If you're like me, the month of December has been an absolute whirlwind of Christmas programs, cookie exchanges, shopping, parties, wrapping gifts, Amazon packages, sleep-deprivation, school parties, teacher gifts, hyper kids with too much sugar, work demands, crazy mornings getting kids out the door, stressed husbands, and more.
You're coming down from the holiday high and it's not just your wacky blood sugar from too many chocolate peanut butter buckeyes, sweets, and drinks. You're feeling low. You're unsure of how to transition to the next month or year for that matter. 2020 is on the horizon, and entering a new year can feel intimidating.
This week, your phone isn't sending you hundreds of notifications and you're not hearing simultaneous chimes and dings. Your to-do list is much shorter (thankfully). Your calendar is clear. Your money is spent and you're thinking, what's next?
Besides sibling rivalry on winter break, your heart feels still. Your home is too. You're thinking about packing up your Christmas decor and your beautiful tree. But you're not ready to take down the lights and look at the bare walls just yet.
Then comes ... those dreadful post-Holiday blues. They come upon you in an instant and you're thinking, where in the world did the time go? How is Christmas over?
Well, I'm certainly not a doctor, psychiatrist or expert, but I am a mom juggling 4 strong-willed kids, marriage, passions, occasional work, and finding my way too in 2020. I don't have it figured out, but I'm attempting to implement a few practical ways on winter break and I hope they'll be helpful for you, too.
1. Give yourself grace. You've just been steaming along at full, maximum speed. The train is slowing down and ready for a complete stop. Allow it to do so. You can't go full speed forever. Embrace this time of rest and slowness. Don't despise it. Your body will thank you later. Your kids and husband might too!
2. Pursue your passions. This holiday break is a perfect time to attempt doing what you enjoy. If you're traveling to see family, escape for a few hours to a local coffee shop for some "me time". Prioritize exercise. Create something from scratch. Begin dreaming for 2020 and setting realistic goals. Remember and reflect on those things that make you come alive (that don't always involve being mama). Do what you love and serve others.
3. Reach out to your tribe. Chances are good, your inner circle needs your encouragement and support just like you need them. Bring in the new year with them. Tell them your anxieties, hopes, and dreams for the new year. Be vulnerable and let them be a part of your life- the good and the struggling parts. Everyone needs real.
4. Give your body time to adjust emotionally and physically. It's crazy how a good night's sleep, exercise, and relationships can do wonders for you. Eat satisfying/nutritious foods, watch your Vitamin D/sunshine intake, take walks in nature, focus on your relationship with your spouse, take time for yourself, and more. Seek counseling if needed. Take it one day at a time. Give yourself time to get adjusted to your new normal after the high of the holidays.
Most of all, know you're not alone as you process all these changes and different emotions. I'm sure many other mamas are feeling it too.
You've got this, mama. Happy 2020!
Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mama to two boys and two girls. She is the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View from Home, TODAY Parenting, KirkCameron.com, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.