Ever wonder how other moms make it through the holidays seemingly unscathed? They always look completely put together, they work full-time, and there are multiple kids afoot?  Personally, we can all put up the “fake it till we make it” face.  We may not be or feel put together, but, we know how to act it.  Although, my good friends can see through my “happy face.”  The truth of the matter is we all need to learn how to de-stress from the holidays, just so we can enjoy life.  Giving the gift of time, energy and love towards friends and family is far more valuable than how many things you get for holidays.  Ask for less, and enjoy the process.

The following are examples of how our family is going to de-stress from the holidays.

When in doubt, cut it.   Avoid overbooking yourself at all costs.  One during the week commitment is more than enough.  One weekend commitment is plenty as well!  Social engagements can be exciting but time spent with people you love, you can’t get back.

Make a decision to not be perfect.  This has drastically improved my ability to function during the holidays.  New Years Eve cards work just as well as Christmas cards and it gives you a week longer to get them done.   Email cards can be equally creative and enjoyable for family members to read.

Get outside.  Instead of using the TV as a rest, simply take a walk.  It’s much more enjoyable and you can reap the exercise benefits as well.  Just 30 minutes a day of just walking has been shown to be extremely effective in benefiting your health.

Learn how to donate, give away and re-gift used toys.  Be thankful for the things you have, and learn to live with less.  Children (at least mine) very rarely reuse toys.  They are much more creative and love to make up their own games- so gifts that encourage creativity and communication are much more valuable to them.

Have a leftover party.  Bring gifts, food, and wines that were used during the actual holiday and share them.  What better way to spend an evening than with friends and family.

Stop.  Take a minute and breathe in and out.  Think about lowering your stress level by engaging your brain in breath (see more on yogic breathing here.) Yoga, in combination, with some simple yoga breathing can be highly beneficial in reducing stress and elevating moods.   By simply, engaging yourself in 2-3 poses a day with your kids, can change your stress level and by involving your kids,  and have more fun.  Our favorites are Down Dog, Legs Up the Wall, and Turtle on a Rock.  Leah Kalish has written some wonderful books and videos for kids and yoga.