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How to Give Yourself Grace this Holiday Season (and every day)

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Do you find it difficult to give yourself grace?  Though you may realize that giving yourself grace is the antidote for not being able to “do all the things” perfectly, it’s still worlds easier for you to show grace to others, isn’t it?

In this post, we explore the meaning of giving yourself grace and 6 ideas for how to give yourself grace around the holidays and every day.

How to Give Yourself Grace This Holiday Season (and every day)

Every day, we as women, hold ourselves to unattainable standards that we inevitably fail to meet.  This becomes even more apparent during the holiday season.

With the holidays comes a whole slew of expectations like upholding family traditions, purchasing the perfect gifts, making a memorable holiday meal, traveling to large family gatherings, sending out cards to everyone you know, buying gifts for your kids’ teachers, …shall I go on?

But on top of all this, there is also this pressure to make the season “magical” for our children and to be merry and light-hearted during this “most wonderful time of the year”.  

So on top of the usual holiday load, there is also the burden to constantly be joyful and happy.

There’s also another kind of pressure we feel around the holidays and it’s the need to appease and show grace to others because well, it’s the holidays. And with all the additional time spent with family near and far, extending grace to others becomes necessary just to make it through.

What does extending grace mean?

When we extend grace to others, we show compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and love to someone else, even when they don’t deserve it or we don’t necessarily expect them to return it. 

Extending grace to others is a beautiful thing.  However, it can be problematic if it’s consistently at your own expense.  

Do any of the following holiday scenarios strike a chord with you?

Grin and bear it around your cousins you see once a year who just “don’t get how you can raise a family in the city”.

Bite your tongue when your mother-in-law criticizes the holiday dinner you spent all week shopping for and preparing.

Let it go when your partner comes home late from his company holiday party and passes out before helping you wrap presents because he knows “you got this, right?”

We readily extend grace to others when they push our boundaries by questioning our choices, minimizing us, and taking us for granted, but then why is it so difficult to give grace to ourselves? 

Related: “How to Set Boundaries with Family and Make Them Last”

What does giving yourself grace mean?

Giving yourself grace simply means to be kind and gentle with yourself.  It’s lowering the bar a little bit and sometimes allowing for “good enough” instead of perfection.

When you give yourself grace, you forgive your mistakes and lapses in judgment. It’s granting yourself permission to take advantage of shortcuts that make your life easier. 

Just be easy with yourself, you deserve that.

Related:  “Mama, You Can’t Do It All: How to Let Go of What No Longer Serves You”

How can I give myself more grace?

As described above, showing grace to yourself means adopting a kinder and more gentle approach in how you treat yourself.  At its core, you give yourself grace by practicing self-compassion and self-love.  

6 Ways to Give Yourself Grace

6 Ways to Give Yourself Grace

1.) Let go of the mom guilt

As women, we often set the bar really high for ourselves. Actually, we tend to set it too high, wanting to do it all and do it all perfectly.

Then, when we inevitably fall short of perfection, our mom guilt kicks in.  But truly, the only person who expects you to be perfect is you.

It’s time to give yourself grace and let some stuff go, one of the first things being your mom guilt.  Instead, seek to create balance in your life by prioritizing what matters most and being intentional in your choices to honor that.

You can’t be perfect in everything you do, so focus on what’s most important in your life and do your best when it comes to that.

Related:  “How to Create Balance in Your Life (in under 30 minutes a day)”

2.) Don’t engage in negative self-talk

Oftentimes we’re not very compassionate in the way we speak to ourselves, but how you talk to yourself matters.  Realize that your self-talk is very powerful and you have the ability to control it.  

When you make a mistake or something doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped, try reflecting on how you might improve the outcome next time, instead of beating yourself up about it by berating yourself in your head.

Related:  “Why You Should Talk To Yourself Like Someone You Love”

3.) Stop comparing yourself to others

When you compare yourself to others, focusing on what you don’t have, or what seems better about someone else’s situation or life, it can lead to feelings of inferiority, jealousy, and lower self-esteem.   

“Comparison is the thief of joy”.  

-Teddy Roosevelt

But remember that perception is never reality.  You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and especially behind screen doors, i.e. the fake reality people create on social media. So if you find yourself going down that social media comparison rabbit-hole, try taking a break for awhile.

Related: “7 Ways to Find Time to Unplug (and Take Back Your Life)”

4.) Celebrate your wins

We are often hyper focused on what we do wrong, but fail to celebrate what we are doing right.  Try focusing on your triumphs, not just your disappointments.

Count all of your wins, no matter how small.  Those small wins add up so start stacking them throughout your day, from the moment you wake up.

Not only is this a way to show yourself grace, it also draws your focus to the positive, rather than the negative, and helps to improve your confidence.

Related:  “Is Confidence a Skill?  (6 Important Ways to Improve Your Confidence)”

5.) Take care of yourself

It’s more important than ever to make self-care a priority during the holidays and allow yourself time to rest in between all the holiday shopping and preparation.

I know this is difficult for many of us, as it’s been so ingrained in us that in order to be good mothers we must be selfless, giving everything we have to our families.  But selflessness should never be the goal, as you cannot give from a place of exhaustion or depletion.  

Instead, give yourself grace by adopting a mindset in which you prioritize and make space for yourself so that you can enjoy all you’re working so hard to build in this life and give the best of yourself to the ones you love most in it.

Related: “Fall in Love with Taking Care of Yourself”

6.) Have faith that things will be okay

All of the above are great ways you can put into practice to give yourself grace in your everyday life, but the most important way is actually the simplest way of all.

It goes back to the meaning of giving yourself grace, in which you grant yourself permission to alleviate some of the pressure you habitually assume. But the key is to accept and have faith that once you do so, things will still be ok.

Have faith that

He’ll remember all the bedtime snuggles, lullabies, and stories, not the few times when you were too tired to read two books AND sing three songs, so you had him choose one of each.

She’ll remember how you woke her each morning with kisses on her cheeks, your eyes still puffy from sleep, not that you ran out of her favorite breakfast cereal and you once again forgot to buy more.

He’ll remember you cheering him on at every single soccer game, not that you weren’t the mom to provide the snacks.

She’ll remember how you randomly say “I love you” out of the blue and kiss the top of her head, not the rare occasions when you lost your cool.

Have faith that you are doing your best and your best is good enough. 

Actually, you’re doing a pretty amazing job in the eyes of the people who love you.  Try to see yourself through their eyes. 

This just may be the secret to giving yourself grace.

Did you like this post?  You might enjoy these as well:

What If You Don’t Feel Grateful For Every Moment? (Secrets Every Tired Mom Needs To Know)

Mama, You Can’t Do It All: How to Let Go of What No Longer Serves You

7 Simple Winter Self Care Ideas to Beat the Blues

How to Set Boundaries with Family and Make Them Last

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