Welcome to the December Mindful Mama Carnival: Staying Mindful During the Holiday Season
This month our participantshave shared how they stay mindful during the holiday season. Please read tothe end to find a list of links to the other carnivalparticipants.
There’s no doubt the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year. When you add shopping, parties, events, travel, house guests and everything else that comes with the season to an already busy schedule, it’s enough to leave any mama feeling stressed. We all want our families to have a joyous holiday season, but when it starts to interfere with our with our inner-peace and well-being, it’s time to start being more mindful of the choices we are making.
It’s important to remember that we are in control of our own holiday season. It’s easy to want to blame others, or outside circumstances for the stress we are feeling, but the truth is most stress is a direct or indirect result of a choice we have made. Staying mindful about our surroundings, decisions, commitments and self are the key to reducing stress during the holidays, and enjoying the season for all it’s meant to be.
5 Tips For Being Mindful Mama And Avoiding Stress During The Holidays…
1. I know it can be tempting to attend every party and activity, but often times it’s just not practical, or healthy to try to do it all. If you don’t set some limits for your own sanity, no one else will either. Someone once said to me that when you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else. Remember that you control your holiday, and can include or eliminate any activity you choose. Before committing to anything, be mindful of the other things on your schedule, and how your decision will affect you and your family. Choose your activities and obligations wisely and make sure to leave plenty of room for rest, relaxation, family time and mommy time!
2. It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of giving during the holidays, which isn’t always a bad thing. But it’s easy to get a little too carried away, and end up spending far beyond your means. According to the American Consumer Credit council, the average American spends about $1ooo on Christmas each year, adding onto already existing debt. Yet no matter how tempting it is to ”splurge” during the holidays, if you’re a mindful mama you can still enjoy the spirit of giving, without giving into financial stress. You don’t need to buy something expensive to give a great gift. In fact, you don’t need to buy anything at all. Homemade presents like baked goods, jams, cards, and soaps speak volumes about your effort. Take a moment be mindful about what you like to give, what you’re good at, and what you enjoy creating. Are you a baker or a crafts person, or do you like to entertain? Giving a gift from the heart that you truly enjoy giving will work wonders for your soul, and prevent the stress of over-spending at the same time!
3. During this rush-rush time of year it’s easy to forget the reason for the season. When you stay mindful of why you are celebrating the holidays in the first place, you’ll enjoy more peace and less stress. Learn to sit and enjoy the true meaning of the season and teach your family to do the same. This is a time that you need to slow down and take stock of what is really important- not the decorations or clothes, or gifts that everyone will receive. The true meaning is that of life! Be present, embrace it and enjoy yours!
4. As we’re reminded every time we get on an airplane, “put the mask on yourself first.” For many of us (parents especially!), our instinct is to take care of others first. But if you don’t put gas in your tank, you won’t have anything to give. So as you’re giving of yourself this holiday season, make sure to be mindful of giving to yourself as well! Don’t let your tank get empty! Ask yourself what it is that you need, whether it’s treating yourself to a massage, or simply allowing yourself to take a mid-day nap, even though there are “more important” things to do.
5. Look for ways to simplify your life, not only during the holidays but afterwards as well. Be mindful of your holiday patterns such as gift giving, card sending, party going and any other traditions or rituals you may have. Look for ways to simplify the season, without sacrificing what’s most important to you. Be open to looking at all aspects of your life, and see what else you can simplify as well. Let go of anything that is no longer important or meaningful, and you’ll have more time to enjoy what you truly love!
Being a mindful mama means taking time each day to stop and to be present with yourself and life, just as it is. It means practicing “being” instead of doing, and making conscious decisions in all that you during the holidays, and beyond. By choosing to be a mindful mama, you are able to say no to stress, and yes to being present, which truly is the best “present” of all!
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Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Enjoying Busy Times Moment by Moment Amy at Peace 4 Parents offers a handful of simple pointers to make the most of any busy season in your life.
- Staying A Mindful Mama During The Holiday Season Terri at Eco-Crazy Mom shares her thoughts on being a mindful mama, while keeping your sanity throughout the holiday season.
- Holiday Parenting: The Gift of Natural Play Moorea at MamaLady shares her holiday plan for mindfully spending time with children in her extended family.
- The ABC’s of Mindful Parenting Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama provides a comprehensive list of Mindful Parenting Resultions for 2012. In addition, she briefly reviews her mindful parenting journey for this past year.
- The 123′s of Mindful Parenting Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares part 3 of her Mindful Parenting series (Link will be live tomorrow, Dec 14).
- Mindful Mama Guest Post from Hybrid Rasta Mama Zoie at TouchstoneZ is honored to share Part 2 of Jennifer’s series on staying Mindful for the Holidays.
- Saying No to Plastic Toys Nada at minimomist and her husband Michael, have certain rules when it comes to toys for their daughter Naomi. Here’s how they deal with well-meaning gifts that don’t quite work for their family.
- Can you LOVE WHAT IS at Christmas? with so many expectations and no many people’s needs to accomodate, Patti at Jazzy Mama has decided to simply accept what can’t be changed and love whatever happens.
- Minimal Temptation, Minimal Gifting Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares how not exposing herself to tempting purchases, as well as having fun family traditions, helps keep her Christmas list under control.
- Choice And Consequence In Conscious Mindfulness Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares her realisation that consciously monitoring our thoughts have a powerful effect on our lives, regardless of circumstances or influences.
- A Light in the Darkness Sylvia at MaMammalia writes about overcoming holiday blues through the miracle of motherhood.
- Nature-Inspired Christmas Tree Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling describes how she and her children discovered the beauty and simplicity of a nature-inspired holiday tree.
- Giving The Gift of Life Free Range Mama at My Healthy Green Family shares about teaching children how to look beyond the well-wrapped box and learn how to give. .
- Can a collection of moments be more than the whole? Tat at Mum in search asks how do you turn a holiday from hell into a series of beautiful moments?
- Flying Through the Holidays Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction discusses how a simple organizational plan has kept her holidays balanced.
- Celebrating Advent week to week Lauren at Hobo Mama finds that counting down weeks instead of days helps children with the long wait.
- 5 Ways to Stay Mindful This Holiday Season Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares ideas and photos that help her stay mindful throughout the holidays.
- Simplifying the Holidays Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares how simplifying the holidays has made them more special for her.
- Mindfully Managing the Mania Erica at ChildOrganics fights against “the gimmes” and shares strategies for staying balanced during a time of year when it’s easy to overindulge.
- Six Ways to Enjoy the Holidays Without Losing Your Mindfulness Rachael at The Variegated Life shares tips on thinking less, planning less, doing less, and remembering.
- The Gift of Presence Darcel at The Mahogany Way explains how important it is to be present for and with her family during the Holidays.
- Mindfully meditating on celebrations Dionna at Code Name: Mama hosts this guest post from Child of the Nature Isle about desiring meaningful celebrations for the whole year.
- What Does It Really Mean? Staying Mindful Through the Holiday Season Kelly at Becoming Crunchy talks about how she stays in touch with what the holiday season means for her and her family, in spite of all the temptations to do otherwise!
Do you get stressed out during the holidays? What do you do to stay mindful so you can enjoy this special time of year? Please share your thoughts!Terri
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