Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar?
The holidays are approaching fast, with the extra family obligations, school concerts, parties and holiday shopping, you don’t have any time to just stop and breathe.
You are constantly behind the clock trying to get everything done and then the simplest thing goes wrong and you erupt! As the shouting ends and your child looks up at you, you feel it, that sinking terrible feeling, guilt.
Guilt seems to be built into motherhood at some time or another. We put a lot of responsibility on our self to be perfect. When it gets out of hand we feel guilty when we take even a little time for ourselves because we feel as if we are taking away from someone or something that needs our attention.
We feel guilty when we aren’t doing enough, giving enough, being enough. Even though we are busy being employees, entrepreneurs, teachers, housekeepers, nurses, grocery shoppers, taxis, organizers, friends, wives etc. we still feel guilt.
Eventually all that guilt can begin to take a toll.
Your stress levels are higher, your mind is on a toxic thought pattern loop of the endless to do lists and you’re frazzled to the point that you need a vacation from your vacation! Health problems can come to light as well as sleeping issues and what often happens is we get sick during the holidays because it’s our bodies way of saying ‘that’s enough, you’re taking some time for yourself!’
Here are some simple ways to kick guilt to the curb:
Surrender to the fact that you don’t have to get everything done. Let the dishes sit in the sink for a night or the laundry to wait until tomorrow. Ask for help!
Fit in your self-care every day! We are much more productive and happy when we have nurtured our self. A 30 minute walk or a bubble bath while writing in our journal and listening to our favourite music will renew our energy to be a better person.
Watch your self-talk and if it’s not something you would say to someone you love then change it! We must be our own cheerleader so praise yourself instead of beating yourself up and celebrate all the wins, big and small!
Be mindful in the present moment. Spending quality time with your loved ones and with yourself will keep you feeling balanced and fulfilled.
If you are a big worrier hand your worries over to your higher power. What you focus on grows so focus on how grateful you are for what is going well and what you do have and let the rest go!
It is important to remember that we are human and we are allowed to be frustrated, sad, happy, angry, confused, anxious, and the list goes on. Just allow yourself to feel it and let it move through you. We are beautifully imperfect and should not strive for perfection. The truth is that no one is.
When we look back at the scenario above when you lost your temper with your child, the odds are your child will forgive you instantly so cut yourself some slack, forgive yourself and start modeling who you want your child to be.
You can’t change your past but you can change your present and future so focus your energy there.
David Rappo once said, “Guilt is rooted in actions of the past, perpetuated in lack of action in the present and delivered in the future as pain and suffering.”
Happy guilt-free holidays!