3 More Sleeps: How to Survive The Low Points of the Holiday Season
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
Let me start with the personal, good news first: the reason you haven't gotten this blog for over a month is that we've had our busiest Christmas ever and I literally have not had time to sit down at the computer and write! Thank you Toronto, and Australia, and Texas, the entire US Midwest, and lots and lots of Missouri in particular.
Now for the bad news: this insane and unexpected rush, trying to run this business while simultaneously working other jobs (however light or heavy they are at times) and spend a bit of time with my children and try to make my own Christmas memories and send out my own 50 cards and shower and do all that, has helped to drive me into a sort of burnout-driven depression. I didn't need much help, to be quite honest, because this time of year is always difficult for me, but the frantic pace and not sleeping enough has made it worse.
Last year I wrote about tips for having a successful holiday season, but they involved all sorts of clever planning and it is far too late for that. There are only 3 more sleeps. For me, much of my sadness seems to come from simple guilt that I am not meeting anybody's expectations; the pressure at this time of year to just be great is so, well, great, that it crushes me. So here's what to do if you feel like crap while everyone else is ho ho ho-ing. Disclaimer: I may or may not do this all regularly or well, but it all makes sense and it definitely works when I do it.
How to Survive The Holidays When you Feel Less Than 100%
1. Just do SOMETHING. If you are on total overwhelm and it feels like you have 8 million equally weighted things to do in the next 3 days, just start somewhere. Some people are great at lists and prioritizing, but I am not one of them - everything seems equally imperative when I'm overwhelmed. So take a deep breath and start one thing. Complete it. Then move on to the next. Eventually, the pile will lessen.
2. Know who your friends are. No one person can be all things to another, so if some of your friends have certain quirks, like they hate listening to you vent, or they are over-booked like you, or they aren't into the whole holiday thing, don't ask those people for help. It doesn't mean they are bad friends, they are just the WRONG friends to help you accomplish your holiday goals, whether that's keeping you company at the mall or coming over for a last minute gift wrapping session or letting you borrow their car to cut your own tree. You know your friends - don't set yourself up for disappointment.
3. Time is on your side. With so little time left before the big day, you may actually find it's easier to take a breather because at least you aren't expected to do much, if anything, at work (if you even have to work Christmas Eve) so make the most of your time: it's finally on your side. If you have to travel to see parents or other family members, take the time to pack carefully and bring along the treats and things that keep you sane and grounded during the trip; things that remind you that you are a grownup with your own home and life and that you are going to return to it, relaxed, healed and happy.
Wishing you all the best this holiday season, and here's to closer connection in 2019.