Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Self Care Over The Holidays

This is a tough time of year for me. It's almost a running joke in our family except everyone knows I'm so sensitive in December I can't withstand the teasing. It might be the blah weather. This is what it looks like around here right now:

Very monochromatic. It might also be the hype to overspend or the highs and lows on the news. Great stories of hope and generosity lift me up, then incredibly sad ones pull at my heart strings. Every year the winter blues ambushes me right in time for the holidays.

Today I was stressing out as I was leaving the house to run errands and my husband, that stalwart, wonderful man, said, "Skip the gym. You look great. Take one thing off your list."

I stood in the doorway for a good minute, fighting this excellent advice. It's not my nature to skip things things that require discipline. If I skip once, I'm afraid I'll turn into the person who skips three months and pays dues for nothing.

But when I finally took his advice, I felt such a rush of relief! Which is why I am sharing this with you. Maybe you're also going in a dozen directions. If so, please give yourself permission to slow down. Take one thing, just one measly thing, off your list. You'll feel so much better, I promise!

Now, one thing I have managed to learn over time is to delegate to my children. My daughter is actually grown and out of the house, but she's coming home for Christmas and she loves this season.

This is last year's baking and it does brighten up the joint, doesn't it? She'll decorate the tree, too. Just having her here will give me a huge boost. Plus I have my son's high school band concert this week. That will force me to quit overthinking and enjoy the show.

The funny thing is, for years I resisted believing I was 'one of those people' who had trouble with this time of year. My husband mentioned it at least five years ago, saying, "You know, honey, there ARE people who find this time of year stressful."

Not me. I thought it was self-inflicted. I am a high energy person, I set myself a lot of tasks, and I'm very disappointed in myself when I, for instance, skip the gym. So I always think that if I manage things better, I'll be fine.

This year I'm facing it. There is something about this time of year that is hard for me. I plan to self-care in these ways so I thought I'd share and encourage you to try a few of these if you're feeling stressed. I kept it simple on purpose. I'm trying not to overthink.

  1. Eat more veggies!
  2. Try to stay away from the junk food
  3. Lighten up the schedule
  4. Go for walks
  5. Be open to spontaneity 
  6. Unplug!
  7. Enjoy the moment
  8. Get some sun (if it appears!)
  9. Delegate
  10. Rest
I think I forget that this is a time of year when we're supposed to be slowing down and hibernating.  Maybe Number Eleven should be Read a good book. I definitely need to steal an afternoon for that. 

How do you feel this time of year? Does it ever feel overwhelming to you? I would love to hear from anyone who uses a SAD light and whether they've found it helpful. I'm thinking about getting one. 

Take care and Happy New Year!

A USA Today Bestselling author, Dani Collins writes sexy, witty, vibrant romance for Harlequin Presents, Tule's Montana Born and herself. Dani lives in rural Canada with her high school sweetheart and their almost grown son. 

Look for her exciting baby swap duet, The Wrong Heirs, coming from Harlequin Presents: 


dstoutholcomb said...

Our minister recommended a SAD light and said it worked.


Mary Preston said...

We keep things simple & low key. No stress here, just enjoyment.

Dani Collins said...

Thanks Denise & Mary!

Funny thing, I had a chat with my mom and she said she struggles too. (And hides it well, apparently, because I didn't know!) Also her mother (from Iceland) had problems in the winter, too. I've been looking at the SAD lights. Maybe I'll wait for a boxing day deal :)