How to Deal with Holiday Anxiety Like an Adult

It’s only Tuesday and I’ve already seen at least 5 articles this week on how to get through the holidays with your sanity intact. And I’ve read every one of them because I’m already feeling the strain.  No doubt, ’tis the season for all of our anxieties to come shining through like a flashlight in the face!

But doesn’t this seem wrong, somehow? Why do we feel obligated to put ourselves through this year after year? Yes I get that traditions are important but does being super stressed out have to be a tradition too?

Truth be told, I don’t enjoy the holidays any more. I have a hard time finding the joy in it all when it all just feels TOO MUCH. Too much pressure, too much money, too much food, too many things to do, people to see, places to go…and for what? So we can post some Norman Rockwellesque photos on social media? So we don’t disappoint someone in our family? So we can feel like we did it “right”? I feel like the whole thing needs to be reworked.

But until I’m able to escape to the Caribbean for the months of November and December (someday!), I’m going to have to suck it up and deal. And here’s how I plan to deal with it:

  • Radical Acceptance – these holidays are happening whether I like it or not. They just are. So I can accept that I am going to have to do things I’d really rather not do, but since I am an adult I will handle myself with maturity and grace. And then I’m going to reward myself for Adulting so well.
  • Cope Ahead – I can make a plan and do things ahead of time that will make the actual event easier to deal with. That might mean cooking a few dishes ahead of time, getting in some exercise so I feel better, getting more rest, or watching for things I need to go on sale (so I feel like I have at least a little bit of control over my money).
  • Improve the Moment – sadly the only thing I can think of here is having a nice glass of wine or some spiked punch. But maybe it also means having some neutral discussion topics on hand – movies, books, etc – so that if the conversation takes a ridiculous turn, I can steer it back to common ground (this could also be considered Coping Ahead, I think). Retreating to another room for five minutes to watch a funny cat video is also a good way to improve the moment and my mood if I feel like it’s getting to be too much.
  • Find Joy in the Little Things – when my kids all pull together to get the house clean while I’m at work on Wednesday, noshing on my mom’s Thanksgiving stuffing, that glorious nap that comes after the meal, Christmas music on the radio during my daily commute, A Charlie Brown Christmas (along with ALL the Christmas classics), driving around and looking at Christmas lights, baking treats with my kids, making that first batch of the peanut butter balls that makes my husband so happy…these are the things I’m going to focus on. These are the things I’m going to look forward to.
  • Writing – I’m going to write, write, write, either here or privately because I already feel better about everything since I sat down to write this post.

If you love this time of year and you feel like you are on top of it, more power to you (and also, I envy you)! But for the rest of us who tend to feel like we’re caught in the undercurrent of TOO MUCH, let’s just take it easy on ourselves, okay? Let’s agree to do what we can and let that be good enough. Let’s agree to take spectacular care of ourselves and maybe, just maybe we’ll surprise ourselves and come out on the other side of this with some good times and warm memories.

 

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New blog layout

Do you love it? I do. This theme is called “Crafty”. I wish the little apple was a little pear, but I still like him. I think this layout fits my personality. 🙂

In other news, What the heck is going on in the universe lately? Everyone I have talked to is having a difficult time right now. My problems are nothing compared to some, yet I still feel super stressed right now. Thankfully I’m not diving into the sugar, instead I’m doing lots (LOTS) of deep breathing, drinking tea, and spending as much time as I can outside on my patio. I found a twice-a-week yoga class that I can go to as soon as I wrap up cheer season (this week, God willing) and I am pumped about adding in some yoga again.

I’ve got a football banquet to get through tonight, and one on Saturday, then I am D-O-N-E done! If you hear some maniacal laughing at around 3:30 Saturday afternoon, it’ll probably be me, crazy laughing at how giddy I’ll be to be done with cheer and all it’s trappings.

I haven’t mentioned all my cheer drama on here because, well, I just didn’t want to, but let me assure you it’s been hell. And it’s almost over. Can I get a “hallelujah”?!

Cheer Mom, out.

I am so Stella right now.

Wow. These last couple of weeks have been trying for sure, but also good.  I’ve learned some things about myself I didn’t know and I remembered a few things I had forgotten too.  Since I’m a little bit crunched for time, I may be skipping around and this might seem a bit rambly, but just go with it okay? 

 

I took a vacation day on Tuesday and it was one of the best days I have had in a long, long time.  I got to take the kiddos to school (I usually leave for work before they wake up in the mornings, so getting to see them before school was a treat for all of us I think), then watch my daughter walk in the “Vetrinarians” Day parade, have lunch with my husband, and then I cleaned out a closet and sold some clothes to the consignment store for $40.  Nothing big or exciting, but I felt good the whole day and the hubs and I got to spend some time together and it was just a really great day all around.  I think one reason it all went so well is because after I took the kids to school, I came home and instead of doing housework, I took an hour for myself and read a book with a cup of peppermint mocha by my side.  Taking that one hour to do something for me seemed to quiet the bubbling anxiety just under the surface, and allowed me to just enjoy the day.  I will treasure that day for a long time. 

 

Since that day, I have kept in mind that taking time for me is good for everybody I live with, so I have been using that as an incentive to get on the treadmill.  It really helps keep Mommy Dearest at bay and I can deal with the stress of every day life a lot better.  Last night while I was walking and the tunes were thumping through my skull, I realized that I missed the invincibility and power I feel when I am really working it hard.  (I wish I could do something to remind myself of how great I feel when I work out, so that when I am tempted to slack off – like I have that last couple of months- I can just look at that “something” and say, oh yeah, THAT’S why I work out!!)  I felt it last night and I’m counting on that feeling to keep me coming back for more.  I’m going to try and walk tonight and then again tomorrow because we have a big company dinner planned for Saturday night and I don’t want to feel one bit bad for indulging (I don’t plan on pigging out, but I want to really enjoy my food while I’m there!). 

 

I haven’t been to an official weigh in with the Nurse Nazi this week, but my scale this morning said…..(wait for it)……151! 

 

Hello, my name is Stella, and this is me getting my groove back.