Sunday, December 1, 2019

My Strategies to Help Me Destress Over the Holidays

Yesterday, I was aware that I was putting a bit too much stress on myself to get all that needed done on time. When I felt like I failed miserably, I made a notation to start earlier the next day and make a list to complete the tasks and get it all sorted out. As this day progressed and we were heading into mid afternoon, I realized that I would be once again a failure. Day 3 now!

A simple little anonymous quote that I used the day before as my positive mantra for the day said it all, and I, of all people let it get by me and did not take it seriously enough. The quote was, "It is most definitely too early for anyone to get their tinsel in a tangle. Chill out and let it go." By the end of yesterday, my tinsel was so tangled, I just wanted to toss it all in the trash after I finished jumping on top of it tangled mess.

It was at this stage that I sort of knew that is where I was headed. I had not accomplished all that I had set out to do for the day. Mind you, I had, with the help of my husband, taken quite a few things for Christmas decorations downstairs, gone through boxes and tossed two bags of 'not worth hanging on to any longer stuff.' It no longer brought me joy. Some of the decorations were long past their expiration date. 

Of course, that took time. Then there was putting the Christmas tree up and decorating it, without knowing how our new puppy would react. Davis, our older pup never bothered it. Maggie Mae has her own way of doing things. So I kept ornaments up a bit higher until I was sure that she would leave them alone. I must say that except for a red and white tinsel fat candy cane, she did not bother anything else.

The Christmas tree skirt is all that was out around the tree. I had not started wrapping gifts yet. The two dogs decided that the skirt was for pulling around the house like a blanky. Steve just put it up on the table until we were able to put heavy gifts that were wrapped on top of it. 

Steve helped by getting the stockings hung and they looked fabulous. Thanks to Thomas, our son, for bringing all of the Christmas boxes down from the pull-down attic (YES, I did say all) this is what we needed, or let me say, I needed in order to go through them all and sort them out. For two years we had been missing our newer decorations. What gets tossed, what will we use to decorate this year and what will go back to be stored.

That is my dilemma. NOTHING is going back up in that pull-down attic. It is too hard to get to, even once a year to bring down and take back up again. So now it is a matter of clearing out the closet attic which is not very large and has junk in it that needs to go. Plus, it needs vacuumed out or swept out because of all of the insulation mess. The other storage closet is somewhat cleaned out. It could still stand a bit of decluttering and this is when my tinsel was starting to tangle. It seemed as if one job was accomplished but that in turn caused two more jobs. Stuff was piling up!

The good news is that I recognized my feelings. I lacked clarity, felt negative, felt rushed, and although I did not throw a hissy fit, I felt that I could have if I did not gain control and stop blaming myself for everything that I did not get done.

Just as the two bees above, it is okay. Pick one and start from there. That is what I needed to do. One task at a time. Taking small simple steps each day is the way that all will get taken care of in it's own sweet time and way. So make a list and what gets done is checked off. I needed to take ownership of just what was truly accomplished. To my surprise, it was quite a bit. What is not checked off will start the next day. No one is going to come in and give me any kind of evaluation on this unfinished mess. I am not on a deadline except what I had put on myself, which in turn made me feel less than capable. I needed time to reflect on what I had accomplished and just take in deep breaths just to know that I should pat myself on my back because the list of what was completed was truly inspirational. 

My six ways to relieve holiday stress boils down to:

  • recognize that overwhelming feeling
  • start making reasonable lists with no time frame
  • check off tasks completed with no judgment
  • reflect on exactly what was accomplished
  • pat yourself on your back
  • be grateful for all that you have
It does not have to be done in a day, not even two or three days. I love ending this blog with Daniell Koepke's quote:

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