‘Tis the Season to Cut Yourself Some Slack

This post was originally published in 2016, but it’s fitting as we enter the holiday season again.

I’m working on this blog post for about the tenth time this week. This is probably about the fifth or sixth topic I’ve started writing about. And the reason that I ended up on this idea is because of the struggle I had with this week’s post.

‘Tis the Season to Cut Yourself Some Slack

This holiday season can be overwhelming so this is the time to relax a bit and cut yourself some slack.
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As I continued to get stuck, not wanting to write, not feeling compelled to write about the topic I chose, and choosing to write for other projects instead of my looming post deadline, I thought about not posting at all. In the first six months of blogging I’ve only missed a post once. So I thought “Is it a big deal if I miss a day?”

The more I thought about it- no, it’s really not that big of a deal. (I’m guessing none of you would be heartbroken if I skipped a post. You probably wouldn’t even realize it!!).

It’s not a big deal to anyone, except for me. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized remembered how much pressure I put on myself, and how much pressure I see other moms putting on themselves.

Much of the stress that we experience is created by no one other than ourselves. Yes, our families, work, and experiences contribute to that stress, but our interpretations and reactions to those situations are often bigger influences of the stress we experience.

This post, for example. I could have simply decided that I wouldn’t post this week. I could have accepted that no except for me cared, and move on. But I couldn’t (as you’ve probably figured out by now!). I kept trying to write. Kept trying to come up with something that I was motivated to share about. Having something to say (in real life or in my writing) has never really been an issue but this time it was.

Expect Less

Even though I pushed forward and found something to write about, it made me realize that we need to cut ourselves some slack. We need to be willing to take the pressure off and expect less of ourselves. Because chances are, you expect WAY MORE of yourself than others do, and you might even be expecting unrealistic levels of what you can accomplish. This is how we end up burnt out, stressed out and possibly unhappy.

I think now, more than ever, as we are getting into the holiday season, that this is the time to cut ourselves some slack. Because chances are, we’re taking on more than normal this time of year. On top of the usual work, kids, home, friends, and more; there’s even more now.

The Holidays Add More

This time of year, you might also be attending parties that you need to shop for (think food, gifts, or even ugly sweaters), you have gifts to buy (for the holidays, but also hostess gifts and maybe for gift exchanges), and special meals to plan for and then make. You might also be baking cookies, and decorating, and buy cute matching jammies…the list goes on (and on).

As if you weren’t aware of it already, this is the time of year where things can get really overwhelming without realizing it. And ironically, this is also a time of family and fun, and in theory, relaxing because most of us do get a bit of time off and more time is made for family.

I actually read an eBook recently, by fellow blogger Rebecca Cofiño, called Stress Free Holidays and it really hit home. It highlights all that the holidays can entail and how you can tackle the season in a way that creates less stress. I’d highly recommend it if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, or you know that it’s coming.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

‘Tis the season for so many things. Family, happiness, stress, laughter, love, and also to cut yourself some slack. Here’s how you might do that:

  • Loosen your own personal deadlines a bit: maybe you want to have your house cleaned by Thanksgiving, but it’s not going to happen without massive amounts of stress. Focus on one or two rooms now and tackle the rest after the left-overs are done.
  • Start some of your projects (or shopping) early so you can be done well before the end of the year.
  • See where you can simplify, whether it’s bringing pre-made appetizers to a party versus making at home, or sending electronic gift cards to family members rather than agonizing over what to buy.
  • List out all of your tasks, purchases, and activities (There’s really great guidance in Stress Free Holidays). Though this is overwhelming, it can help you plan and see where you can make some cuts.

The holidays are full of people and emotions which lead to lasting memories. This year I’m going to try to create many positive memories and really limit the stressful experiences because I am the one who controls how I think, feel, and react.

I may not be able to control anything else around me, but I can definitely cut myself some slack on the journey through the holidays and I am predicting it will help me head into the New Year with more joy and less stress than usual.

How will you cut yourself some slack this year?


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  • I needed this today. I’m glad you ended up posting. This is the first time I’ve been to your blog, but this resonated deep within me. We’re leaving to go out of town in two days, I’m in the beginning days of a new blog, my children are sick, I am sick, and we have decisions to make.

    So, I desperately needed the reminder to cut myself some slack. So much.

    • Aww- Christina, thank you so much for checking in! Your comment means so much to me, and I’m glad the idea is helpful for you 🙂 The second trick is to not feel bad or guilty for making choices or changing our expectations, which is a challenge for many of us. I hope you stop by again soon and find more helpful ideas. Hope everyone feels better soon!

  • Love love love this! We put so much pressure on ourselves and really no one cares as much as we do. Commence with the slack cutting!

    • Thanks, Julie!! It’s funny- because I think a lot of times we wish people would care as much as we do, and that’s part of the stress and frustration of things!! I agree- let the cutting of slack commence!!!

  • Hi Sara,
    We just recently connected and I was encouraged to check you out here.
    I’m so glad I did!
    Also recently I had to come stay with my Mom, as my house had a lot of environmental problems that were to dangerous to be around. With that said, my problem is the stress that my family puts on me. Most of the time, I just can’t jump high enough to fill the load my mother expects of me. (That’s not including my children’s demands). It just consumes me, when I start to forgive myself of not meeting all of her demands, then here she comes reminding me of what needs done. 🙁
    I was wondering if you would consider writing on this. It would be so nice to be free of the pressure that I don’t even know how to address. It has kept me from moving in the right direction, often in no direction or at worst backward’s.
    I’d love some balance 🙂

    • Hi Valerie- So glad you found the site, and ohmigoodness, you have a lot going on!! First off, hang in there. I don’t know if this will completely address what you’re dealing with, but check out this post for help with the thoughts that probably get overwhelming. This is a really important topic: how others influence us and can lead to stress and unbalance so I will definitely think about how I might be able to help. Thanks so much!

  • I needed to read this today! I’m new to blogging and the stress of the holidays and keeping up on my blog is getting to me. I am definitely going to simplify some things and stop putting pressure on myself. Thanks for the great post to remind myself to stop stressing and enjoy the season.

    • Aww, thanks Jillian! Glad you found it. Holidays can be stressful enough and then add in blogging?! I feel ya!! Congrats on launching the blog- it’s a lot of work but worth it 🙂 Yours looks great! Happy holidays!

  • Such a great post. I usually do Christmas baking with the kids and we make little gift bags for people with our home-made Christmas goodies. It’s a Christmas tradition that I always take charge of. This year we haven’t done any of the baking yet – with only a week to go!! I was feeling really guilty, but I’m letting it go. I’m going to make the biscuits with the kids today and the bags can be topped up with little chocolates. The tradition continues, but in a slightly easier format. Thanks for the tips 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing! That’s such a great way to keep the tradition alive, but with some adjustment. And a great reminder that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Just this afternoon my 4 year old said we needed to bake cookies for Santa. And I thought about how hard it would be this year to do that with a 1 year old running around (much easier last year when he was just 3 months old!!) so I said “what about if we buy them??” My son was just as happy. He loves to bake, but in reality he gets bored very quickly, so as long as he has cookies, he’s happy!!