The holidays bring about different sides of people. For some it is a happy time, where Christmas music, lights, parties, and family all fill their free time. For others the holidays can be a time of obligations, shopping, crowds, and absolute craziness a.ka. stress. On top of all that there could be added stress from work, expectations from family, and even the reality of making sure those in your life have a memorable holiday. I wonder though, is it all worth it?
What expectations have we put on ourselves that are unrealistic? Is it fun to feel so stressed for a holiday? Between finding the right gifts, to wrapping and mailing them, to Christmas cards, parties, food, and keeping up with traditions it is a lot of pressure to do it all and make it all happen. Why do we do it? Is it wanting to give and ensure your family has an amazing holiday? Would they care if you dropped off a few responsibilities?
My stress level has definitely risen these last few weeks. There is a lot going on at work, and our home to-do list seems to be never-ending. Whether it is something for the holidays, or the yard, or something needs to be fixed, or we are trying to get all our year-end eye and dentist appointments complete before December 31. I am ready to get off the 2014 roller coaster and breathe.
In between all the stress and to-do’s on your list, be sure to take time for yourself. Get a massage (I mean it)! Take a bath, put your feet up. I am going to do all those things over the holiday. While it is an important time to be with family, indulge in amazing holiday treats, and give, give, give, make sure you give to yourself. Rest, recharge, and be ready for 2015. I have a hunch it will start with a bang and you will be ready if you have taken some time to refuel.
I have had one of those weeks where I feel I am doing too much. I feel like an airplane that lands at the airport, goes to the gate, yet has trouble making contact with the actual gate opening (you have probably been in a plane that goes back and forth to make sure it is at the right opening of the gate), then gets ready to take off for the next trip without proper rest, full refueling, emptying the lavatory, and replenishing the snacks. Do you get the picture in your head of my life? Often I find that my life is all about being air traffic control.
I am sure a lot of individuals feel that way when they go between managing their personal and professional lives. There are a few things that make it hard for me to function. No run, too much sugar, and not enough good “fuel” food. You know veggies, thick, luscious, leafy greens. Too me without filling my body with “premium gas” I sputter, am slower, and cannot complete what I need to do in the way that I want. Just like a car or airplane that has a less smooth ride. We cannot skimp on what makes us function.
I have had quite a few conversations recently that have revolved around “doing too much.” Each conversation mentioned the effects on health, happiness, and emotions. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I sometimes feel like I am the hamster in the wheel, spinning and spinning wondering when this tilt-a-whirl of life will ever slow down. I know I am the only one that can truly jump out, jump off, and create the change in my world, but it is so much easier said then done. If I walk away at the end of the day, and there is so much left to do, it is hard for my brain to stop working and not think about it all.
So I wonder. How do you do it? How does your friend, your sister, or your husband compartmentalize their world to move between the very grey and blurred lines of work and home life? When you always feel like the water is deep and there are so many things happening around you, how do you keep up, when you are just tired of treading water? My gut says it is time for a massive mind shift, a new way of working, a new way of approaching the world. Better boundaries. Clearer parameters. And…maybe a little bit of “No.”