The holidays can turn me into a stark raving mad stress machine! Making self-care a priority enables me to enjoy the holidays, while lowering my stress.
Maybe it’s the need to fit in all the events. Or maybe there’s pressure to decorate the house so that it looks as good as the neighbors’. Quite possibly there is financial stress in finding extra cash for presents. Maybe you just don’t want to see your in-laws...
Whatever the case may be, I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT! “Like what?” you may ask. The stress. The pressure. The overwhelm. The Christmas carols. All of it. All the things that come with the holidays.
This time of year, I am particularly prone to “hamster wheel brain” and “chicken with my head cut off syndrome”. I mean, let’s be honest here, I’m prone to it all year long. So, add in multiple deadlines, revenue goals, holiday cards (both personal and professional), Christmas gift shopping, all the events and parties, and the one enjoyable task on my holiday to do list, pie baking, and I am ripe for anxiety overload.
Not to mention that as the holidays approach, people seem to have an increased level of road rage…or is it just me?
Yesterday, an hour before my weekly Yoga class, I thought to myself, “I definitely don’t have time for Yoga this week!” So that meant that I DEFINITELY had to go. I’m glad I did. Self-care is important this time of year and I mustn’t let that go slack, that’s for damn sure.
So, there I was getting my Om on, and I announced to my Yoga community that I was having my locals’ holiday art sale. I was explaining that this year, my holiday art is focused on positivity and the things that bring me love, laughter, and joy, and immediately I felt a shift in my stress level.
Just talking about the art that I’m creating for the holidays (both my local in person sale and my online holiday pop up), created a sense of ease. It was as if I reminded myself what I was proactively doing in order to take care of myself and keep overwhelm at bay.
What we focus on is what we create more of.
With that reminder, I was able to let go and completely drop in to my Yoga practice and man, what an amazing class it was. (Props to Melissa Cooley here in Talent, Oregon at Om Sweet Om Yoga Studio. If you are looking for a Yoga teacher in the Talent, OR area, go to her. She’s one of the best.) I came back home feeling totally refreshed and I dove into the studio, where I am completely behind, but I no longer felt as stressed about it as I did when I left to go to class.
I’ve talked about this before, but saying things out loud is powerful. By just announcing my intention of my holiday art to a group of 10 people, I reminded myself of what I am attempting to create for the holidays. Art that brings love, laughter, and joy. I mean, if I’m focusing on that, I won’t give my brain much time to starting looking around for things to stress about.
Last week I talked about being pro-active in our self-care heading into the holiday season, and here I am, one week later, already needing a reminder myself.
Last week I talked about being pro-active in our self-care heading into the holiday season, and here I am, one week later, already needing a reminder myself. What we focus on is what we create more of. I could focus on the stress and tap into a never-ending stress Mobius within myself, or, I can focus on this art. This beautiful art that makes me smile and reminds me of how I want to live: In love, with lots of laughter and infinite joy.
So, with that, I’m back into the studio this morning. I have art to make for you and for myself. I want to head into the holidays with a stream of positive cosmic dust in my wake. I am a pie baking, positivity seeking, optimism comet! I can do this. So can you. Let’s continue into this holiday season with happiness and bring that into the new year.
I'd like to know where, in the busiest of times, you go for solace. Tell me in the comments below.
I’ll be going to Yoga, taking my walks, and keeping up with my daily breathing and meditation practices. After all, this is the time of year when pie and cookies are a food group, and family and friends make time for each other. Why choose stress?
The image at top is one of my little surfboard relief paintings. It’s a little shiny as it’s awaiting it’s finishing coat, but it makes me smile never-the-less and reminds me of the joy and creativity that surfing sparks within. This one is called "Three Dollar Board", 8”x10”, Acrylic on Canvas.
I am an artist and writer, living in Talent, Oregon with my husband and daughter. I use creativity to break through anxiety paralysis, I play in the ocean to stay strong and inspired, and I often visit my hometown of New Orleans, where the rhythm of my heartbeat is renewed. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I post stuff sometimes. To hear from me more regularly, join me on this Crazy, Beautiful Artventure.