Balancing a blog and motherhood is always a challenge, but during the holidays it can be downright stressful. Here’s a guide help you make the most of the holidays, so you can build your blog, but also share a joyful and peaceful holiday with your family.
Holidays are huge when you have little ones. Each celebration is a chance to make memories that will last a lifetime, but there is a lot of behind the scenes work too. From shopping and wrapping presents to cooking and hosting family feasts; moms work overtime during the holidays. It is doubly hard for lifestyle bloggers because this time of year is huge for recipes, crafts, and DIY projects. You want to take advantage of holiday traffic to build you brand, while at the same time, you are extra busy with holiday tasks for your family. It’s hard to get it all done, let alone find time for peace and joy.
Never fear. I’ve got you covered. Follow these tips for stress-free holidays specifically created for mom bloggers. They’ll help keep you, your family, and blog on track through the happiest (and most stressful) time of the year.
1. Create an editorial calendar.
You should do this as a best blogging practice, but it is particularly important during the holidays. It will keep you organized and focused. In the midst of a whirlwind holiday, it can be really hard to squeeze in blogging time. By knowing exactly what you have to write, it will be easier to be productive when you are able to work, rather than wasting time brainstorming. Also, holiday posts are fiercely competitive for lifestyle blogs, so you need to get your content out there early in the season for it to gain traction.
2. Block out a holiday photo shoot for your blog.
You’ve heard it before, but batching your work is one of the most important techniques to managing your blog. Choose a time, preferably 6-8 weeks before the holidays to take loads of holiday pictures which you can use for Instagram, Pinterest, and your blog. Gather holiday decorations and gift wrapping supplies, and bake a batch of gingerbread boys. Take various pictures you can use on all your accounts. That way you will have everything ready to go.
3. Don’t be afraid to change traditions.
If you are a food blogger, you probably cooked a lot of Thanksgiving recipes in October. If you and your family are a bit sick of fall flavors by the time we reach the big day, it’s ok to change traditions. I make a delicious Thanksgiving spread, but after eating three Thanksgiving dinners in the weeks prior to the holiday, we were all feeling a bit stuffed one year. Instead of slugging through it, we dined on stone crabs and key lime pie. It was such a welcome change of pace, and I got a much deserved day off from cooking. Of course, traditions are important to families, but it’s ok to let them evolve to match your current situation.
4. Get an accurate view of your To Do List.
One of the biggest causes of holiday stress is not knowing everything you have to do. When things keep popping up, it’s impossible to stay organized. Before the holidays get into full swing, get your editorial calendar, your children’s school calendar, and your party invitations together and compile them in one giant list, adding in items like shopping, wrapping and visiting Santa. Then it’s time to edit and delegate tasks to your spouse or older children. By having an accurate view of what you need to do, you will be empowered to make deliberate choices throughout the season.
5. Block out family time.
The holidays are huge on Pinterest, but they are also huge in your family life. Not only should you have an editorial calendar for your content, you should also carve out time to enjoy your family. Little ones grow too fast. Blink, and you will miss their childhood. It is ok, smart, and downright necessary to set down your blogger hat and just be mommy during important parts of the holidays. Don’t just intend to do this, because that won’t work. Actually schedule time off from your blog, so you can treasure the moments. This is where you’ll find joy.
6. Shoot photos for next year.
As busy as you may be getting through this year’s holiday, don’t lose the opportunity to shoot pictures or jot down ideas for the next holiday season. If you bake an amazing yule log on December 23rd, you can post it on Instagram, but it’s really too late write the recipe and promote it on other social media. However, don’t lose the chance to snap some awesome pictures. This will make it easy for you to write the post next October. Also, shoot some general holiday stock photos of your tree and other holiday decorations. It’s one more thing you will have in your arsenal next year.
7. Don’t confuse your brand with yourself.
In many ways, you are your brand. It’s your inspiration and hard work that makes your blog the unique beautiful brand that it is. But you are more than your brand. Many lifestyle bloggers show an idealized version of themselves and their lives. That makes perfect sense. We want our food pictures to look delicious, and our crafts to look amazing. But don’t hold yourself to the standard of perfection that your pins imply. I used to feel inauthentic if I didn’t do absolutely everything I wrote about on my blog. Boy was that exhausting! Just because you showcased the most amazing Christmas feast ever on your blog, doesn’t mean you can’t order in. Just because you showed the world how to wrap adorable presents, doesn’t mean you can’t throw items in a gift bag with a bit of tissue and call it done.
Yes, this is a part of your holiday plan, or at least it should be. Exercise does a couple of things to relieve holiday stress. First of all, working out makes your brain function better, and stress-busting hormones are released. Nothing beats a good sweat fest to let go of any pent up aggravation. Exercise also boosts your immune system making you less like to get sick. But the most important thing it does is give you time to connect to yourself. Mom life is always crazy busy, and blogger life is always crazy busy. Add the holidays and you’ve got a perfect storm. Taking time to disconnect from your roles as a mother and a blogger to just be yourself will make you feel connected to your own spirit. That’s where you’ll find peace.
Want even more help creating a stress-free holiday? My ebook, Stress-Free Holidays: Bring Back Joy and Peace, teaches you how to use mindfulness and organizational techniques to create a peaceful and joyful celebration. From staying within budget to avoiding seasonal weight gain, you’ll find actionable tips to help you truly enjoy the holidays. Let’s make this the happiest time of the year!
Rebecca Cofiño the author of Stress-Free Holidays: Bring Back Joy& Peace. She is a mindfulness expert who specializes in everyday spirituality and family life and the founder of mamaguru.com. She lives in Miami with her husband and two little boys.