some of the ways you can help to keep your mental and physical health in check as a mother at Christmas.

Eat well
At this time of year, any kind of healthy eating plan can easily go out of the window. Festivities generally mean eating, drinking and being merry- there’s always chocolate being handed around, plenty of tasty indulgences at parties and generally the attitude of ‘I’ll diet in the new year.’ Of course, you don’t want to be majorly calorie counting over Christmas, it is a time where you can let loose a little and enjoy yourself. But do still be aware of what you’re eating, and be aiming to still get your five fruit and veg in a day. This will provide your body with everything it needs, as well as boost immune system which is much needed at this time of year. There are plenty of healthy yet delicious festive recipes you can make for your family meaning your enjoy yourself while getting the good stuff into your diet.

Avoid too much alcohol
Again, alcohol is very much a part of Christmas, and lots of us will be toasting with champagne, attending cocktail parties or meeting friends at pubs and restaurants where alcohol is being served. If you don’t want to spend the next day feeling like death warmed up then it can make sense for you to limit your drinks. Perhaps you could just enjoy one and then switch to soft drinks, or alternate each alcoholic drink with water or soda. Alcohol is a top cause of accidents and injuries especially at Christmas, so be careful and keep yourself safe.

Take time to de-stress
The festive period is such a fun and magical time of year. A chance to treat the kids, spend quality time with family and catch up with friends that we don’t get to see as much as we’d like. However, Christmas can also be stressful. If you have issues in your family then this can be a source of anxiety, not to mention the costs involved. With it being such a commercial holiday, we’re bombarded with messages about how we need to make things special for our family, which generally involves spending lots of money. Take a minute to remind yourself that these kinds of occasions are about the love and time with the people we care about far more than gifts. You could make presents or even ask to forfeit gifts this year to save costs, your friends and family are likely to be in the same boat as you so are sure to understand! Budgeting carefully can put you in control and can mean a weight off your shoulders when you know how you’re going to spend your money. Destressing can involve taking a long hot bath, doing some meditation or even doing some exercise. Gyms are generally dead at this time of year so you’ll have the place to yourself! Be careful to keep stress levels down, and remind yourself what the holiday is really all about.

Don't put off worrying symptoms
If you do happen to get ill over Christmas, it’s tempting to want to skip out on the doctors. With so many winter illnesses around, the GPs office is usually pretty crammed at this time of year which can be even more off putting. But if you do notice any symptoms that need to be addressed by a medical professional, go and have them seen to. To look after your children and family, you need to be looking after yourself. Most illnesses are likely to be nothing, but you don’t want to wait weeks before having them looked at just in case. Take head and face pain for example, this could be anything from common stress to something more sinister. In some cases, it might even need jaw realignment to put it right! You can learn more online about this. If you have any regular screening appointments that have fallen over the festive period, just go along to them and have them done. They’re out the way then and you don’t risk them being forgotten. It’s peace of mind as well. While many of us start a health kick in the new year, don’t overlook important things that need doing right now.

Lean on your support network
When the kids break up from school, it can take a lot of effort and energy to stop them from getting bored and ensure they’re having a good time. If you’re already run off your feet with work, hosting parties, attending regular appointments and more then it can all feel pretty overwhelming. If you have friends and family that want to take your children out for the day, do an activity with them or have them stay overnight then take them up on the offer! You get a break, your children get to spend quality time with a loved one and they all get to have fun. It’s a win-win! Of course, we all love our kids and would do anything for them, but school holidays are often stressful for parents so something like this can really help ease the pressure. It can help to have a number of planned things to do during their time off too to keep everyone busy.

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