My social streams are filled with mom bloggers tearing their hair out. They’re baking eight dozen brownies for a school party, or they are two days late on getting their gift guides up, or they have three sponsored posts that MUST BE FINISHED before the kids come home from school… the list goes on and on.
I feel it too, although mine is work-related. Must write posts! Must send emails! Must finish updating that spread sheet! Must buy gifts for clients!
How can we combat the holiday stress? Here are a few ideas.
1. Read blogs. I know, none of us have time anymore to read blogs, right? But I’ve found that taking an hour or two to catch up on my favorite bloggers is the perfect antidote to stress. In fact, just spend an hour reading The Bloggess. If you aren’t familar with her work you must live under a blogging rock, but here’s one of my favorite posts to get started. Knock, knock, m*****f***er.
2. Say NO. Simple advice. NO, I can’t make eight dozen brownies. Ask someone else. NO, I don’t have to time to squeeze in a product review for you in the next week. NO, kids, mommy can’t play right now because she’s taking a damned bath ALONE. NO, I won’t pick up your dry cleaning. NO, I am not accepting new sponsored posts right now. It’s okay. Promise. You’ll still be loved.
3. Set up an auto-response to email. When it gets close to Christmas, set up your email so everyone gets a response that says something like, “GO AWAY UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS.” Or, if you prefer, “Thanks to this being the busiest season for families, I’m afraid I may not be able to respond to this email quickly. I hope you have a great season!” See? You’re not ignoring. You’re deferring. And that’s okay.
4. Unplug. I know this is counter intuitive to item #1, but walk away from the computer. Get in the car and go see the craziest Christmas lights in your neighborhood. Take the whole family. Taking an hour or two a day away from the computer will do wonders for your holiday spirit. In fact, if you can, take the week around Christmas (if Christmas is what you celebrate) off entirely.
5. Dump the food guilt. Eat those cookies. Delve into the spinach dip. ENJOY. Look, everyone gains weight around the holidays. You can do it racked with guilt, or you can do it with joy. Choose joy. Seriously. The guilt simply isn’t worth it.