Adrienne BoettingerFriday,27 December 2013

The Snap:

Phase one of holiday week of doom complete and marked in the record books as a success. No fistfights, no prolonged guilt trips, nobody stomped out of the house, and no one curled up in the fetal position sobbing. All in all, a pretty damn good Christmas. A few weeks ago, it didn’t seem like there’d be a happy ending. When each year you feel a clutching pain in your chest thinking of all the holiday chores you’ve yet to accomplish, it’s time to reassess what you’re expecting from the season. When you find you need to breathe into a paper bag to make it through the holidays, it’s time to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Just remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Get too cocky about surviving Christmas and New Year’s Eve will come around and bite you in the ass.

The Download:

As with most things, the first step is realizing you have a problem. And in this case, the problem is you. Well, not you normally. On an average day, you can handle your life with relative ease or at least not hide under the covers refusing to answer the phone. But something happens at the holidays. Maybe it’s the excessive viewing of schmaltzy movies, the plots invariably involving finding true love over Christmas while saving puppies, orphans or a small town. That sort of crap is bound to mess with your perspective.

Maybe it’s overcommitting yourself to the point where you need to be committed. Every December there’s at least one moment where I panic to the point of needed to breathe deeply and/or take a few medicinal cocktails. I visualize all the things I have to do and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no way in holiday hell that I will finish 1/4 of them and manage to keep a full-time job. And I don’t even have kids! My friends with kids are so exhausted by the time Christmas comes around that they take naps in their cars to avoid their families.

Maybe it’s the thinking about the things that you don’t have that drives you over the edge. This could be that you don’t have enough dolla-dolla-bills to buy your loved ones the gifts they desire. It could be that you have become a bitter, bitter crone incapable of dating anyone not criminally insane.

That’s when you need to have a good friend slap you upside your friend. Don’t have someone to take care of this? Call me; I’m happy to help.

So what if your holiday newsletter doesn’t get written or the cards go out late? So what if the packages look like they were wrapped by hyperactive toddlers? The holidays shouldn’t be something we dread or something we just want to survive. The holidays should bring out the best in us: patience, kindness, love, selflessness. This is the time we need to focus on what we have, not what we don’t have.

Take Action!

Hat Tips:

Mayo ClinicVanderbilt University Medical Center Reporter, Image Credit: Flickr

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