Friday, December 14, 2012

Oh, the Pressure!

It’s the holidays. The time of year when everyone wants a piece of our time, when, on top of our usual weekly-daily-monthly to-do list, you have the added responsibility of providing holiday gifts for the important people of our lives—not because we have to, but because we want to. Then there are parties, and dinners, and other social expectations we try to fulfill and attend. Not because others expect it of us, but because we expect it of ourselves. There’s decorating. And wrapping. And delivering. And baking. And, and, and…

Add to that starting a new school, a new job, moving to a new house in a new town in a state a thousand miles away from where you’ve spent your life, and unpacking, and organizing, and replacing, and filling out paperwork, and well. It’s a lot. And then someone else shows up and asks for just. One. More. Semi-big thing.

You say yes, because, let’s face it, you’re unable to really respond other than stare into space and nod.

Then you go home and fall apart because your head wants to explode from all the pressure.

But it doesn’t. Instead, you take a deep breath and think it through.

Where is the pressure coming from?

Your personal expectations.

Who is applying it?


What can you do about it?

Slow down. Do what you can. Expect nothing more of yourself than you can logically, emotionally, and physically give. And learn to say no when what someone asks of you feels like too much.

And when all else fails, take a break and go to the beach. (Or the mountains, or the lake, or a meadow or whatever place feels peaceful to you.)

This weekend, I recommend that we all take an hour to do something silly and unnecessary and just plain fun. Because during a month when it feels like no one has any time, the silly and unnecessary are sometimes vital to the survival of the human spirit.

What fun thing will you choose?


Angie said...

Good advice. It's late Saturday, and I haven't done anything silly or fun yet. We'll see tomorrow. Or next week sometime. Hope you have a great Christmas!

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm all about keeping stress off and keeping it simple. And as for silly, I tackled my nephew today and threatened to give him a kiss. He giggled his head off and then agreed to split the difference with a hug.

Carolyn V said...

I'm so sorry about the pressure. I hate it.

My favorite thing to do to unwind is to eat chocolate. Mmmmm. Then I have to run to work off all those calories. ;)