As the holiday festivities pick up, many moms feel overwhelmed. There’s one gift that is literally priceless and will be the best gift for yourself and your family.
It is the gift of REST!
I know this is extremely difficult when there is so much demanded of you on top of the pressure you put on yourself. But trust me when I tell you your family will appreciate this more than you could ever imagine.
Though this gift is priceless, there are a few things you can do to optimize rest this holiday season.
Any leader of an organization will tell you that the organization will either stay stagnant or eventually fail if they do not delegate work/tasks. As mama, you are likely the leader of your family unit. You’re the one who knows all the appointments your kids need to get to. You buy all the gifts for everyone from your family, nieces and nephews, your partner’s family, your kids’ teachers, and everyone in between. You set up the holiday photoshoots, send out the cards, plan the Christmas cookies, and set up the meal.
You are THE magic maker this time of year (the real Santa if we’re keepin it real) and it’s time for you to share the magic making and experience it yourself.
- Let go of perfection: I know you’re thinking your partner won’t do things the way you want it but what are things we can let go of in terms of perfection? Do I really care if people’s gifts are wrapped perfectly? No. I also prefer gift bags since people can reuse them which makes things way easier and he can’t really mess that up.
- Communication: What are the expectations this holiday season and how can each member play a role in making the holiday magic? This starts with your partner but can move toward older kids and extended family members.
It’s no secret that sleep is essential for health and during the winter season we actually need more sleep. We’re actually not that different from other mammals like bears where we hibernate when its colder and darker. Of course our culture doesn’t really allow for this but when we get a few days off, take that time to sleep mama!
Here are some tips to optimize sleep:
- Turn off all of your electronics including your phone before bed: If you’re a mama you probably feel anxious turning off your phone just in case something happens. I get it. My son is not old enough to call me yet but I check the baby cam in the middle of the night all the time. So what you can do is get an EMF reducing/blocking phone case. Electromagnetic Frequency is emitted from phones and have been shown to reduce melatonin production. This is one of the reasons why our phones can disrupt sleep. I use Defender Shield phone case to help reduce EMF from mine and my partner’s phones. Beyond this, you can also put your phone on “night mode” to reduce blue light and put it on “do not disturb” so you only receive the urgent calls.
- Nasal strips/mouth tape: Mouth breathing has been shown to disrupt sleep and increase risk of sleep apnea. By using mouth tape you can force yourself to breathe through your nose while you sleep. I also like to use the nasal strips to help optimize my breath through each nostril.
- Wake up and sleep with the sun: This is the one that’s not always realistic in our culture. This is why biohacking exists and I like to use the HATCH alarm clock which will simulate a sunrise for your alarm. It also offers dimmer red lights and bedtime routine to help set you up for sleep. I also have it play beautiful sound bowls so I’m wake up more peaceful and calm. If I have to work after the sun has already set, I will use the Happy light.
- Yoga nidra or yogic sleep: This is one of the most powerful meditations to help guide you into a deep, restful sleep. It has been studied to support people with PTSD, TBIs, severe depression, and insomnia. You can join our Mahan Meditations group on Insight Timer where I recommend my favorite yoga nidra meditations.
3. Non-Sleep Rest (NSR)
NSR is essential and extremely underrated. Often when I ask my patients what they do to relieve stress they will say “sleep.” *facepalm* Sleep is obviously a necessity but non-sleep rest is just as important.
Here are some of my favorite NSR activities
- Epsom salt baths: I love creating a ritual around my bath. I pull tarot cards, light up a soy based candle, and meditate.
- Forest bathing: If you’ve followed me for some time, you know how much I love this one. This is essentially when you immerse yourself in nature basking in the beauty the universe has provided. When we observe nature, we get out of our heads and into the world.
- Meditation/breathwork: I’m going to refer back to the Mahan Meditations group so you can get started on this. But I personally love having my patients start with a one minute breathing exercise. It only takes one minute and we all have one minute to spare! It is crucial to extend the exhale because exhalation activates our parasympathetic nervous system or our “rest and digest” state.
- Inhale for 4 counts
- Exhale for 8 counts
- Repeat 5 more times
Let’s experience the holiday magic WITH our loved ones this year!
Comment below or DM me on Instagram what you’ve done or plan on doing this year from this list!
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