We asked local experts in Manhattan for their best advice on how moms can de-stress during the holiday season and all year round.
Start with one busy mom (is there any other kind?), add in the frenzy of the holiday season, and you've got the perfect recipe for stress. At this time of year, 'peace of mind' may seem as mythical as Santa Claus himself. To help you find more joy in the most wonderful time of the year (and all year-round), we asked local experts:
What is your best advice for stressed-out moms?
"My advice to all parents out there is to take a non-scheduled moment and deviate from the plan when the mood strikes you. Look to nature for these moments - the city is particularly beautiful at many times of the year. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, 'How can I best enjoy this moment with my child?'"
- Laura Brown, M.S., director, DramaZone, at schools throughout New York City
"When a vacation or a spa escape isn't in the picture, the simplest way to relax is to devote a day to doing nothing with your kids. Often we feel that when we have extra time on our hands, we need to come up with something productive to do to fill that time. Instead, try completely surrendering to relaxation. Stay in your pajamas all day. Watch TV, play Barbies or video games, and order in pizza. Experience a parent's version of total hedonism!"
- Kim Graham, co-owner, Moomah, Tribeca
"When a mom is exhausted and can no longer function, the entire household ceases to function, which is why it's important for the entire family that she ward off stress and exhaustion. One trick is to give mom special treats throughout the week. These don't have to be expensive or over the top - just little pleasures that make her happy.
Also, moms should assign chores to their children and keep a schedule of each family member's household responsibilities. Teaching children how to be responsible and independent is important for their future, so don't feel bad when you hand them the laundry.
Finally, make time for yourself, and don't be afraid to say "No" sometimes."
- Lorelei Garrett, operations director, BumbleBee Tennis, classes offered throughout the city
See more advice from experts in the New York metro area