Oh, the post-Christmas doldrums. The holiday preparations are over, the gifts are unwrapped, the cookies are all eaten. And all that’s left for us are a stack of thank-you notes to write, dusty decorations to pack away, and a whole week left of family togetherness until school/work starts again.
Oh, the dreams we had earlier in the month about spending quality time with our kids, our spouses, our extended families. We would sled out back, sip hot cocoa, and make lots of warm, happy memories to cherish. But the reality of so much togetherness can be very different from our eggnog-induced fantasies. As our kids develop cabin fever and start climbing the walls, our stress levels can go through the roof. Our spouses encroach on our space and it starts to feel as though every room in the house is shrinking. It’s enough to make someone run screaming into the nearest snow drift!
So what can be done to head off this end-of-year family overload?
Keep up your normal routine. Like to take a walk every morning? Have a cup of tea at 3? Have lunch with your mom on Wednesdays? Just because schedules are wacky this week, it doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things that help you stay sane.
Get healthy. A sure-fire way to get myself feeling irritable is to eat crappy food and forgo exercise. Unfortunately, it is particularly difficult during this week to eat right, drink water, and get lots of fresh air. Those holiday leftovers just call my name so loud! But really, why wait until January 1st to start treating your body right? Pitch the cookies and try a clementine instead.
Appreciate life. Remember a couple of weeks ago when we were looking forward to this week? No homework to prepare, no deadlines to meet, and lots of visits with family and friends to look forward to. Instead of wishing this week away, try appreciating the change of pace – if for no other reason than to realize how nice your normal school/work schedule really is.