Well, we blinked, and it’s almost the last month of 2023.
This time of year can feel tricky as we ourselves navigate wearing multiple hats of both moms, wives, daughters, sisters, friends, professionals, and small business owners.
The holiday season is often described as the most wonderful time of the year. It's a time for celebration, togetherness, and creating memories with loved ones. ❄️🎄🏼
However, for many of us, this time of year can bring not only joy but also a heavy mental load and a sense of overwhelm. 😓
From planning and organizing to balancing various responsibilities, we often find ourselves juggling SO much this time of year.
Kids can feel this overwhelm, too. We know research shows us that our kids pick up on the mirror neurons we put out there, and when we are stressed…our kids are likely stressed.
During this hectic season, it's crucial for us to prioritize ✨self-compassion.✨ Taking breaks, practicing mindfulness, and finding small moments to slow down can be so rejuvenating.
Here are a few ideas of some sensory regulation strategies we like to use in our home especially when we need a quick reset (for BOTH grown-ups & kids):
- 🧣 Feel something soft. A cozy blanket, a favorite pair of socks, these simple things can often bring a grounding moment with soothing tactile input when we need it.
- 🙌🏽 Push the wall. Ground your center against the wall and give your body a bit of proprioceptive input with some deep joint compression of our wrists, elbows, and shoulders–places we often are holding a lot of stress and tension, as well.
- 🧠 Say something kind to yourself. 🤗 Imagine that your best friend was standing in front of you sharing that they were feeling overwhelmed. What would you say to them? Now say that to yourself! Self-compassion is critical, especially this time of the year.
- ☕️ Try a “hot cocoa” breath. This is a great breathing technique to teach and try with kids. Breathe in for 4 seconds pretending you are smelling a nice warm cup of cocoa, hold for 4 seconds savoring the smell, and breathe out for 4 seconds blowing off the steam of the imaginary cocoa to cool it down for a sip.
- 🥤 Sip cold water or a smoothie through a straw. This combo of a cooling sensation and sipping through a straw makes us automatically breathe more deeply and creates a soothing reaction in our body and brain.
- 💃🏻 Shake it off. When all else fails, we turn up the music, break open some glow sticks, and dance it out in our house! The power of music and dance to reduce stress and anxiety in our bodies has been proven in countless research studies. Plus, it just feels good and is connection building, too!
Remember, you are not alone in your feelings of overwhelm during the holidays. We are right here with you. 🙋🏻♀️🙋🏼♀️
Hoping you find some strategies that resonate with you, and that this holiday season is filled with more present, not perfect, moments with your families and friends.
Until next time,
Abbie & Emily 💗