Meltdown Season

Eeeek!  The holidays are almost here.

And, if you’re feeling anything like me, you might need a little encouragement that it’s all going to work out.

Even so, I always feel vulnerable this time of the year.

When I was in my late 20s, I was so overwhelmed with work responsibilities and holiday decorating, baking and shopping that I actually had a meltdown right in the store!  Someone cut in line as I stood, hot and sweaty, my arms full of items to be gift-wrapped.  When the woman stepped in front of me, my inner three-year-old took over:  I threw my merchandise on the floor and yelled, “I HATE Christmas.”

I was so embarrassed that I ran to my car and sobbed in the cold.  And, I vowed never to let the holidays get to me like that again.

So here are a few, little tricks I use to keep myself from …well, melting down:

  • Seek out a baby. Last week I was in Columbus, Ohio and took full advantage of every baby I could find.  Notice how easily you can catch a baby’s eye…or that baby can catch yours!  They seem to be incredibly present without a worry in the world, and I find that rather inspiring.  Plus, there is nothing like a baby’s smile to remind myself I started out in this world adorable, smiley, calm and pretty peaceful!
  • Continue to exercise. Such an easy one to let go — and probably the most important of all habits to maintain through the holidays.   I stayed in Columbus last week with my friend Nancy Kramer who is a mom and the founder of Resource Interactive, and I admired how she weaves exercise into her life no matter the season, weather or her busy schedule.
  • Snuggle in. My husband Rob and I were faced with a ton to do today to get ready for the upcoming weeks.  Instead of hitting the stores, we hunkered down, spent time talking, drank tea and crafted a simple game plan to cover the rest of the season.
  • Pitch out perfection. Every ounce of me wants to do for and find the most perfect every thing for everybody on my list.  Instead, this year, I’m asking myself: “how can I simplify?” and  “will this let them know I care about them?”
  • Be extra generous. Tip well this season.  Even if times are tough for you, an extra dollar, five or ten means a lot to a restaurant server, hotel maid, hair stylist, housekeeper, pet or babysitter.  Take in how good it feels to give!

I will be thinking about you and wishing for your week to be calm, peaceful and meltdown free!

I’d love to hear any of your holiday “tricks” for keeping your calm. Please share with other Women on Fire by posting in the comments below.