Can we talk about this holiday chaos? And I don’t mean the commotion coming from that dancing and singing snowman toy your toddler has on repeat. I’m talking about the physical, social media and marketing clutter that threatens to steal our joy this season.
At times, I feel like the Grinch with his hands clapped over his ears, complaining about the racket coming from Whoville. All of the noise and stress and overwhelm can come at me from every direction. I’m left feeling exhausted, depleted and more than a little bit disappointed. But this is meant to be a joyous season – right?
If you can relate at all, just know you deserve better. We as Moms, deserve better. Here are three tips for how we can quiet some of that noise and find our peace this season!
Tip #1: Unsubscribe From What Drains You
If your inbox is anything like mine, it’s overflowing with old Cyber Monday deals and a barrage of other sales ads keep pouring in. Unsubscribe from emails and subscriptions that are cluttering up your inbox. I mean, do I really need to know that Target has stockings for 30% off when I already own stockings!? Nope.
I also don’t need brands and companies selling to me in a season where I want to be intentional with my money and my time. The visual clutter of my inbox drains my energy and has me chasing after deals I don’t need. Let’s calm that noise.
If you have never tried it, the website Unroll Me is a helpful tool for this! Sign up and they will automatically unsubscribe you from sales ads, emails, companies, brands and all the marketing machines that are cluttering up your inbox.
But if that feels like too much homework today, start with one. One brand you know is too tempting and acts as an internet rabbit hole this time of year. I have a hunch that when our inboxes are quieted, we will feel more content and satisfied.
Tip #2: Calm the Physical Clutter
I promise I’m not suggesting you should declutter your house this week. But I do think we can take a breath and calm our homes before Christmas makes them even louder.
Physical clutter has the same effect on me as kryptonite does on Superman. And with the influx of holiday decorations, I can easily feel overwhelmed with that physical noise. It takes up my breathing space and I find myself easily short-tempered.
I want you to choose one area of your home that gives you silent anxiety. Maybe it’s a junk drawer that gives you an instant headache when you open it. Maybe it’s the pile of mail that has no home right now. Perhaps it’s the holiday decor bins that are still cluttering up your office (ask me how I know). Maybe you know your kids are getting Legos for Christmas but you have zero storage for said Legos. Take twenty minutes to purge the space and decide what stays and what goes. Any tiny step toward a more minimal Christmas is a win. Snuff out those clutter storms that are brewing. You deserve to have a peaceful space, even in the midst of all the Christmas crazy.
Tip #3: Consider a Social Media Sabbatical
If scrolling through your newsfeed makes you feel stressed, resentful or irritated – it might be time for a social media sabbatical. Maybe you’re tired of keeping up with the proverbial Joneses online and it’s stealing your focus. Or maybe you just want to be more available for your kids and spouse through the holidays. Either way, it might be time to consider a break.
Even despite my best efforts, I can still fall into the comparison trap. I’ll internally compare my holiday with another family’s online. My FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) has me thinking I should make a perfect gingerbread house, book a ski trip or spoil my children with glamorous gifts. And in my heart, I know this isn’t where I want to place my focus.
I’d rather watch Christmas movies or read instead of scrolling through my newsfeeds at night. It’s also a great time to set goals and think about plans for 2019. You could craft, make homemade gifts or catch up with a friend. Consider all the hobbies you could cultivate with the time reclaimed from social media scrolling.
I want to be fully present for my family through the holiday break and soak up all the quality time I can! And that might mean deleting my Instagram app or leaving my phone in the other room. Whatever that looks like for you, I hope you’ll consider the benefits of a social media sabbatical.
If we can limit just a fraction of the noise and stress coming at us, maybe we can find some calm and space to breathe. Just maybe there’s a bit of white space waiting for us to lean into like a pair of cozy slippers for our overwhelmed minds this season. My hope is that you find that bit of peaceful clarity and end the year with a full and content heart!