The holidays are a very busy time of year. We are overbooked, overextended and out of balance. What should be filled with magic and fun becomes a time of stress and chaos. But it doesn’t have to be that way! I’ve finally discovered the secret to holiday survival for mompreneurs and bloggers.
The holidays are a very busy time of year.
There are parties to attend, family gatherings to prepare for, presents to buy, community and religious events to attend all on top of the craziness of everyday life. I don’t know about you-but for some reason, I always take on too much and decide that it’s a great time to try my hand at becoming the next Martha Stewart.
I don’t know why. I blame Pinterest.
But every year, I think I’m going to be able to make fabulous party dishes and holiday gifts and still find time for myself, work, and family. Of course, this never happens. The end result is always the same–me, rushing around to a million stores (stressed out and crazy) at the last minute trying to salvage the holidays after my annual attempt at becoming the next Martha Stewart has once again failed.
However, this year-something finally clicked and I realized—I am NOT Martha Stewart, but I am ShanaLou Sutton and I think I’ve finally figured out the Secret to Holiday Survival for mompreneurs and bloggers!
What is the elusive Secret to Holiday Survival for mompreneurs and bloggers?
That’s a good question. It’s about figuring out what is truly important to you this time of year—not necessarily the whole year—JUST this time of year. It’s about creating balance between those focus areas and the rest of your life. It’s about managing expectations-not just from work, community, and family, but also…yourself!
Step 1: Make a list of 5 Focus Areas
First, you need to prioritize your areas of focus for the holiday. Make a list of 5 areas that are important to you. This should be a combination of the various parts of your life that demand your attention-ex: work, family, community, and self. (Don’t forget yourself!)
Make it specific. This is your chance to find focus!
This is your opportunity to look deep within and think about what brings you the most joy, especially this time of year. Those are things you want to focus on!
Don’t list all your community volunteer activities. Be strategic.
Be strategic in your focus so you have room to say No and not be overwhelmed. Click To Tweet
Step 2: Don’t take on anything too big!
This is not the time to take on big, scary, time-consuming projects. You don’t want to embark on activities that will add stress to an already chaotic season. Now is not the time for a blog redesign, or a large product launch, or anything that will bring disarray and chaos to your life. (Now if you’re hiring someone to do the heavy lifting, that’s another story—but still…Keep life simple, DON’T ADD STRESS. You get the idea.)
Step 3: Shortcuts are your new BFF!
I have a very bad habit of always doing something the hard way. If there’s an easy way—I’ll ignore it and choose the tricky way and then get stressed out. Here’s a little story: Last year, one of the moms at my daughter’s nursery school brought in the cutest cupcakes ever! They looked like she had bought them at a fancy cupcake boutique. They were decorated with googley eyes and happy faces and cute accessories.
“Where did you get these? Did you make them?” I asked.
“Sort of. I bought some cupcakes at Publix and then used a decorating kit. It wasn’t too hard,” she replied.
Woahh! I was speechless. This was pure brilliance. What a time saver! Silly me would’ve hobbled together some sad little cupcakes that then would’ve looked even sadder with my awful homemade decorations. But this mom was a GENIUS! She didn’t fool with baking 25 cupcakes. She left it to the professionals and just did the fun part—the decorations!
And that’s when the beauty of shortcuts really started to sink in!
Whether it’s baking or crafting or blogging or even hairstyles and beauty—there is always a shorter, quicker, more efficient way to do something. And when time is limited, like it is in the holiday season, shortcuts should be your new BFF!
Look at your list of Focus Items. If slaving away baking does not fall into any of those categories—then head to your local bakery and buy something. And if spending more creative time with your kids IS on the list—then, be a GENIUS MOM. Buy the pre-made cupcakes and spend a fun afternoon with your kids decorating them.
Same thing goes for crafts—if you want to do something crafty to decorate your house, opt for a simple holiday craft kit from Michaels or Target. Often times these kits come with sticky backs so they’re not that messy and you don’t have to spend time buying lots of supplies—it’s all in a kit!
Bonus tip—Although I LOVE glitter, my husband does not. So sometimes I’ll buy the glitter glue tubes because you can wipe the table clean without having to get out the vacuum cleaner (and vacuum the whole house).Shortcuts are your new holiday BFF! They will save time, energy, and help u stay sane. Click To Tweet
Step 4: Be realistic in your expectations.
The beauty of listing out your Five Focus Areas (in Step1) is that it will help you prioritize your efforts and serve as a reminder for what you NEED to be focusing on.
It’s so easy to get distracted or pulled in a million directions, but by remembering your list, you can more easily reel yourself back in. For example, you may be working on something that’s on your focus list but then realize it’s becoming a bigger endeavor than you realized. You can take a step back. Look at what else is on your Focus list and adjust accordingly. It will help you maintain balance between your focus areas.Manage your own expectations so you can stay stress-free and enjoy the magic of the holidays. Click To Tweet
Step 5: Take time for you and reward yourself!
As moms, taking care of ourselves is always the first thing to fall off ye old To Do List. But if we’re not functioning, the whole ship will go down.
We have to remember to take time for self-care. I know this is easier said than done.
Someone recently gave me great advice—moms need and deserve rewards! So every time we do something for ourselves, we need to reward ourselves. My favorite list of rewards is: mani/pedi’s, a massage, or even a guilt free Starbucks (calories don’t count if it’s a reward!).
The holidays are wondrous and magical time of year. Take back the joy of the season by focusing on what’s important and rewarding yourself. The renewed balance will help you to to more fully enjoy the moments and memories as you’re making them.
Cheers to a healthy and happy holiday season!