The holidays have come and gone. Can I get an amen?
But seriously, the holiday season is exhausting. Between the sweets, presents, family overload, and routine apocalypse, by the time it’s finally over I’m ready to jump off the sanity ledge. It’s all just… too… much.
It’s a love-hate relationship really. I adore my family and getting to see them all under one roof is such a treat. My kids get to reconnect with their aunts, uncles, and cousins, and it really is special to watch those bonds strengthen. And who doesn’t love parties, and presents, and of course, cookies. All the cookies. Seriously, how am I even complaining right now?
Yet, it’s stressful. It’s heavy on the wallet (forget the presents, I don’t even want to think about how much I spent on babysitters this month). It can be straining on relationships. And after a day or two, the late nights and sugar hangovers start to eat at everyone, especially the kids.
Mommy rage was in full effect this month too. I was yelling at the kids over everything. I was tearing up over stupid stuff. My heart would jolt over tiny blips in the life radar screen. It was getting out of control.
I had a panic attack a week before Christmas. It’s the first time I’ve had a panic attack in years — 10 years, maybe. I was overrun by parties, poor eating, dystopic schedules, work, and family stressors. It was all too much and my body went into panic mode.
If you’re ever in need of a full-blown wake-up call, a panic attack is a sure thing.
I knew I needed to make some major changes if I was going to survive the holidays. A healthy living reset was the first step, but slowing down was a close second. I can’t be everywhere at once, and my kids certainly can’t be either. It’s time to start saying “no.”
And it’s hard to say, for me especially. I hate letting people down… I’m a people pleaser by nature. But for the sake of sanity, it’s an absolute must. Doctor’s orders.
So I started to slow down. I began saying “no” to more calendar invites and YES to me time and downtime. My body calmed down and blessed me with better sleep and a calmer demeanor. And thank God, because my family was getting ready to ring my neck.
Now that January’s here and the parties have come and gone, I take solace in the white space of my planner. Less activity means more time home, less rushing, and lower expectations to meet. The post-holiday detox has officially begun, and unlike binging on sugar and eggnog, this feels good.