I watched a Mum Have a Meltdown at the shops — this is what it taught me about self-care over the holiday season.

Jas Rawlinson


It’s 9am on a Saturday morning, and I’m crossing the road to my local shopping centre when I’m torn from my inner thoughts by a sudden and aggressive stream of profanity.

Carrying my son on my hip, I turn and see a middle-aged mother standing in the middle of the car park, screaming abuse at a driver who hadn’t seen her straight away, as she walked out from behind a blind spot.

“You moron! You f***ing d***head!” she screamed, as her partner and children looked on awkwardly.

Despite the man apologising profusely, she continued to stand in the middle of the crossing, screaming abuse at the driver.

As I turned and walked off into the shopping centre, I noticed that many others around me seemed to also be struggling with stress, anxiety, or outbursts of frustration. Yep, the silly season has well and truly begun, I thought to myself.

It’s nothing new — and every year we seem to see the same sorts of outbursts, as people’s stress levels and emotion bubble over. It’s understandable, but at the same time, it’s not nice for those around us when we transform into the grinch.

So if you’re looking to try and reduce stress, look after yourself, and avoid becoming ‘that person’ at Christmas, here are 3 tips for better self-care.

# 1. Sometimes slower is better.

 You know the saying…slow and steady wins the race. It may sound corny, but when it comes to looking after ourselves, sometimes it’s better to do things slowly.

For me, I find that I often hold my breath and tense all my muscles when I’m writing emails or documents for clients, so I try to make a conscious effort to breathe more slowly, and relax my shoulders as I type.

The same can also be applied to anything — whether it’s reminding yourself to eat more slowly and savour your food, or avoiding the urge to run that yellow light while running late. Just remember, slower is better.

# 2. Less Shame, More Relaxation

 A few months ago, I suffered an awful and debilitating bout of burn out. For 10 months, I had been working almost non stop on my business and my second book, whilst also being a fulltime stay at home parent, and despite trying to help everyone around me to live healthier lives, I had failed to look after myself.

At the time, I felt everything would be okay so long as I pushed on through the anxiety and exhaustion. What I didn’t expect, however, were the other symptoms. In fact, my nervous system was so shredded, that  I developed a severe and ever-present ‘stress’ twitch on my left eyelid! On a good day, it would happen perhaps once or twice an hour – but most of the time, it was going off every few minutes.

When it was still there after almost two months, I discovered that I had well and truly burned myself out.

At this point, it wasn’t enough to ‘try’ and relax, because I could not even sit still long enough to read a few pages of a book. As a result, I had to spend around a month ‘training’ myself to do relaxing things, instead of working all the time.

Unfortunately I had to learn things the hard way, and it has taken me around three months to finally recover and get rid of my stress twitch. So for all my fellow workaholics, take a leaf out of my book.

Don’t wait for the holidays to start taking care of yourself — start now and make it part of your daily and weekly routine.

# 3. Remember what truly matters most.

 Whilst it’s easy to get caught up in the ‘busy-ness’ of Christmas, and all the advertising that makes us feel like we need to ‘buy, buy, buy’ in order to make our loved ones happy, it’s important to remember what’s most important.


Spending time with people who make us feel ‘seen’ and ‘heard.’

Resting and taking care of ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong, presents and delicious food are all awesome…but they’re not what matters most at the end of the day.

As someone whose loved ones were recently at risk of being caught in some of NSW’s most devastating and destructive fires, I can tell you this: when you’re faced with losing everything, you very quickly remember that material items don’t hold much value.

So this Christmas, take care of yourself and hold onto the things that are most important.

If someone cuts you off in traffic, or you miss that spot you wanted in the car park — slow down, breathe deeply, and remember…sometimes it’s better for everyone (including YOU) to just let things go.


You may also like to read:

Pearls of Motherhood

How to Master a Positive Mindset for Your Wellness