Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Keeping Your Sanity

I'm sure you all are thinking about Christmas shopping, planning menus for holiday get togethers, decluttering and cleaning every corner of the house for when company arrives, trying to figure out what to buy everyone, or maybe you are just trying to keep your sanity as a busy mom! Well, I know I'm working on all of the above! And boy does it get a little hectic in my head.... Just gets hard to keep it all sorted. On top of all that, I've got a monster living in my laundry room, dirty dishes keep appearing in the sink and my kitchen floors seem as if Hansel and Gretel got lost in there!! ;).
I know I'm not the only one with this problem (don't leave me hangin' here ladies!).

We have all faced days and seasons of our lives with problems like this. But the hardest part isn't getting laundry done, or the floors scrubbed, or  the Christmas menu planned or even having all your gifts wrapped 2 weeks before Christmas. This stuff is all easy! The hardest part of it all is keeping our 'cool'. Especially with little ones around, it can be pretty hard to deal with all the pressure that we feel, especially this time of year.
So what do we do? Well, I've come up with a list of some things that I have found helpful during times like this.

1. Focus - when faced with a to do list a mile long, focus on one thing. Don't think about anything else until it is time to. With little ones in the house, the focus might be to comfort a fussy baby for the afternoon. Whatever it may be, don't stress the other stuff.

2. Get a Routine - try to get a basic routine down for the day. It will make things easier when your kids know what to expect. It may be a slow adjustment, so review the routine each morning and make your expectations clear.

3. Take Time for YOU - even if its only 5 minutes, sit down and do something you like. Whether its looking at a cookbook, sipping some tea ( I recommend a cup of chamomile! Very relaxing!), or walking a few laps around your yard! I've done all these during moments of high stress and I always feel refreshed. I've even had the kids go walk with me, burns off some of their energy!

4. Keep it SIMPLE - when you're making your menu plan. Make foods that can be prepped  a day or two a head of time. Make simple foods, don't pick recipes with a lot of steps. (Stayed tuned for my simple holiday menu).

5. Make it homemade - I have always found it more stressful trying to figure out what to "buy" for everyone. I'm never sure if they will like it, or even use it. And its always more expensive to buy everyone a gift and that gets stressful on the wallet! So try making homemade gifts. I will be sharing many more homemade gift ideas along with this sugar scrub recipe.

6. Keep Energized - its easy to endulge in all of the sweet treats and comfort foods at this time of year, only to feel guilty about it later, causing more stress!.. Ugh.. So, try having a Spinach Protein Breakfast Smoothie or a Cranberry Orange Spinach Smoothie. I like to have these for breakfast. It helps me to have a great start to my day!

7. Clean Your Kitchen!! - I have heard it said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, well in my house this is true! The kitchen is my "office". If I didn't have a kitchen, we wouldn't function right! We could do without a dining room or a living room, but the kitchen is much needed. Since it has such a high level of importance, it only makes since that its cleanliness should have just as much importance! I have been making my kitchen my focus in the evenings. After dinner, all food is put away, dishwasher is loaded, counters are scrubbed and floors are swept. It is amazing the difference it makes the next morning! I don't wake up to a mess, breakfast is easily prepared and there's plenty of room at the island for the kids to work on school projects. Now, don't get me wrong, it doesn't always go like this. A close friend of mine and I have an ongoing joke we call M.M.M.- Monday Morning Madness!! We send pics of our super messy kitchen to each other and tease each other on who's is worse!! So don't stress if you don't always have a clean kitchen, there's always tomorrow!

8. Rest - Luke 10 28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

This is ssooo important in any season of life. Take time to have that special, quiet time with Jesus and just rest in Him. This can be done with your little ones gathered around you. Read the Bible aloud as you all snuggle under a cozy blanket.

Keep your holiday (and life) SIMPLE!

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