How to Stay Sane During the Holidays

Family. Cooking. Baking. Shopping. Santa. Entertaining. Traveling. Working. Mommin' 24/7.... How’s your stress level right now, Mama? We all know deep down in our hearts that there is so much beauty in the festivities and holiday season, but let’s be honest, it is also a time that brings out high stress, anxiety and overwhelm - financially, physically, and mentally.

So what's a mama to do that's feeling all the feels when it comes to anxiety and stress? Stop and breathe. No, really…you've already invested in a little quiet time for yourself by reading this so close your eyes and take ten deep breaths in and out.......Seriously, stop reading this and do it. Now :)

Okay, how did that feel to pause, just for a second, and take care of yourself a little bit? Yes, even just committing to a moment where you take 10 deep breaths is self-care.

Motherhood is stressful and tough, but so are you.

Remember to pause amongst the chaos and breathe.

Unplug. Be present. Remember to enjoy the real moments, undocumented.

Exercise. Even if it's just committing to go on a quick 10 minute walk.

Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Rest; get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. (Get off that iPhone!)

You are doing a great job. You are an incredible mother.

You are are enough. You've done enough. Your holidays will be magical.

We wouldn't be FIT4MOM if we didn't remind you to mentally and physically take care of yourself. So after you've done your breathing exercises and read that little mantra above a couple times through (screen shot it and save it!), here are 3 effective, simple, and quick moves to help you regain a sense of self and sanity from Farel, our Global Fitness Director. Incorporate each move below into your day to help regain some energy and serenity this holiday season.

1. Reverse Lunge with Overhead Reach

Step back into a lunge and, while keeping your spine in neutral, reach both arms overhead. Repeat on the opposite side. The energy created by your larger muscle groups can charge up your entire body, while the opening of your chest and belly will help realign your posture. Begin with 12 on each leg and repeat 2-3 times.

2. Plank with Forward Reach

Find a surface like a kitchen counter, a bench at a park or even the ground and get into plank position (either on your hands or elbows and either feet or knees) Line up your hand or elbows underneath your shoulder joints and keep your head in alignment with your spine. Slowly alternate reaching your arms in front of you, pulling your shoulder blades towards your spine. As you draw your belly button away from the ground, feel your entire trunk engage to create a cylindrical stability around your spine. Remember to breathe. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then take a break, repeat 3-5 times

3. Wall Sit with Shoulder Press

Find a stable surface to get into a wall sit (please test that it is strong enough before beginning this exercise) and lean onto it (as if there was a chair you were sitting on). Find the depth that works for you in the moment. Add in the shoulder press by pressing your shoulder blades into the surface you are leaning against. The great lower body strength gained in the wall sit aides in moving you through your beautifully chaotic life while, the strength in your upper back helps to keep your spine aligned. Start with 12-15 reps, 2-3 times and finish with a constant press (isometric hold) for 10-15 seconds.

While November and December are definitely two months filled with giving, being selfless, and pouring love and energy onto others, all of that must come from a filled cup. So those 3 simple workout moves are perfect for you to de-stress, unplug, and decompress this week post-Hanukkah and pre-Christmas.

Yes, there are so many things on your to-do list this time of year, and while adding workouts to that already full checklist may seem overwhelming, give yourself just 5-10 minutes to give them a try; we can almost guarantee you will notice how a little movement within your day can improve your energy level and your sanity.

Make YOU a priority this week, Mama, and you may just find a little extra oomph in your step, a smile shining a little brighter, and a little more peace throughout your day.

Looking for more quick + efficient workouts?

Try these moves that are perfect for prenatal or postpartum mamas here.