‘Tis the season to start thinking about the holidays! All that hustle and bustle, that whirlwind of excitement and merriment! All that preparation and energy for good times with family and friends!
When you think about the holidays, what are your first reactions? Do visions of smiling faces dance in your head? Do you hear happy carolers singing?
Or is it more like tears streaming down cheeks and whines from the backseat (from the kids, too!)?
And how do the holidays affect your homeschool?
Do you have love, peace, and joy spread throughout your homeschool day? Or is it more like a rollercoaster of intense glee to distracted exhaustion?
If your homeschool is like mine, it’s probably a mixture of all of the above.
You and I do our very best during the holiday season to make everything special and do it all. We pack our schedules with holiday fun-and, in the process, wear our families and ourselves out.
I think it’s about time to start planning to fit in holiday self-care for homeschoolers! Let’s chat about what you and I can do to make this a happy holiday for all-including ourselves!
10 Holiday Self-Care Tips For Homeschoolers
Before we chat about holiday self-care tips for homeschoolers, check out this free printable Holiday Self-Care Plan that you can personalize. It’ll help you create a custom plan to handle physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual stress in your life.
And you can use these 10 holiday self-care tips for homeschoolers in your Holiday Self-Care Plan!
You know that the holiday season can make it even harder to keep your kids and yourself on task during the holidays. Big to-do lists are crammed with even more errands, events, and activities. It’s vital that you prepare yourself and determine how you will manage stress during the holidays.
Here’s how to manage stress and taking care of yourself this holiday season:
1. Include Holiday Prep In Your Homeschool Time
One of the best ways to reduce holiday stress and get kids involved is to incorporate your holiday prep right into your homeschool.
Create cards for others for a fun art and writing time. Depending on the project, you can combine science and art for wonderful DIY gifts and crafts. When you decorate your home, work with your kids on counting, sorting, patterns, and color recognition. Put older kids in charge of age-appropriate activities for a great way to build self-confidence and leadership skills.
2. Build Flexibility Into Your Schedule
The holiday season is a time to be flexible in your homeschool. Unexpected guests may pop over and interrupt your homeschool day. Errands and activities may go over their scheduled time. Give yourself a buffer and your stress level will go down.
If a homeschool subject typically takes 30 minutes, tack on another 10-15 minutes in your plans. You may find that homeschool lessons go off on tangents of memories or such of this pre-holiday time.
It helps to give yourself some wiggle room in your homeschool routine during the holidays.
3. Decrease Expectations For All
Dial back your homeschool expectations during the holidays. Excitement may cause your homeschool to be off schedule or bursting with excitement.
Give your kids and yourself grace. Instead of five paragraphs for a writing assignment, allow your teen to do three. Or maybe drop a few non-core subjects like art or music and focus on the basics for a few weeks.
Ah! A good cup of tea can be just the fix for a stressful homeschool day during the holidays! If you’re not a tea drinker, maybe coffee or hot chocolate would do the trick 😉
I love this tea sampler because it has both caffeinated types for those afternoons when I need a boost and decaffeinated bags for a warm, soothing drink. It’s mommy’s special tea that’s brought out on days that need a reset.
Another great way to hit the reset button on a holiday homeschool day is poetry tea time. My boys and I love to plan a relaxing time where we sip on tea or other favorite beverage, enjoy a tasty treat, and read poems with seasonal themes. In fact, we started Poetry Teatime: Holiday Edition to help us keep learning fun going during the holidays!
Stock up on healthy snacks with lots of fruits and vegetables. Also, a yummy protein shake can help you get through hectic schedules with energy and a better attitude.
My boys absolutely adore holiday tunes! We often start playing them in early November. The carols and popular songs seem to calm them and me.
Also, I love to pump up the jam with my favorite 80s and 90s tunes (plus the ever present Jon Bon Jovi in this house-c’mon, I’m a Jersey girl!) when I’m cleaning and baking. Dancing around to some of your favorite songs can help you shake off a lot of stress and have fun.
Get up and get moving! Take your kids on a nature walk. Throw on those tunes and have a holiday dance party! Go to your local mall and window shop with the kids.
Plan a movie afternoon with holiday favorites and treats. Let each child pick a holiday movie and schedule for different days. Give your kids and yourself a special time to look forward to! Dianna of The Kennedy Adventures shares this great list of Christmas movies on Netflix.
I also make sure to watch one of my favorite holiday movies-Elf! This movie just makes me laugh and is fun to watch while wrapping presents or addressing envelopes. What holiday movie puts you in a good mood?
9. Say No
It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to turn down parties, events, and volunteer opportunities.
You can’t do it all. I give you permission to say no and move on. No guilt. Just one simple word can be a great form of holiday self-care!
Sleep must be a priority during the holidays. You need your energy and attitude to be positive, not dragging along because you’re trying to function on only a few hours of sleep.
Skip some of the extras and add sleep. Set a goal of getting eight hours of sleep (or however many you need to properly function). Because do you really need a baker’s dozen of types of Christmas cookies or hand-drawn gift tags?
I hope that these self-care tips help you this holiday season. Homeschooling is life-so any positive changes you make will carry over to your homeschool. Make yourself a priority and you’ll find that holidays in your homeschool will be merry and bright.
I’d love to hear all about how you maintain sanity during the holidays!
What self-care tips can you share with other homeschoolers?
(Also, feel free to leave your favorite teas, movies, songs, and anything else holiday related!)