How to Stay Present During the Holidays

December 17, 2018

How to stay present during the holidays. - M Loves M @marmar

Happy week before Christmas!! Be honest, does that make you excited or stressed to hear that Christmas is so soon?? I truly hope you all are enjoying the holiday season and staying as stress-free as possible. I know it’s easier said than done, though, right? This year I really feel like we’ve been able to enjoy the holiday season and stay present, or maybe more present than normal. It’s not many years it’s like this, though, but I do think it has to do with a few things. Since I know some of you might be feeling overwhelmed, I hoped writing this post about how to stay present during the holidays would come at the right time.

How to stay present tips. - M Loves M @marmar Kate Spade shearling handbag winter outfit. - M Loves M @marmar Love this Ralph Lauren camel coat, it's one of my favorite winter outfits! - M Loves M @marmar Love this neutral maternity outfit! - M Loves M @marmar This camel coat and striped shirt combo is French girl inspired! - M Loves M @marmar

How to Stay Present During the Holidays

If you’re wondering how to stay present during the holidays, here are some tips and tricks that have really helped me:

  • Plan Plan Plan! I got this planner a few months ago and it’s literally been my lifeline! I got the vertical layout with 3 boxes so I organize it by Events, Nap Time To Do, and Nighttime To Do. That has been the best way for me to organize, but some of you that aren’t moms might benefit from having an AM, PM, and To Do section. There’s even a spot to plan your meals, or you can get this handy What’s For Dinner snap in dashboard. Whenever I think of something I need to do, I jot it down in my planner so I can refer back to it. Or, if I’m not by my planner, I add a reminder to my phone through Siri. I’ll say, “Hey Siri. Remind me tomorrow at 9am to buy more gift wrap!” Planning ahead has helped me to not get too crazed during this jam-packed season.
  • Put the Phone Away– I know I just mentioned using Siri and while she can be helpful, I try to put my phone away as often as I can. I feel like my phone is already incredibly distracting, and during this time of year, it can be even more so. Whenever it’s busy, my phone can be a tool for procrastination but I always regret it later. Putting my phone away to stay focused on the task, or people, at hand is much more rewarding. I actually just got the Google Home Hub and that’s been super helpful because I can add reminders there as well, check the weather, turn on our Sonos, as well as a bunch of things, without actually having to grab my phone. It’s become incredibly helpful – more helpful than I first realized!
  • Be Selective– The holiday season is very hectic and usually packed full of events. While it’s so fun to see people and celebrate, it can also be a little overwhelming. Matthew and I have to decide which are the events we’re realistically able to attend. We were invited to a cocktail party next week but being the evening before another important party, and two evenings before Christmas Eve, we felt it was best to politely decline. Hopefully people understand that this is a busy month and while we’d love to say yes to everything, it’s just impossible. Also, know yourself! If you’re more introverted, maybe getting together one on one with a post-Christmas coffee/lunch date would be a better way to connect than  by attending a big party where you can’t have a real conversation.
  • Make a Gratitude List- While I love making a gratitude list during Thanksgiving, it’s just as important during Christmas. And to be honest, throughout the year as well. Whenever life gets busy or overwhelming I make a list of all the things I’m appreciative for. I feel like this process is important in how to stay present because it allows you to focus on the things that truly matter. The health of my family and friends and little moments with Augustine are what I want to value most. I got this journal and it’s been sitting on my nightstand for years {it’s super cute!}. I’m thinking next year I’m actually going to start using it daily, though, to jot down my gratitude list. I feel like focusing on what I’m thankful for will allow me to stay more grounded and keep calm during busier seasons.
  • Give with Meaning– The holidays can feel like a big buy buy buy fest {and I’m sorry, my gift guides probably didn’t help!}. While it’s nice to treat our family and friends, we also have to remember that gifts are not what the holidays are truly about. On the years where I couldn’t buy gifts, I made granola for family members and it was just as appreciated {maybe more so!}. Try not to get sucked into buying just for the sake of buying, though. I’ve found that when I’ve given gifts with meaning, {or ones supporting non-profits or local communities}, I’ve felt better about the gift-giving process.
  • Acts of Service– This is the season of giving but it’s not just about gifts. I really believe it’s so much more rewarding to do things for others, whether it’s helping your neighbor decorate, volunteering your time or services, or helping to beautify an area. In previous years, I’ve helped my church through a soup kitchen night, taken photos of pets up for adoption, and read to the elderly (and done their nails!). This year it’s been so hard for me to find the time to get out and do acts of service {I know I shouldn’t have any excuses!} but over the weekend I made some care packages to drop off at our local orphanage and women’s shelter. While it’s something small, I hope it’s helpful. Many non-profits list their needs on their website too, so that might be a good place to start. If you have any charities you like to donate too, please share below. I’d love to check them out!
  • Be Kind Towards Yourself– No one is perfect and some years are harder than others. We do what we can and remember that that’s the most important thing. Try not to compare yourself to others and instead focus on what you’re doing. It’s hard sometimes when you see people making the perfect holiday sugar cookies when you’re grabbing yours from the grocery store, or when people have sent out their Christmas cards and you haven’t even taken photos. Don’t let the comparison games steal your peace and happiness. Sure, some years you might order take out for the party and you might not send out cards at all. That’s totally fine! At the end of the day/season, those things aren’t what people will remember. They’ll remember YOU, your smile, your words, and how it felt to be together.
  • Remember the reason for the season– I’m not sure what all of you believe in but for us, Christmas is all about Christ. It’s about His birth and the blessings that resulted from it. I try to remember that this is why we celebrate. It’s because of Him and nothing else matters nearly as much.

Christmas is really the most wonderful and magical time of year, so that’s why I’m trying to stay as stress-free as possible. I hate how quickly the season flies by, and I really want to enjoy it as best I can.  I hope these tips are helpful for any of you feeling that week before Christmas panic.

If you have any of your own tips, please share them below. I’d love to know how you stay calm and present during the holidays!



coat {similar coat} . similar top {only $10!} . similar maternity jeans . shoes {now on sale!} . bag {now 30% off} .