OT - Women (and Men!) Wednesday
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.
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!!!