The holidays are in full swing, so are triggers, anxiety, and depression.  I also love the Christmas lights the excitement and fun.  The bustle, rushing and extreme expectations not so much.  I decided that for the month of December I am posting tips and ideas for coping with high stresses of holiday festivities.  Last month I mentioned planning, preparing and exit plan, now it is time to put those plans into action.

Feeling overwhelmed with all you have to do…..

Write a list.  Now Cross off half of it.  Really.

I learned the hard way that either I chose to cut down my activities or my body quit it for me.  When I passed out, I couldn’t do anything any way.  So I recommend picking and choosing activities to let go.  Many activities I am putting on alternating years.  Last year we had a real tree, this year an artificial one.  Last year I missed going to see the lights.  This year it moved higher on my list but other activities may still nudge out this holiday delight.  I want to do every thing but know from past experience that attempting that will most likely cause me to have a melt down that I will miss every thing.  I need to pace myself.  Self-regulation is the art of not doing every thing that my busy brain can think of to do.  If I had unlimited energy I would make all gifts I give, bake cookies for all my neighbors and friends, build a gingerbread city, go Christmas caroling, wrap presents for whoever needs presents wrapped, make fudge and eat it, listen to Christmas music, decorate my entire house, and my list could go on and on and on.  Yea, I usually get the listen to Christmas music done.

Self-regulation is a skill.  It can be learned.  I found an article on line that hits the main point.  I recommend reading the rest of the article. Then ask yourself the question…what about the holiday is most important to you?  Focus on what you value.

Research consistently shows that self-regulation skill is necessary for reliable emotional well being. Behaviorally, self-regulation is the ability to act in your long-term best interest, consistent with your deepest values. (Violation of one’s deepest values causes guilt, shame, and anxiety, which undermine well being.) Emotionally, self-regulation is the ability to calm yourself down when you’re upset and cheer yourself up when you’re down.

Remember one other thing.  It is all over in one month.  Hugs.




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