‘Tis the season for feeling overwhelmed. It does feel as though everything is piling up on top of me as the year begins to wrap up in a flurry of holiday parties, tickets home to be with my family, the still stuttering economy and the fact that almost everybody I know has either been directly affected by layoffs at work, or knows somebody who has. It’s cold, I’m exhausted and to be perfectly honest, when the alarm goes off at a truly unpleasant hour in the morning I want to sink back under the covers.
I feel as though I’ve been flung headfirst into adulthood this year more than ever, and here’s the thing I notice about that; we don’t treat ourselves very well. I am not good at asking for help and I’m not that great at admitting that I’m struggling with a packed schedule. I get more and more exhausted and much crankier. I start getting nervous about weight gain over the holiday season, about whether everything will get done in time, or get done perfectly enough, how it’s going to be with all the different family dynamics and how much it is all going to cost.
It’s not fun and it’s not smart because who does that attitude serve? Certainly not me
Years ago in my recovery program I was taught to try and think of myself as my own best friend; or the one that really worked for me, as my own child. What does this mean? It means that I would never dream of treating my child the way I think it’s acceptable to treat myself! It’s the most effective tool I know for shooting down that negative self-talk that swirls around my head the more tired and overwhelmed I get. “You’re such a loser, you never get anything done right, I shouldn’t think that I can do any of this.” Is that ok to say to my child, or to my best friend? Exactly, so why allow it to be said to myself?
And if my child was exhausted and cranky and just wanted to take a nap, would I pump him/her full of coffee or Red Bull and tell them to get on with it and stop complaining? Hell no. I would say “Take a power nap sweetie, just for 15 minutes.” There’s very little that can’t wait for 15 minutes. It’s more important for me than ever to try to eat good, nutritious food while I’m dashing around trying to get everything done on time and not to skip meals or eat something that will just sap my energy. Maybe stock up on a good multi-vitamin and keep some yummy seasonal tangerines and pomegranates around for a quick and easy powerful antioxidant punch.
And most of all I need to remember that whether it’s Christmas, or Hanukah, Kwanza, or the Western or Chinese New Year that’s being celebrated; it’s not about everything being PERFECT. It’s about people that we love coming together and acknowledging this year of our lives, 2008. It doesn’t matter if the tree is tilted just a tiny bit to the right, or if the Hor D’oeuvres for the party aren’t as delectable as they perhaps could have been. Are people smiling? Having a good time? Then that’s what is important, not me being a stress head and flapping around them trying to make last minute adjustments to the table settings. So this holiday season I’m going to say to myself that I did a good job(the best I could) and to relax and enjoy myself before I make myself crazy!!