Let’s skip right to the nitty gritty my lovely peeps. It’s the end of the year, the BIG holiday season no matter what faith you follow, and the holidays are stressful. Start by adding in some not necessarily vacation worthy travel, more expenses, parties, gifts and family get-togethers. Scheduling all of this into your already filled calendar can cause substantially raised anxiety levels, often leading to panic attacks and shutdown. But I have some good news. Now that you’ve faced the cold, hard truth, you can lose it.
The first step in reducing stress is self-awareness and confronting the big ugly thing, yes, you can count that sweater. Sometimes when you try to hold it together on the outside your body is burning on the inside, mental breakdown and anxiety folks. But, you know what lovelies? There is no shame in saying to yourself, out loud, “Stinky dinkies! (Trying to keep it clean peeps) I am completely, utterly and totally stressed out.” And now that you’ve aired that to the world, you can move right along by doing something that reduces stress. Let’s start with something easy. Call on Mother Nature.
We all know that sometimes life can be too much to handle. Holidays and family and all those cookies are certainly no exception. At times like these, you need to find an escape route. Hightail it to the nearest bubble bath, add wine and dim the lights…oops, sorry…that would be for your nap, lol. I’m not giving you carte blanche to run away from your family and responsibilities, but I am suggesting you take a wee little break. Coffee up, and read on.
First, let’s look at the au naturel way to go. Exposure to nature has been proven to decrease stress and increase health and mental contentment. Grab your trainers and get out there. Walk in the park, the sun, the snow- dance in the rain…whatever makes you feel that happy buzz, and lets you lose your anxiety ridden December woes.
Alright, let’s move into a different path and try talking to yourself. That’s right, not for the looney toons, but for regular folk too. Sometimes, when I write, I am locked into my own world, and if I start thinking about life, I tend to freak out. So, I start talking to myself. It’s a quick escape and a good way to work out your feelings. Sometimes, I am so busy writing, worrying, taking care of other people, that I neglect my own needs. So this is my escape. If I’m really lucky, by the end of my little one on one, there’s a new poem or post idea floating around my brain, and penning it makes me feel pretty darn good. It’s a great outlet, just make sure you’re not chatting yourself up in public. It looks weird.
OK, one more de-stress and debug idea. Downtime. We all need it, so make sure you pencil it into your life. Make it a priority to relax. Get off the social media, and stop reading the news. Try it for an hour if you’re seriously addicted, you can be like me, and take a few days off now and then. You (and I) need to chill out. I keep wondering when life became so overwhelming that it is hard to stop, sit and breathe. Of course some days, even stopping to breathe fills my head with worries, to do lists and what time is carpool what’s for dinner, etc. I need, like you, to incorporate some downtime.
Every morning, this java junkie wakes up an hour early, and not because I have to walk the dog, make the lunches, etc. I do it to have a little destress, me time. Some days, if I wake up late, I’m a walking disaster zone, and I know a morning nap is happening. That’s a total interruption to my schedule. So how about this. Let’s challenge each other. Let’s set aside 2 hours a week. No responsibility. Shut the door, take a bath, read a book, take a nap, go for a walk, or talk to yourself. You’ll have a good audience. Embrace the idea and the act of doing nothing (or something really low key) and just chill.
I guess my lovely petunias, that this might all feel a bit uncomfortable. GOOD! Sadly, most of us are no longer able to remember the carefree feeling of just doing nothing. Push yourself here, I promise, it pays. It is so incredibly important (and good for you) to slow down and relax. Your mind, body and soul need time to relax, rebuild, and refresh. So take the challenge. I know I have already inked it into my calendar.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕