Ready to unlock your productivity potential? Click here to download my FREE guide, complete with reflective questions and actionable prompts on the 5 essential daily practices, and take the first step towards unlocking your productivity potential 

7 self care strategies to feel more present, calm and in control over Christmas


As a busy working mum, you are already juggling a number of different roles every day – breadwinner, solopreneur, taxi driver, cook, cleaner, dog walker, do-er of tasks that no-one else wants to do, diary planner and PA, and now, with Christmas on the horizon, you are also probably the chief card writer, present buyer, party planner, hostess and cook. 

You are amazing, and deserve a gold star for everything that you do. But I guess we tend to feel that these different roles come with the ‘job’ and it’s ‘expected’ that you will just take on all these extra Christmas responsibilities because, let’s face it, they won’t get done otherwise. And you love decorating the house and garden with twinkly lights, getting together with friends and family, celebrating with delicious food and wine …

But whilst all this sounds wonderful and makes for a fantastic Christmas, no-one, least of all your loved ones, wants this to be at the cost of your well-being.  

Let’s not forget that it’s also wintertime, and like the hedgehogs, this is a time for hibernating, rather than going out in the cold weather, with your body trying to entice you into bed earlier.

Want to sparkle like a star that you are this festive season? Here are 7 self care strategies to help you feel more present, calm and in control. For the full set of 24, scroll to the bottom of this blog post to grab my Christmas Self Care Guide.

7 Self Care Strategies

1. Take some deep breaths

If the feelings of overwhelm have caught up with you, then taking some slow deep breaths to help you reconnect with yourself and a feeling of calm.

2. Start a daily mindfulness practice

Mindfulness is a fantastic way to calm your mind, particularly when you are feeling overwhelmed by all the build up to the festive season.

You could meditate for 5 minutes, focus on watching a candle flame for a few moments or go for a wintery walk. 

The beauty of this practice is that you choose an activity that will help you to focus on something other than your thoughts (and your to-do list!) for a few moments. 

3. Listen to what you need

Often we get caught up by what everyone else needs and forget about ourselves. By giving yourself a few minutes to do a mindful activity to help you to slow down your mind and notice how you are feeling, this practice can also help you to reconnect with yourself and, discover what’s going on for you right now. 

It may help to do this as a journaling exercise where you ask yourself a few of the following questions:

  • How am I really feeling right now?
  • What’s causing me to feel overwhelmed?
  • What one thing can I take off my to-do list today to help manage these feelings of overwhelm?
  • What do I need?
  • What one thing can I do for myself right now to take care of myself?

4. Rest when you need to

This is a particularly busy time of year, and as I mentioned earlier, it’s also winter time. I find that taking a nap when I need to, helps me to recharge my batteries. 

I don’t know about you, but I think it feels like there’s still an unwritten rule that we should always be on the go. But taking a nap when your body needs it, is a great way to take care of yourself and recharge. Having checked in with some of the experts – the ideal nap time is 20 minutes (no longer than 30 minutes), and this allows you to have a light sleep and not feel groggy afterwards.

5. Set clear boundaries with loved ones 

How many of your boundaries could do with some realignment this Christmas? 

For example:

  • What do you need, to take care of you over the festive season? 
  • If you’re hosting Christmas, what support would you like on the day e.g. with the cooking, last minute tidying, hosting?
  • How do you recharge your batteries, particularly when you are hosting/visiting family?
  • What conversations around the table make you feel anxious or stressed, and would prefer not to engage in this festive season? (For example, in recent years, I have found that discussing what’s happening to the climate has been particularly triggering).

About 10 years ago, I attended an assertiveness course at work, and the key take away for me was that when you want to feed back to someone about something e.g. what’s making you feel anxious or stressed, if you start with ‘I feel …’  no-one can take that away from you.

6. Be ready to enjoy receiving

As a busy working mum, you are always giving out and Christmas is a wonderful time for giving e.g. our time as a volunteer, donations to charity or gifts to our loved ones. However it’s also a special time for receiving gifts, compliments, and support. For some of us, this can feel overwhelming. But let’s give it a go, be open to receiving from others, and notice what happens.

If it helps, think about the last time you gave something to someone you love. How did they receive your gift? How did it make you feel?

7. Ask for help

You may have a tendency to want to do it all yourself. You are a super mama after all. However, this can often make it difficult for you to admit to yourself let alone to others, that you may need some help sometimes e.g. with cutting up all the parsnips, potatoes, brussels sprouts, red cabbage ready for the big meal; wrapping the presents, or doing the final hoover before the guests arrive. 

Even if you are used to cooking all the family meals, how would it feel to ask for some help this time round? Perhaps this could become a new festive tradition? I appreciate that it may take longer particularly if the kids are involved, but think of the memories that you create if you have enough time, and get everyone involved? 

Which of these ideas are you most excited about taking forward to help you feel more present, calm and in control, in the run up to Christmas, even if you are feeling overwhelmed right now? 

For the full list of 24 self care practices you could try out: daily over the festive season, when the weather is cold outside, or to get into the festive spirit, download my Christmas Self Care Guide here

The guide also provides a few reflective questions to help you get started.

Louisa profile

Hi, I’m Louisa Daubney and I’m your Time Design Coach

Gain clarity, refresh or completely overhaul the structure to your day.

Find Out More >>

How to Structure Your Day I Lead Magnet Image

How to Unlock Your Productivity Potential: 10 Essential Questions to Get Started

Access Your Guide >>

Recent Posts

5 ways you can create more time for joy and still get 8 hours sleep

5 ways you can create more time for joy and still get 8 hours sleep

Was one of the reasons that you became self-employed to have more flexibility about how you choose to spend your time? But in reality, have you found that you still end up working the same hours as you did in your previous 9-5 job (or perhaps even longer?). Are you...

Why self-care makes you feel guilty

Why self-care makes you feel guilty

I see my busy mum clients struggling with taking care of themselves. The biggest reason is because they always put others first. That’s their role right?  What if I was to say that to be able to support others, you need to take care of yourself first, what would...