December is somewhat tortuous for me.
The type of law I practice (commercial finance) is extremely busy around year-end. Everyone, for various reasons, wants to get the deal closed before January 1st. While the poor economy has significantly slowed down the volume of my work (which is not necessarily a bad thing), there is still a year-end push.
Add to the work stress the normal holiday accoutrements such as gift buying and party going, and I get more than a little stressed. As you may have noticed, my blog suffers – and will continue to do so for this month.
I know that I am not alone in this stress and that we all have different difficulties at this time of year – many much worse than mine. In the event that some might find it helpful, here are some tips of mine for surviving this season:
1. Be extremely organized. I make lists which combine work and personal tasks and am determined to cross several things off my list every day. I do most of my shopping on-line and I try to do it early enough that I do not have to pay the extra costs of expedited shipping, which can add up.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff – and remember that it is most often “small stuff.” I have caught myself stressing about what to wear to holiday parties several times. Does it really matter that you wear the same thing that you wore to the same party two years ago? NO.
3. Eat something before going to a holiday party. I actually did not follow this advice for my first holiday party of the season and paid for it dearly the next day. Being a vegetarian, there is often not food that I can eat at a party and so I end up just drinking – and even one drink on an empty stomach is dangerous (for me anyway). Even if your diet is not as restrictive, you are less likely to make bad food decisions if you are not starving.
4. Remember to be in the moment. Enjoy the family time and seasonal celebrations. Don’t be thinking about the items on your list when you are with family and friends.
5. It’s ok to be selfish about taking care of yourself. Get enough sleep. This is key for me always (and always a struggle), but this time of year it is essential. Also, it is very important to me and my mood that I maintain my yoga practice through this stressful month.
6. Make time for relaxed fun. I enjoy going to the movies with my husband. I cannot wait to see We Bought a Zoo. I will NOT be seeing War Horse. While it seems like it may end happily, the journey looks like a painful one. (Plus, in movies which are significantly centered around an animal, I end up worrying throughout the movie that the animal was not treated well in the filming process.)
I wish you all a happy and healthy December and thank you for your interest. Your support has been a highlight of 2011 for me.
See you in 2012!