Surviving the holidays as a highly sensitive mom is as much a mission as finding joy or peace in the world.
Earlier this week, on a small group coaching call I had with a group of women I’ve been meeting with all year long, one sentiment rose up.
Overwhelm — and how to survive the holidays — as highly sensitive moms.
Particularly this year where the US Thanksgiving fell later than usual, forcing a bit of a rushed feeling to do all the things, buy all the things, etc. So the normal amount of crazy feels a bit more rushed and scrunched up.
But this time of the year brings so much MORE of everything. The music. The mess. The disruption of routines and schedules. More social events. More stores. More shopping. More energy.
First of all, I believe in the joy of the season and never begrudge anyone for celebrating as big or as small as they wish. No judgements on how much you spend or do. No shame for how many decorations you put up or how many gifts are under your tree.
Just feel good about it.
As highly sensitive moms, though, we have to be careful to protect our energy and keep our sensory system calm. There is a lot going on, that is for sure. More than the usual — and that can be a very good thing. Joyful activities are meant to bring fun and pizazz to our lives.
Truth be told, though, I was feeling the overwhelm set in myself last week when I realized I would need to get things done a little quicker this year.
Not only am I feeling a bit of a rush, I am also extremely overwhelmed by my twin teenagers long list of needs and wants — as if we hadn’t just gone shopping for more clothes to fit their ever-growing bodies.
But the first step in surviving the holidays is to remember that we are CHOOSING how we want to spend our time. And in that that choosing we have power and intentions to live by.
Rather than let the overwhelm take over, I decided to take my own advice to survive the holidays as a highly sensitive mom … the same advice that I give all of my clients. Advice that really does remind me that this season is a gift of being together and savoring the season.
3 Ways to Survive the Holidays as a Highly Sensitive Mom
STEP ONE — Just do the next thing.
Simply take the next right action. Baby step action. Take one small itty bitty move. Don’t try and do it all. Close your eyes if you aren’t sure and let the answers rise to the surface. As a life design and family wellness coach, helping people take the right action is literally my job. And I take that role seriously. So I will often close my eyes and ask myself that one simple question — what is the next thing? At this time of year, this is about feeling joyful and at ease.
STEP TWO — Stay super present
This time of year is my favorite for snuggling in and being super present for myself and my family. It’s so easy to let ALL THE THINGS take over but the truth is that it’s being really connected to each other — and ourselves — that matters most. And so practicing being fully aware and savoring the slow moments is absolutely key to not letting the overwhelm and busyness take over.
STEP THREE — Focus on the simplest of things
It’s so easy to let impressing people guide us this time of the year. I’ve talked about this before. It’s so much better to live the mantra of Less is More. And just literally let less be more in your life this year. In my book, Savoring Slow, I stress over and over that our lives are never going to be totally slow. We are mothers and the mere act of raising children is filled with endless tasks. But when we choose the simplest things in life we are choosing to make things easier. You can let go of anything that brings guilt and trust simple is best.
For me, this means that I’ll plan the next gift I will buy so that I’m not having to do it all at once. I will turn on the twinkle lights and brew a cup of coffee to sit with my kiddos and drink. And I’ll focus on keeping our list of tasks and decorations simple so that we can spend more time together, laughing. This means less cookie baking. And no holiday cards this year. It also means less social activities. Before we know it … it will be January. And a whole new list of things will be unfolding.