Have yourself an anxious little Christmas

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. . .theoretically.

In actuality, it’s making me feel kind of sick. Lately, whenever I start to think about what I have still to do—-all the posts I still need to write for work, the holiday activities I’ve promised to do with the kids, the Christmas cards, the gift shopping, the cookie making, the “making merry and bright” . . .I feel like I’m about to spiral out of control. Or just lie on the ground and weep.

Even the little Christmas Countdown app I have on my iPhone makes my hands break out in a cold sweat. Two weeks?????

I need more time. More. Time.

Though, I’m sure that’s not the only problem. Part of it is the overload of a to-do list that will not quit. Part of it is some weird expectations I have on myself for what the holidays “should” be like and what we “should” do. Even though some of those things aren’t even things the kids care about doing. (Seeing Santa? They could care less. I want the photo.)

But, I’m trying to de-stress in ways that don’t involve eating a jar of Nutella, guzzling wine, or yelling at the kids. How?

* Getting outside. Honestly? I’d probably never do this if I didn’t have a big dog with soft eyes who looks at me as if she’s saying, “PLEASE take me for a walk” And, while it’s One. More. Thing I have to do a few times a day, once I start walking down the street with her, I feel the burdens of the day lifting from my shoulders. I always try to walk at least a half a mile (or so—I don’t measure it!), and breathe really deeply while I walk. I’ve had a few freezing walks the past few days, and while I sometimes wish I didn’t have to go outside (especially at 10pm!), I never regret it afterward.

* Zzzzzzzzz. 15 minutes on the couch and—wow—so much better. Reminds me of when I was in college and would arrive at the library at 7pm most nights, put my books down, my head on the desk, and fall promptly asleep for a short while. Just like then, I wake up ready to handle the next bunch of tasks. (don’t tell my former bosses, but I did the same thing when I worked in an office.)

* Magnesium. I started taking a magnesium supplement a few months ago on the suggestion of my doctor who said it might help me with those mood swings that come up every month. (YOU know what I mean) I’m supposed to vary the dosage based on where I am on my “cycle” but I’m lazy and just take 250mg every night. I can’t say that this is good for everyone (and you should always talk to your doctor before you take any supplements!), but I swear I’ve been a little more even-keeled this fall and winter.

* Just stop and go to bed. I’m a morning person and though I’d love to be productive at 10pm, I’m really just staring at my computer screen, getting nowhere. I don’t expect to get “enough” sleep this month, but I’m trying to get as much as possible.

* Lowered expectations. I will never have a house neighbors wants to visit for my decorating tips. I don’t make 10 different kinds of Christmas cookies or write a note on each Christmas card. And if we don’t see Santa this year, we’ll be okay. I think.

I’m doing okay and trying to remember why I love this holiday so much, though there is always room for improvement. How are you doing? Any other things I could be doing?

ScreenShot2012-09-27at74056AMThis is my last of three sponsored posts with Harvard Pilgrim (here are links to the first one and second one.) All the thoughts, opinions, and advice expressed are my very own. Want to find even more ways to be well? Check out HarvardPilgrim.org/CountUsIn. 


  1. I love that your sponsored posts are with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care when everyone else is sponsoring, like, Sephora, or whatever. Brava.

    Magnesium, eh? Maybe I should give that a try. I’ve also found that Vitamin B complex does wonders for energy. Not that I take it anymore; that would be too easy.

    And, yes, getting outside. Sometimes I realize I haven’t been out at all for two days. My husband will have taken the dog; the babysitter will have taken the baby. It’s not good!
    Deb recently posted..Birth Day (Part II)My Profile

    • Ohhh, I do like Sephora too though! They could pay me in lip gloss! : )

      We’ve been sick for days and I’m feeling stranded in this house. Send cookies!

  2. Oh lady, I feel ya! I am especially stressed this season because my autistic 4 year old hates holidays and I’m trying desperately to make him not hate holidays so I am putting in even more effort than I otherwise would. Thanks for the tip on Magnesium!
    Meg recently posted..A Very Worthy CauseMy Profile

  3. Oops, you’re letting your list rule your time … so every morning, go through your list & drop something that you can live without. It’s more important that you slow down a bit, so you can enjoy what you’re doing, so you can make new memories of this time in your life.

  4. I was just going to write this very same post, but I feel so much better now knowing you have crossed another thing off my list.

  5. I take Calium and Vitamin D to help with this time of year. It’s often the lack of sunlight that gets to people so much.
    Andrew recently posted..Tally peacocking like a twatMy Profile

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