While most of us love the Christmas season, sometimes the activities and things to be done weigh our mama-hearts down. Stress rises, and instead of a joyful season of worshipping Christ, we become frazzled women running to and fro, impatient, and frustrated. How can we take the stress out of the Christmas season?
REST IN THE LORD
Perhaps the greatest stress reliever is to remember the words of Christ Himself. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). For Jesus to give us rest, we must spend time with Him. During the weeks before Christmas, are we truly coming to Him? Are we continuing in our daily time to worship Him through reading His Word and praying? Are we casting our cares on Him? “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). 2.
WRITE IT DOWN
Write down what you will be doing and want to do during the Christmas season. Often stress overwhelms us when our minds are trying to track, manage, remember, and juggle all that needs to be done. Computers crash when they overload their memory, and so do we. When you free up space in your mind by writing it down, there is relief. It is all in a safe place to be retrieved and referred to as needed.
The third thing you can do to relieve holiday stress is to eliminate. Once you have that list, determine if there are activities or duties that are no longer your priority. Just because you have always done it, doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing it.
What Christmas activities draw your heart to Jesus? Which ones share Him with others? Which ones teach your children to love, teach them that it is better to give than to receive, or teach them to worship Him? Have criteria in mind to help you determine what your Christmas time usage priorities should be.
I would rather have a peaceful heart and do half as many Christ-related traditions and activities than to do the full measure of them feeling and acting stressed.
Next take the prioritized list of Christmas activities and duties, and for complex tasks, write out needed steps to accomplish them. Now they are easier to achieve. With your available time, look at the lists and choose what you will tackle during that particular time frame.
You can have the best-prioritized list of Christmas activities, but if you don’t allocate the time to do them, you I will probably feel stressed. Try taking one hour per day in the month of December for Christmas preparations—a specific hour that you know you can consistently be committed to keeping. If you are a homeschool mom, you could shorten your school day by one hour for the month of December. Likely you will be quite pleasantly surprised with the progress you make on things like Christmas cards, online gift shopping, gift wrapping, meal planning, and make-ahead baking in just that one hour.
As you get closer to Christmas, you will know what one hour a day has done for you and increase or decrease the time according to where you are in relation to what remains of your goals.
I doubt that you like to feel stressed, or like the person you become when you are stressed. This Christmas season will you choose to give your family the gift of a stress-free mama?