I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with the month of December. I love the magic -- I hate the crowds. I love the lights and decorations -- I hate the clutter and the mess. I love seeing all my friends and family -- I hate being out of the house every weeknight and all weekend. I love baking with my kids -- I hate the calories that go along with it.
You get the idea.
My entire life and purpose (aside from raising two awesome kids) is to motivate and inspire people to move their bodies. To help plan how to integrate exercise into their lives. To become role models for their kids. But even I find December to be a tricky, tricky month. December is the month when I live in a state of complete overwhelm.
All day long I support and encourage others to make time for fitness, to think about and make healthy choices at holiday parties, to exercise to release stress, when all I want to do at the end of the day is put on my fuzzy pyjamas, wrap myself up in my Christmas blanket and lay on the couch drinking wine and eating peanut butter balls.
The real issue? It seems that in the month of December my responsibilities and duties in the various roles I play in this world multiply tenfold. Demands as a mother (at least in my world and albeit self-imposed) are huge: baking, decorating, Christmas concerts, Christmas costumes for aforementioned Christmas concert, the damn Elf on a Shelf, be happy, be joyful, create memories, etc. Demands as a business owner are also huge: year-end parties, marketing, Christmas promos, planning for the new year, taking time with clients, gift giving, spread cheer, strategic plan, etc. Then we have the wife, friend, auntie, cousin, chauffeur, chef, cleaner, online sales consultant, social media whiz, world-domination planner, elf, Santa and reindeer duties and there you have the complete Christmas gift of overwhelm.
No amount of Michael Buble has helped yet. Though I keep trying. And hey, I also have a partner in this life and he does A LOT, so I know I'm lucky there. But...
Instead of sugar plums dancing in my head at night, I have miles and miles of to-do lists curling their way around me and tripping me up. I lay in bed at night and think about everything I didn't accomplish that day and the even larger list of tasks I need to tackle tomorrow.
December is the month when I experience the most stress to live up to everyone's expectations. Be a good Mom. Be an amazing business owner. Be at every event. Continue to grow your empire. Don't forget anything. Be yourself...but better...tenfold. And, I promise you that I've read the articles and blogs about slowing down, taking moments, enjoying the ride, planning and being in the moment. Oh, I have read them.
So, here's the plan I have promised to stick to this December to see if I can take the moments back that keep slipping away from me:
- Every morning I will write in my gratitude journal.
- Every morning I will have a two-minute dance party to Christmas music with my kids before breakfast.
- I will be active every single day and four of those days will include 30 minutes of dedicated exercise time.
- When I am baking or doing anything Christmassy, I will turn my phone to airplane mode (I cannot turn it off, I need to take pictures!!).
- I will admit that I cannot do it all and that what I am doing is enough. I will cherish the smiles that I capture during my Christmas time and speak OUT LOUD, "I am enough".
- Finally, I won't concern myself with calories linked to wine, Christmas baking or any guilty pleasures as long as I have completed my physical activity for the day.
So December, bring it. I have a plan that I am sticking to.
And you, my overwhelmed Mama, you're not alone. I hope you join me in acknowledging all you do. I hope you find a way to appreciate all of the amazing tasks you complete in your day, even if you didn't touch your to-do list. I hope that you are able to slow down and dance.
Oh, and I hope you move your body.
(I had to say that, it's what I do.)
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