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OT - Women (and Men!) Wednesday

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Happy Hump Day, STalkers! For some reason, I woke up this morning thinking it was Tuesday. It's Wednesday so I now feel like I'm ahead of the game! LOL!

The holiday frenzy has begun and, for some of us, it’s also the beginning of added stress. We’re often under pressure to plan, decorate, shop, cook, mail packages and cards, observe family rituals, and go to parties. Ugh!!! We try to do too much for too many people in too little time. Instead of celebrating and enjoying the season for what it IS, we feel awful. We’re exhausted, depressed, agitated, sleepless, eating poorly, overeating, overwhelmed (the crowds!), cranky, and STRESSED. For those who suffer from SAD, the reduced daylight compounds the strain.

  • Take control of the holidays! Do what you can to prevent stress and depression. Don’t feel that you have to be everywhere, doing everything for everyone. Find some joy to displace the feeling of dread.
  • Spend some time outdoors or near a window on sunny days to help ease SAD symptoms.
  • Think about what did and did NOT work for previous holidays. What was the most draining or stress-producing? Make small changes or eliminate things that don’t work. Create NEW traditions to replace any that trigger sadness and bad memories. This can be key in a step situation!
  • Take a whiff of citrus. Researchers studying depression found that lemon or orange fragrance boosts feelings of well-being and alleviates stress by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood.
  • Squeeze Here. The fleshy place between your index finger and thumb is called the Hoku Spot in traditional Chinese medicine. Applying firm pressure there for just 30 seconds can reduce stress and tension in your upper body.
  • Outsource. Ask a friend or family member to help with some shopping. If you can, hire a virtual assistant! Many places will gather your shopping items and groceries for you. All you have to do is pick up the bags. Bonus if the store delivers!
  • Start planning NOW and plan ahead. Make a loose schedule of things to be done. Create a list of foods that can be baked/cooked and frozen in advance. Cookies for your child’s holiday party at school can be thawed out the night before. Address cards in advance to avoid the last minute rush of writing/addressing.
  • Think outside the box. Holidays do NOT have to be materialistic. Instead of starting a new family tradition that involves eating out or buying gifts, plan a family day. Go ice skating. Take a carriage ride. Cut down your Christmas tree. Spend some time giving to those in need by volunteering at a hospital, soup kitchen, or shelter. You can even start a family tradition of adopting a family. Yes, it involves buying things, but it’s buying things for a family who has little or nothing. When you give to those in need, you get so much back!
  • Learn to say NO. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. You don’t HAVE to participate in every project or activity. Think about what you’ll enjoy and graciously decline the rest.
  • Take some ME time. When you look good, you feel good. Buy a new outfit. Get a massage. Indulge in a luxury mani/pedi. Spend an hour at the coffee shop with your favorite drink and a good book.
  • LET IT GO. Disengaging is not only for step situations. Holding grudges or stewing over past hurts will not resolve them. Realize that some people are poopie and will never change.

    Consider this:
    If you had $86,400 in your bank account and someone stole $10 from you, would you be upset and throw away the remaining $86,380 in the hopes of getting back at the person who took your $10? Or move on and live?

    We all have 86,400 seconds each day. Don’t let someone’s negative 10 seconds ruin the remaining 86,390. Move on and live!!

  • ETA: DRINK WINE!!! Drinks


Siemprematahari's picture

Hola Aniki!

I will not allow anyone to steal my joy. I've been cleaning house lately with getting rid of people and things in my life that no longer serve me so I'm feeling amazing these days. Thank you for the reminder of "we all have 86,400 seconds each day. Don’t let someone’s negative 10 seconds ruin the remaining 86,390. Move on and live!!"

Well said amiga!  Que tengas un gran dia!

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Hola Siempre!

I admit that, in the past, I HAVE allowed others to steal my joy. I let myself be overwhelmed by stress, forgot the reason for the season, and lost myself in the negatives.

Admittedly, I'm always a little blue at Christmas. My paternal grandfather passed away on Christmas Eve. Yes, it was years ago, but I'm always a little sad about the events surrounding his passing.

Amiga, that 10 seconds thing was a big eyeopener for me. I often think about how a smile can change someone's day, but never considered how I have allowed 10 seconds of crap from a Negative Nelly to alter my mood. I have already printed out that little reminder and pinned it to my cubicle wall.

Muchas gracias! Y tu tambien!!

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Aw, thank you, sweetie! I don't often have good advice for a stephell situation and feel that my main reason for being on STalk is to help others things outside of stephell. Smile

Cover1W's picture

Yes!  Learn to say NO = very important!

I get very stressed durning the holidays as it's also a super-busy time at my workplace.  I take Thanksgiving week off then another week off end of January because I have almost no time after that until end of January to even breathe.

It's taken DH 5 years to get this.  Of me steadily saying "No" I cannot do all that.  No, I cannot set up the tree, no, I will not go buy more decorations, no I cannot and will not cook a special meal - especially because YOU can do all those things.

What I do is set myself goals to do:  I do like to bake - but I've cut back on the amount of baking I do mostly because no one in my house eats cookies but me (WHAT is that ABOUT?!).  So after two years of that I now only bake MY cookies.  If I have time I'll do another batch and give some to the neighbors, but that didn't happen last year.

I help DH with Xmas shopping, but this year he's coming with me.  I'll do another trip with a girlfriend that will end with wine.

DH will be cooking the Xmas eve dinner - I will provide the bubbly.  I will cook the Xmas day meal (turkey!) but that's it.  No cooking breakfast.  I will be sitting there with my coffee and Bailey's and that's that.

SD12 will help me take down the tree (she likes that).

Then we're done with that insanity.  No SD14 this year (oh, wait)...No SD15 this year!

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Good for you, Cover!!!

I used to be the Overlady of Overachieving. And it took a toll. I was so busy cleaning, decorating, shopping, baking DOZENS of cookies, trying to make everything PERFECT. It took me a long time to realize that perfection is overrated and that something always keeps things from being the Perfect I had in my mind. I had to learn to let it go. That bookcase didn't get dusted? Oh, well. Those cookies are not perfectly shaped? They still taste good. Yes. I actually fretted over my cookies being "seconds". NO ONE ELSE NOTICED, but I let it stress me out.

My coworkers are freaking out because.... I declined to be part of the decoration crew this year. I'm swamped at work and my personal schedule is busy (physical therapy 2-3 times a week). Last year, I spent time after work and on weekends decorating. I don't have that time this year AND I have no interest in doing it. They're just going to have to get over it. Dirol

WarMachine13's picture

Too many time I wait till a week before and shop. Gifts, food, do cards. Gonna do my best to stretch it out!