Greetings! This holiday season, I invite you to think about what truly makes sense for you and your family. Follow these suggestions, and give yourself permission to enjoy yourself. You deserve it.

1) Thou shalt NOT over-schedule. It’s time to get real – as in “really real” – about what you and your family can manage this holiday season. Over-scheduling is usually a self-imposed attempt to people-please, or a misguided attempt at looking at your calendar honestly. Not sure where to start? Look at your plans through the lens of what you wish you’d done differently last year! Did you over-extend your family? Did you enjoy yourself? (Who me, you say? Yes, I’m talking to you!)

2) Do unto yourself as you would do … unto others? Yes, you read that correctly. I know, I know…you’re too busy to look after yourself. Really? Why is it that we put ourselves at the bottom of the list? Think about this for a moment. If you have nothing to give, you’re no good to anyone. Period. Why is it that we’re told to put our own oxygen masks on, before tending to our children? You guessed it. We’re useless to our families if we’re asleep behind the wheel. Get together with a girlfriend for coffee. Take a nap, or a bubble bath. Do something every day for yourself, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Even better, while you’re having that bubble bath, acknowledge yourself for all you do! Can’t pull off any of the above? Time to make changes at home (email me!).

Related: Instant Stress Relief for Moms!

3) Lose the “gotta-do-it-all-guilt.” We are women, not super-heroes! Don’t let good-enough be the opposite of perfect. Instead of cooking for out-of-town family, order Chinese. Use 30-minutes of the 6 hours you saved, and make a super-fun and easy dessert with your kids (like Chocolate Wafer Icebox Stacks – delicious). Planning for your annual holiday bake-a-thon? Ditch that puppy. Make short bread with your kids and feature them on a tray of awesome goodies from your local bakery. (I won’t tell if you won’t!) I’m a “gotta-do-it-all-guilt” survivor, and it just isn’t worth it to bury yourself – just so you can say you did. When push comes to shove, it all boils down to our egos. Ten years from now, will it really matter if we served a 6-course meal? Nope. It’s not too late to get real ladies. Just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

4) Gauge your stress, and do something about it – or wish you had! I use the “Incredible 5-pt Scale” with many of my clients, and I use it all the time myself. Nothing will serve you more than building your self-awareness. Here’s how it works. Check in with yourself a few times every day to see how you’re feeling. Are you:

Sister, your goal is to remain at a 2. Here’s how it works. Over a couple of days of checking-in you’ll begin to understand how your mind/body feels at each level. Take action when you’re at a “3” and do something proactive to get yourself back to a “2.” Said differently, if you go from a “2” to a “3” without advocating on your own behalf, you’ll be on your way to a “4” in no-time flat. By then, the train will have left the station, if you get my drift. What to do when you’re at a “3” you ask? Stretch or do some yoga poses (my go-to), do some deep breathing, or step outside for a short walk. Can’t leave the house? Take a break in the ladies’ room, or put your headphones on and listen to something soothing.

I hope these suggestions prevent you from falling into the “gotta-do-it-all” trap that we can so easily fall prey to. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season! Questions or comments? I’d love to hear them.

All the best from my heart, to yours.

Sue

P.S. If you’re interested in a free 45-minute “ASD relationship-rescue” coaching session, email me at equinox@bell.net, call me at 705-875-4605 or send me a message here. In this session we’ll identify your relationship goals, understand your challenges and establish a path toward building a genuine, reciprocal and meaningful relationship with your ASD child.

Want to learn more about Relationship Development Intervention? Go here.

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