For those who know me personally or who have read this blog, you will know I absolutely preach self care. I cannot stress the importance enough. My husband has an incredibly demanding and time consuming job. We homeschool our children and they both veer towards an empathic nature. I have a very strong personality. The result is I tend to set the emotional tone for both my home and my family. Taking care of my emotional needs is vital for our peace and tranquility.
But as you all know, Christmas is upon us. This year is a bit more fraught with stress for us. My husband is flat out getting his butt handed to him at his job. He is amazing but the work level is astronomical and he is struggling to not drown. Another addition is my new part time job. It is greatly beneficial to our lives but it also adds just one more thing.
Let's cut to the chase. I have not been eating well. I have skipped far too many yoga practices, meditation sessions, and I need to go for a run so badly I might just take off in my house shoes here in any minute. I woke up this morning with my mind racing and physically shaking. It is just not good at all.
Now I could muddle through and hope for the best. I guess I could also start day drinking. But let me be honest with you, if you lose your mind this time of year in order to make perfect memories for you family then you are most likely perpetrating an epic fail. There is a very good chance your children's memories won't be of a perfect Christmas. Nope, they will probably have precious and endearing memories of mom turning into a hellacious bitch and holidays as something everyone just tried to make it through as unscathed as possible. Probably not the warm remembrances we were going for, right?
So what to do, what to do....
You grab your over-committed, unrealistic expectations by the horns and your wrestle it into submission. But in a loving, peaceful, and zen way, of course.
Seriously though, this is what I do anytime I whirl out of control like this. First STOP. Just stop. Close your eyes and breathe. Take five minutes to meditate. I promise, you really do have five minutes. Clear your mind and then gentle seek to get to the route of your problem. Mine are lack of self care and unrealistic expectations.
We are referring back to the oxygen mask here. You put your oxygen mask on and then your children's and anyone else you claim responsibility. Oh, and remember most people are simply not your responsibility. So I take care of my needs first in this instance.
I need to clear my brain and have a tranquil environment. I grab a piece of paper and brain dump everything I "think" I need to do. Then I clean my home to what makes me happy. For me it is a clean kitchen and clutter picked up. I light candles and turn on chant music of some kind. I have read many articles about chants raising your vibrations. I am not sure how it works but for me it works.
The first thing apparent, normally, is I am not eating well, doing yoga and mediation practice, or working out especially running. It really is funny the things I know with every fiber of my being I need to stay centered and in harmony are the first thing I chuck away. These are the first thing I change back. For me this means probably no junk for Christmas. Yes, I am a total sugar junkie and those seasonal treats are amazing but honestly, sanity and balance feels better than any of them taste. I will flat out cancel other things to run and do yoga. Remember, this is your foundation and it is of the utmost importance.
Once these things are back in alignment it is easy to see what else needs to go. Go over that list of things you are convince you MUST do. None of us like to shirk our commitments but sometimes we must summon up our humility and admit, "I am sorry but I committed to more than I can do at this time." Sometimes it means dropping commitments. Sometimes it means buying something rather than homemade. The truth is those people who love us and really want the best for us will understand even if they are disappointed. If they don't, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate that particular relationship, family or not.
It is so easy to get carried away this time of year. It is so easy to run ourselves ragged. Is it any wonder people fall sick right after the holidays? We refuse to care for ourselves and compromise our immune systems. It just isn't worth it to me.
So today, I am streamlining everything. I am eating well. I have scheduled yoga for this afternoon. I have scheduled a run for tomorrow and a couple of days next week. Those particular appointments with myself are sacrosanct. Only a true emergency will pull me away and nothing involving cookies is an emergency.
I encourage to not lose your focus at this time of year or any time of year. You are not nearly as effective as you think when you do. Simplify and do what is the most important to you and your family and our memories and experiences will be so much the better for it.
May peace and harmony find you my friends and may the warmth and blessings of the holidays be upon you.