5 Ways to Take Time Out for Yourself During The Holidays

5 Ways Take Time Out for Yourself During The Holidays - NewMamaDiaries.comThe holiday season has been upon us for a few weeks now and its so easy to get caught up in it.  To me and my family, it’s the best time of the year and the presents have nothing to do with it.  We love spending time together, sharing, and just enjoying the season.  One of our favorite things to do is eat and shop during the season.  My mom and I are the big bakers in the family, so we take full advantage and bake up holiday goodies all season long.  Up until I had my son, I worked full-time and had to balance out all of my seasonal activities with work. 

Despite the long hours on the road travelling back down south, I’d still come home and bake up a storm with my mom.  Still go shopping and run errands with my husband, and go visit his family a little further down the road from my mom’s house.  I would use this time of the year to play ‘catch-up’ and try to get everything done in the two or three weeks that I have off during the holidays.

The thing is that I’d come off the holidays feeling more tired and no more refreshed than before the break.  How is this possible you may ask?  It totally is possible, by not taking time out for yourself during this busy season.  You can be pulled in so many different directions and not want to say no, because people expect you to want to do all these things and more this time of the year.  Learning this lesson hasn’t come easy, and I still struggle with it, but this year I’m following a few guidelines to ensure I take time out for myself.

Here are 5 simple ways you can take time for yourself during the holiday season:

Pampering yourself.  This is the most important one in my opinion and it doesn’t necessarily involve going to a spa.  (Maybe you’ll get a gift certificate to one for Christmas.)  Take a bubble bath, go get a mani/pedi or if you’re like me paint your nails yourself.  The time that you spend doing these things allows you to zone out and think about yourself.  You will find that you are more refreshed after just a few minutes of doing something solely for you.  When you take care of yourself, you can take care of those around even better.

Sleep In.  Whether you are a SAHM or work full-time outside the home, take a day to sleep in.  Of course this is within reason in accordance to your lifestyle.  If you work full-time outside the home, sleep in a little later on Saturday or Sunday.  Get up at 10 instead of at 8. If you are a SAHM, your on the clock 24/7, there’s no doubt about it.  However, you have to pass some of the bulk off to your spouse and get rest.  Have your husband get up with the kids on the weekend, while you catch a few more zZzZ’s.  A little bit more sleep goes a long way!

Taking everyday one day at a time.  The season is busy and it doesn’t really tapper off until about February or March, so keep a balance.  If you have a to-do list and don’t get everything on it done that day, its okay!  There’s always tomorrow, and even if you don’t get it done tomorrow, sometimes that means that you were never supposed to do it in the first place.

Say “No”.  Don’t feel guilty about this one.  People have absolutely no problem asking you for things, but never take the time out to consider what toll it may take on you.  Also, remember that while you’re saying “yes” to everyone, they most likely won’t hesitate to say no to you. 

Let others do something for you, that you usually do yourself. – This can be something as small as having someone fix you a cup of tea or taking your car to fill it up with a tank of gas.  These are small things that you can ask people to do, to give yourself a few more minutes to yourself.

The holidays are fun, and are about sharing and caring, but they are also about getting rest.  Do at least that for yourself, allot some time for R&R.  Your holiday season will be that much better and you won’t come off it feeling worst than you felt before it.

Happy Holidays!


Decreasing clutter in your home…and in your life and staying organized

Decreasing Clutter & Staying Organized | NewMamaDiaries.com

Decreasing clutter in your home…and in your life and staying organized

Time – spend about 10 minutes twice a day, ideally after breakfast and dinner to do a sweep of things that may be out of place.  Just spending a few minutes a couple times a day helps you stay in a routine and prevents things from piling up and getting out of place.

Sorting – When it comes to sorting,  group similar items. Purge to reduce the quantity. Keep only what you really use and love, and get rid of the rest. Assign a home for items. Decide on a shelf, drawer, bin, or section of the closet for each category.  separate items with containers or dividers. Equalize and maintain the system. Think of this as setting up for the next use, so it’s there when you need it.

Prep – Don’t wait until the morning or day of, do some a previous-night prep work. This includes preparing lunches, backpacks, diaper bags, and even showering the night before.  Anything to give yourself some extra time in the morning or throughout the next day.  Sit things by the door, ensure you have your keys located, by either hanging them on a hook or having them in your handbag or briefcase.  Pick out your outfit, even down to accessories and shoes, and iron the night before.  This will save tons of time in the morning.

Technology – utilize your phone or tablet to keep you organized.  There are a tons of (free) apps you can download to help you do this.  Visit the App Store or Google Play and do a search.  Most phones comes with a calendar and notes or to-do list app pre-loaded.  - I have an iPhone and iPad so I oftentimes use the calendar, which is synced up to my Google Calendar to keep track of appointments and other important dates.  I also have a few grocery list apps, such a Grocery IQ, I’ve downloaded to let my keep track of what I need in my frig and pantry.

Write it down – Doing things electronically doesn’t work for everyone, and even for those of us who it does work well for, its still good to write things down.  Writing something down helps you to retain it, because there is an active thought process going on while writing.  We tend to think and brainstorm more when we have a pen or pencil in our hand and some paper.  This is an even better idea for kids, since most of them aren’t going to be using tablets and phones to stay organized.

Designate – Have particular days throughout the week in which you do certain tasks on.  Again this helps with routine and ensuring that things get done.  I like to do laundry on either Saturday morning or throughout the day on Sundays.  I rarely do laundry on a weekday, because between work, getting dinner cooked, and trying to decompress for the day, I don’t like to overload my plate in the evenings.  If you are fortunate enough to be home during the day on a weekdays, then you can designate whichever day works for your schedule and lifestyle.  The main thing is to try to stick to doing a particular task on a particular day as much as possible.

There are many different ways to stay organized and declutter, so don’t put yourself into a box when it comes to doing so.  Do what works for you and your family, if it doesn’t change it.  Try something new, because just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it will for you.  That’s the fun of making the rules yourself, you can switch it up when need be.

Hope these tips were helpful!