This year, I really felt that “holiday stress”. I never thought that the holidays could be or should be stressful. However, this year I found myself getting overwhelmed by things that wouldn’t even matter in a few days. I felt pressure to have my house sparkling clean, asked my self questions like “Do I have enough gifts”?, “Do I have the right gifts?” “Did I make enough cookies?” “Will they like it?” Then, just when I thought I was in the clear, the anxiety set in about making sure I saw everyone and accomplished every task I frantically wrote down to complete in my time off.
Just before I turned into a ball of knotted up Christmas lights, I took a look at all this frantic-ness and realized that it was not about that. I didn’t want this time to be about stress. I want it to be about fun, relaxing and enjoying time with my family. Instead of freaking out over the mess of toys and bags and gifts I decided to relish in it. I enjoyed a day of just being. It was actually the most fun I had in a long time. I adopted the same choices the next day, prioritizing my tasks and checking other things off my list I want to accomplish like playing with my daughter, taking a nap, and watching a good show on TV.
Shifting my perception changed the entire atmosphere of my home, how I felt, and my relationships with others. I became less edgy and much more relaxed. I’ve always been a “do-er” but since becoming a mom my brain sometimes tricks me into thinking I need to have everything right and in order 100% of the time. This only leaves me drained, unhappy, and half-assing almost everything I do(more than usual).
The truth is, nothing needs to be perfect all the time. Sometimes getting done just what needs to be done that day is a huge accomplishment and feels amazing. I’ve realized I’d rather be happy than drive my self crazy. I gotten to know my “gut” and am getting good at noticing when I need to do something and when I am just avoiding or being lazy. Being in tune to yourself can be super empowering.
With the New Year here, I’d like to keep things this way. But how? Life is bound to set in an stress reappear at some point. It all comes down to being aware and noticing those trigger points. By simply being aware, we can make a consciously choose a different response. It’s going to be a challenge, but the amazing feeling of being on top of the world is so worth it.