05 November 2018

Self Care Tips for the Holiday Season

This post was sponsored by Optimum Nutrition as part of an Influencer Activation and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Remember when you were a kid and the holidays were a magical time of the year filled with nothing but joy and happiness?  Then you grew up and realized that the holidays means added stress about gifts, decorating, and fulfilling social obligations.

To be honest, I dreaded Christmas time.  I was trying to make my kids' Christmases perfect every year.  Every single detail had to be perfect from the gifts to the food to the decorating.


Then one year, I just couldn't.  My Etsy shop was at its peak, and I was swamped with orders.  I was working 18 to 20 hours a day, surviving on coffee and little else, and still trying to make it perfect.  

Needless to day, it was not a perfect Christmas.  

We didn't decorate until December 23rd, and we only put up the tree.  The Christmas cookies came from the store.  The gifts were wrapped just hours before they woke up.  And I was so sleep deprived that I barely remembered Christmas day.  

But what I do remember is that all three kids said that it was the best Christmas ever. 

That was seven years ago.  Now I don't stress as much.  

If there is one thing I hope that my readers take away from this post: Self care is so important, especially for mothers or those who care for others.  You can't pour from an empty cup.  Take care of yourself first.  

SELF CARE TIPS DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON


LET YOUR FAMILY HELP


Ladies, repeat after me.  

It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Let your family help you this Christmas.  My kids absolutely love decorating the tree.  

Who cares if only the bottom half of the tree has ornaments and there are four ornaments hanging from one branch?  

When you do get your perfect tree again, you will cry because that means that your kids are tall enough to reach the top or, worse, have moved out.

DON'T DO IT ALL


I didn't have magical Christmases as a child.  When I had David, I promised him that every Christmas would be magical.  I thought we had to make 20 kinds of cookies and decorate the house from top to bottom or it wouldn't be a magical Christmas.  

A happy and magical Christmas doesn't mean you have to do everything.  Pick a few things that make your family happy and do those.  If no one in your family likes freezing outside at the local holiday light display, then don't go. 

IT'S OKAY TO SAY NO



What if I told you that you don't have to attend every holiday party that you're invited to or volunteer to help with every holiday event that you're asked to help with?  

It's very liberating to just say no.  

I do still volunteer, and I do still attend parties with family and friends, but I won't feel guilty if we just can't.  

Don't be afraid of blank squares in your planner.  Leave time to relax and enjoy your family.  

STAY HEALTHY


In the craziness of working, shopping, and decorating, I've been known to let my health habits slip.  I stop working out and don't drink enough water, both of which make me feel sluggish.  Sometimes I barely have time to eat, let alone get a nutritious meal or snack.  

This year, I'm making it a priority to take care of myself through the holidays.  I got stickers to put in my planner with I drink my water and exercise.  The visual reminder will help me stay on track.

I also stocked up on the delicious new ready-to-eat protein snacks from Optimum Nutrition.  They are perfect for snacking on the go, and they are high in protein to help me meet my health goals.  

I get my Optimum Nutrition products at Walmart.  I save money, and I can pick them up during my weekly shopping trip.  

There are so many options to choose from!  There are different flavors of their Protein Almonds, Protein Crisps, and Protein Cake Bites



The Protein Almonds are available in two flavors, Dark Chocolate Truffle and Cinnamon Roll.  Both have twice the protein of regular coated almonds and 1-2 grams of sugar.


I think my favorite are the Cake Bites, available in Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, Chocolate Frosted Donut, and Peanut Butter Chocolate.  They are gluten free and have 20 grams of protein per serving and 2-3 grams of sugar per three cakes.


For a salty snack, I like the Protein Crisps.  They are available in Peanut Butter Crunch and Salted Toffee Pretzel.  They also have 20 grams of protein per bar.  

I'm all about convenience.  I love that they are prepackaged so I can take them with me or have them at home.

I have a box of them in the drawer of my desk at the office.  I can also put them in my bag and take them with me when we go to therapy or the doctor's office.  

MAKE TIME TO RELAX


I don't have time to relax; I make time.  It's important for my mental health that I get time to destress and unwind for a few minutes each day and for a longer time once a week.  

These stress relief bath salts are a great way to relax and unwind.  If I only have a few minutes, I'll put on a homemade face mask and read a book while it dries to relax.



Christmas can be stressful, but there are ways to make it less stressful.  Take the time to care for yourself, ask for help, and remember that your kids will have the best Christmas ever even if you don't get everything on your to do list done.  And keep yourself fueled with Optimum Nutrition products at Walmart.


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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, several chickens, and homing pigeons. She loves Gilmore Girls, coffee, and her kids. Not in that order.