Thanksgiving is over, phew! Now you can relax... for precisely one day before you
chaotically plan for enjoy the next big holiday month. For many of us, the end of November to the beginning of January is a time of celebrations coupled with a to-do list that would make anyone weary, but especially if you're pregnant during the holiday season. Wouldn't it be great if you could make the season simpler and still enjoy it to the fullest? Good news: you can, and pregnancy is a great time to start.
By now you've probably heard about, read about, or even began the practice of minimalistic living -- consuming/buying/acquiring less in order to live and enjoy more. By applying a few basic principles of minimalism to your holiday season, you can start doing and buying less during a time when the season and your body asks you to take on so much more. It can be hard to change up your routine during the holiday season, even though it may mean you have less to do, but the benefits are too good not to try it out! We've prepared a few simple tips to help you get started.
Buy less. Gift giving is fun, but it can be stressful. It can strain you physically, mentally, and financially. Decide in advance what you are able and would like to give and to whom. Maybe focus only on children this year. Maybe adults get together for a dinner as a gift to each other, instead of shopping for material things. Or maybe, it's a change from tangible gifts to gift cards. People always appreciate money to spend on things they really want. If your gift-giving habits deviate from previous years, it's ok. You can explain your shift to others if you life, letting them know that you're simplifying your holiday season this year, or you can just make a change without saying a word -- you don't owe anyone a reason for your gifts or lack thereof.
Plan, prepare, and make lists. The more you can do to organize and make your holiday season more efficient, the less likely you'll run into a constant state of rushing and last-minuteness. Use your phone to make lists, set reminders, and update your calendar. When you plan, consider the time you'll need for shopping, wrapping, meal prepping, holiday cards (if that's part of your tradition), house cleaning (if you're hosting an event), and other tidbits that you enjoy during the season.
Delegate. There is always something on your list that can be handed off. Involve your partner, a friend, your family, or hire a personal assistant for help. You're already doing twice the work this year, what with growing a new human and all, so get the support you need and don't think twice about it.
Relish in the little things you actually enjoy. Do you gift wrap better than Martha Stewart? Are you an expert at finding just the right gift? Do you bake the world's best cookies? Enjoy the little things that bring as much joy to you as they do to your recipients.
Ask for help. If you're in charge of hosting friends and family for a gathering, ASK FOR HELP. Whether pregnant or not, planning a big social function is a lot of work to do alone. Whether you involve those closest to you or hire out help (think cleaning service, catering, purchasing store-bought pies from your favorite bakery, etc.), save yourself time and effort by asking for help and delegating tasks.
Change up the tradition. Do you usually host a party for 40 of your closest friends every year in December? Go out for dinner this year instead! Or, suggest attending a holiday concert or botanical gardens outing together.
Be an attendee instead of host. Take a rain check on hosting the festivities this year -- let others invite you. You may miss being the host (or not), but you'll be thankful for the break.
Mindful Time Out
Schedule time for you. Be proactive and intentional about scheduling downtime. Whether it's a nap, time to read your favorite magazine, or a weekly prenatal exercise class, it's important to make time just for you.
Volunteer. If your energy permits, find ways to actively give back to others less fortunate this season. Doing so is a good way to remind yourself of what's most important during the season. If you want to give back but your energy is tanked, make monetary donations instead.
Choose stress-busting activities. Yoga, meditation, exercise, time spent with a good friend, reading, hobbies like knitting or crafting, and coloring/painting are just a few of the many ways you can engage in non-holiday related, stress-reducing activities.
TagsPregnancy Holidays Holiday Gatherings During Pregnancy Holiday Stress Stress During Pregnancy Minimalist Holidays