It’s the day after Christmas. Generally, this day is a flood of emotions that can vary from one person to the next, however, I think there is one word that most likely describes all of us: exhausted! Maybe your home is like mine – with all the extra food, all the packaging from the gifts, the used wrapping paper, and more. And then there may even be a pile of returns. Ugh. But, the day after Christmas doesn’t have to bring you stress – it actually can be a peaceful day if you allow it.
Sound like a dream?
It’s not. Just keep reading.
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You may still be in the midst of exhaustion if your Christmas festivities are still continuing. Whether today marks the end of your holiday festivities or that day has yet to come for you, we all must resume our regular lives in the midst of the exhaustion that the holidays leave in their wake.
How then, are we to do this? How do we dig ourselves out from the torn packaging, mountain of wrapping paper and the kitchen that have most likely fallen victim to holiday cooking of some kind. Then there is the endless amounts of toys that need to be assembled or brought to life with countless batteries?
Let’s not forget about the sugared up, sleep deprived, most likely “regular rule” breaking kids since there is rarely room for “regular rules” in the midst of the holiday cheer.
Feel like your head is spinning yet?
Here are some simple day after Christmas things you can do so you can catch your breath today and beyond.
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1. Take a deep breath
We must start here. If there is one thing I know as an exhausted, sleep deprived, overloaded, overfull, and stressed out post holiday mom it is the need to start with a deep breath. Most likely, you probably have not had a deep breath since last week sometime.
2. Prioritize what needs to be done
The list of things that need to be done all seem urgent, but the entire list of what needs to be done can’t be urgent. We only have so many hours in the day. As a mom, we are in the midst of trying to get our kids to return to “normal” as well.
Take a quick inventory of what needs to be done in the near future. Then, put this inventory list in order from most important to least important.
3. Make a plan
Plan the times that you will be devoting to working your way through your prioritized list of tasks. We all still have our “regular” lives, so fitting in all the extras that the holiday rush thrusts in our lap will have to be planned into our daily schedules, most likely little by little.
Nothing is more essential to me in doing this than my planner.
4. Start with good enough rather than perfection
Start with making things good enough to get by.
Do you have a bunch of things that need to be returned?
Start by gathering them in one place. Then, get the necessary receipts and put them in a bag or box in your car, ready to be returned.
Do you have a bunch of clothes that your kids need to try on? Try putting them in a neat pile somewhere in their room. This way they are out of the way, but not causing a bunch of clutter around your home. You can get to them when you can get to them.
I am sure you have a bunch of new things that all need places to go in your house. With a family of 11, the new things that now need to find homes is astounding.
My favorite way of handling this is to break the things down, room by room, and then put each room’s things in a box or bag in the room that it will need to be put in. Again, this way I can get to it when I can get to it.
5. Accept what is
Accept that your house, your kids, and your life will be in a state of disarray for the next little while. Just accept it now – you can’t change it anyway. Know that things will go back to normal in a few days, at least ideally.
6. Look past what isn’t great
Look past the things you can’t get to right now. Look past the box of stuff waiting for your attention in each room. Know that it is already partially tended to since you have started organizing things to be put away. But, look past the fact that everything isn’t done to completion at this point in the game. You’ll get there eventually.
7. Start with the visible areas first
Start with putting things away in the most visible areas. Attack the main living areas first since this is where you spend most of your time. The list of things you need to take care of is most likely seemingly endless at this point.
However, if you are anything like me, the sooner you can get the areas you look at most under control, the better.
8. Work in order
Get one area or room completely done before moving on to another area. I find it to be so much better if I can get one room completely under control. Then, when I feel overwhelmed by another area, I can breathe in the solace of the one completed room I have.
It also motivates me to keep going on the rest as I can check rooms off my list.
I put this last on the list not because it is least important. In fact, I think it may be the most important thing, and it is something that you need to start working in to your digging out process right from the start.
Recognize that in most cases, you have had several long days, all in a row. This means that you need some time to rest and recuperatere. Resist the urge to pass over this rest part in an effort to have more time to devote to the things on your list that are screaming at you.
Plan some time of rest into each day.
More importantly, get to bed on time tonight and in the nights that follow. You are no good to anyone when you continue to run on fumes.
Although we all love the holidays, the after part is not nearly as much fun. However, with every Christmas holiday season comes the time of transition and let down when Christmas is finally over.
Being intentional in breathing deeply, prioritizing and planning, creating ways that things can be good enough to get by while looking past everything else and getting adequate rest will help get you back on the path to sanity in your life once again.