I have long had this fantasy where I get all my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving, my house is spotless and perfectly decorated and I’m baking elaborately designed cookies at a leisurely pace while watching Christmas movies or listening to punk rock Christmas songs.
The reality is more like I catch a flu bug, throw my back out shoveling snow, one of my dogs gets a round of diarrhea when it’s -10F or something happens at work to completely throw off my mojo. And what holiday wouldn’t be complete without someone in the family deciding to announce their divorce, affair, paper eating addiction or some other existential crisis that creates drama or requires everyone’s immediate attention?
Whether its good stress (you have SOOOO many parties to go to or your flagship product sells out) or bad stress (your work is a nightmare or a family member becomes ill) it’s no fun to feel overwhelmed—especially during the holidays.
No worries Santa Babies, read on for some quick ideas for dealing!
DO A HOLIDAY VICTORY DANCE
Stop and do some crazy dancing. Personally, I like to do it on my rebounder. See how this guy has his arms in the air? Turns out that is a really empowering gesture that helps you feel powerful and good! So do a victory dance and reap the benefits of both feeling powerful and calming down with a bit of exercise—which will help you, focus.
DO THE WORST FIRST
It sucks when you’re blind-sided with a task that you’d rather not do—especially when you are pressed for time—but the best approach is to dig in and get it done. The faster you get the thing that is nagging at you off your plate the better. I have a touch it once protocol for handling things in my business and in life. Whenever possible, I try to deal with things right the first time and move onto the next task with my full attention. Don’t get too freaked out by your ToDo list. If you handle the worst thing first, all the other tasks are going to feel less intimidating.
This rocking horse looks innocent, doesn’t it? Well it took hours of enamel spraying in my basement shower—
which still looks a little like I murdered someone in there.
FIND A SHORTCUT
You know who cares if there are cobwebs in the laundry room or if the cookies are decorated simply instead of elaborately—no one but you. One year I decided to make special cookies for each member of my family that reflected their hobbies. I set out to make a dozen ‘art’ cookies in special shapes for each person and decorate each one like I was painting a masterpiece. At 3 a.m. on the fourth night I had met my physical limit so I decided to incorporate regular old Christmas cookie shapes into the cookie mix. Because I’m a perfectionist, I felt like my grand design had been compromised and became disappointed in myself. But everyone loved the cookies and the truth is a few special cookies were just as nice as a dozen. It might seem half-assed to you but no one will know you feel that way unless you say something.
Hint: Don’t say something when things don’t turn out perfectly—you could ruin an otherwise joyful moment.
The David statue in my house wears all the holidays well!
SANTA HAS A MAGIC SLEIGH & YOU DO NOT
This may be an unpopular idea, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with not celebrating every holiday with all factions of your family if it stresses you out! Plus, there is nothing more depressing than going to a party or family event with your mind on leaving in order to make it to the next one on time. It’s much better to carve out the time you need and be present while you’re sharing presents! Consider alternating holidays with different groups in your family. We do Thanksgiving with one side of the family and Christmas with the other so we can enjoy both holidays! It might also be wise to cut back on your obligations if you are stressed by an adverse event in your life. Maybe you can’t stop the bad, but you can make sure you cherish the good.
May your days be merry and bright!
Ho! Ho! Ho!