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The Christmas Comedown

The Christmas Comedown, otherwise known as post holiday dysfunction at my home. I wrote about something similar last year and called that post The After Christmas Crash. I must not be alone in this aftermath effect of the hustle and bustle that leaves us feeling a bit like a deflated balloon after a party. Obviously, it is a reoccurring event that now I must find my way through each year.

Post Holiday Dysfunction

This is not a diagnosis in the DSM or even an actual medical term in any way. Its just my description of the feeling that comes after being hyped on Christmas cheer, chaos, and anxiety for weeks and then suddenly the crash happens. We are no longer amped up with this adrenaline, increased serotonin, or oxytocin that our bodies have produced to get us to Christmas day. The side effects of our bodies not producing the same amount of chemicals that our crazy Christmas countdown did leave us feeling in a slump.

The hustle bustle of the holiday season is what keeps us going. The days right before we are overstimulated and overwhelmed with all of our to-do lists. However, the days after, it’s almost like we are missing something. In my opinion, we are. We are lacking those stress responses that keep us energized enough to wrap 27 gifts in the early morning hours. We know longer have the alarm bells of moving elves, finding that last minute deal, or scheduling the seven Christmas visits we need to make.

Substitution or Satisfaction

As a mom, I know, there is always the next thing to start doing. Eventually, a new problem to solve will arise or a child will have something else for us to figure out. The slump of emptiness and unmotivated restlessness will fade away probably sooner than we realize. In the meantime, we are forced to find a way to either substitute the lack of endorphins or find a way to be satisfied with the slower pace.

Substitution

I will be the first to admit that relaxing and just allowing things to settle isn’t my strong suit. I wish it was. I’d love to be more like my husband who can find peace in a TV remote and a comfortable bed. For me, I’m looking for the next thing I need to do.

I don’t just relax very often. I feel restless, stagnant and pretty irritated when there is nothing to do. I can also admit that although I don’t want to get out, I want to not sit still. I don’t want to clean my house, but I want some tasks to do. I’m not sure that makes sense. However, I think that is me thinking that doing nothing is equal to laziness. I know there are many things I could do, but I am just looking to procrastinate those as I wait for the motivational push to actually get them done. That usually only comes with those stress chemicals our brains release when our back is against the wall.

Instead of relaxing into the moment, I overthink myself into this ball of stress and irritation. I find the fight instead of just allowing the battles won to be celebrated. I look for the substitution in order to get the fix of adrenaline and endorphins that my body became accustom to receiving during the stressful holiday season.

Satisfaction

Contentment is one of those things I long for, but to be honest, it also sounds boring. I want a lot, I expect a lot, and I do a lot to try to get what I want. However, I do want to learn to be present and just enjoy the now. I don’t want to plan out the next 5 years daily nor make lists of all the things I need to accomplish. I don’t want to plan for unlikely hypothetical situations or assume the worst. Hello anxiety. I want to be able to just be. No strings attached. Unfortunately, this is a skill that has been elusive to me for years.

I should be counting my blessings, celebrating my wins for this year, and enjoying some time where the kids all are happy and content playing with their new gifts and gadgets. How do I curtail this Christmas Comedown and post holiday dysfunction?

Combatting Christmas Comedown

You guessed it. My own concoction of how to combat this Christmas Comedown.

  • Take some time to do something for yourself.
    • Meditate
    • Buy yourself a gift
    • Read, write, or take a nap.
  • Enjoy time with family
  • Accomplish a to-do you’ve been putting off.
  • Get out of the house for fun instead of out of necessity.
  • Celebrate your wins.
  • Go on a date.
  • Exercise.
  • Meet up with a friend.
  • Have a dance party or scaryeoke.

The short and long of it is to do something fun both for yourself and with others. Enjoy your holiday successes or just celebrate that you survived another Christmas! Either way, it’s done and we have nearly a whole year before we have to be all Christmas Carol, the elf moving, Christmas magic making, PTO participating, merry and bright decking the halls Santa’s helpers again. Count your blessings. As always, we’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Shaking Off the Scrooge

It’s Christmas! For some it’s all falalala and a partridge in a pear tree. However, for others it’s anxiety, insecurity, and mood swings that are on full display. You guessed it, I fall on the latter side of the spectrum. Even so, I’m shaking off my scrooge and trying to be all merry and bright.

100% THAT Grinch

Let’s be clear, I don’t have the answers. Its honestly a bit hypocritical for me to even write this post considering my own inner scrooge has been showing up more so here lately than I had anticipated. It’s Christmas eve and I slept until noon and still haven’t taken my non Christmas pajamas off or finished my last minute errands. Yes I’m a 100% that grinch today. However, I have a plan to shake off the scrooge so I’m going to share it and hope it may help someone else do the same.

Yes, I know, the Christmas lists aren’t getting shorter or cheaper. Nor will your house clean itself. The elf on the damn shelf is still a priority. The money isn’t growing on the Christmas tree. Additionally, auntie is still going to be continuing her diatribe on how you eat, parent, and/or your spouse. So we have every right to be the bah humbug b!tches we become. The question stands, how do we make Christmas magic without the mayhem?

Shaking Off the Scrooge

Shake it off. It’s easier said than done! That’s the damn truth! There are Christmas lists that are miles long and the shopping that is endless. Add schedule changes, traveling, anxiety, and the debts you’ll be paying off until next Christmas. Obviously, we can’t forget dear auntie Gertrude picking that moment to tell you exactly how many calories are in the chocolate cupcake just as you’re stuffing your face. It’s no wonder we are 100% that grinch come Christmas morning.

The Anti-Scrooge Assignment

  • Take time for yourself. Pause. Take a breath. Meditate. It will ALL get done and they will ALL be just as happy and excited as they are every other year.
  • Look at the good stuff you’ve done! The tree is probably up, right? You’ve bought gifts. You’re going to get them wrapped or just say Santa got caught in an icestorm so he doesn’t wrap when that happens! You’ve accomplished so much more than you’ve given yourself credit for.
  • Take your time and delegate out the projects you are working on. Older kids can help out. Your significant other is able to do some running. If your single mommin this Christmas then let door dash be the baby daddy and help with delivering last minute items!
  • Be flexible. You know your plan, but no one else really does. It’s most likely not going to work out according to what you thought. Its OK! Roll with it!
  • Have a drink! It’s Christmas! I am not saying get sloshed and say screw the rest of it, but you can relax!
  • Let those kids have your presence. They don’t expect Mrs. Claus as a mom! They expect their mom to be exactly the person you always are.
  • Make lists. Chunk it up. And get it DONE. Put a stop time on your preparation and whatever is left over is just that.
  • Eat. The. Damn. Cookies. I’m awful about getting so busy with stuff that I forget I need food. Hangry is grinchy. Diets are for new years NOT Christmas.
  • Debt is not how you want to start 2023. Don’t make magic out of money you don’t have. I have $22 to my name and a truck on its final leg. Guess what? I am not about to open a credit card for stocking stuffers and crap my kids won’t even like next year. I’ll be a bargain shopping baddie and coupon my way to payday. It’s not worth stressing out my future self for today’s wants.
  • Finally, have a Merry freaking Christmas! This the freaking season!!! Remember it’s your Christmas too! Don’t make about everyone else so much you forget you matter too.

Christmas Magic

I LOVE Christmas! I really do. I have fond memories growing up of beautiful decorations, presents galore, and family gatherings. I took for granted those days. I wish I had known then how much work it took to make Christmas magic. I probably would’ve been a hell of a lot nicer to my mom!

One day, you’ll be appreciated for making Christmas magic even amongst the struggles. They’ll remember these days fondly. All of the Christmas headaches will be worth their smiles and eyes lighting up. Don’t forget to breathe. Be present and don’t just give presents! Mommin’ ain’t easy, but you’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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It’s Ok to Say ‘No’

I’ve been struggling with boundaries. I forgot that I am a person that has needs too. I think as a mom and a woman that I try to make everyone else happy and ok. Guess what? It’s ok to say ‘No’ to protect your peace. However, I know how hard it is to say ‘No’. I am learning that the ability to deny requests is going to be required for my own personal well being.

What About Me?

As a mom I’m constantly tending to my little people. I’m making sure everyone else is ok. As a manager at work I want to make sure my employees are ok. The list goes on. Suddenly, everyone is taken care of and I find myself at the end of the day physically exhausted, mentally spent and emotionally drained. I’m not selfish, it’s not about me, and it never has been. When is it my turn? Saying that out loud makes me feel selfish for even putting myself as a priority. That’s ridiculous! I deserve to be on my own list!

Wake Up Call

How did I decide to make myself more important to me? Well, I haven’t fully committed to doing anything honestly, but something has to change. I had a wake up call. I’m killing myself slowly by giving my everything to everyone else. That’s not dramatic. Unfortunately, that’s just the truth.

The past seven days I had ten hours of sleep total, I worked 60+ hours, helped my ex husband get into drug rehab, tried to care for my threefold, fix all my work problems, made sure everyone else got a day off, and maintain a relationship with my partner. I hadn’t eaten enough to sustain myself. I was too busy to drink a bottle of water. I totally forgot I was a person who needed to stop and take care of myself.

The Breaking Point

My breaking point was a cabinet truck that I had to unload by hand. I worked hard and got through it, but it took the rest of my strength. However, I kept pushing through the week. Suddenly, my body was in ketosis and I was dehydrated. My muscles were locked up. My anxiety was sky high. Also, my legs were swollen like I was 9 months pregnant. Yet, I still wouldn’t stop. I had blisters on the bottoms of my feet and had completely depleted every nutrient in my body. My diet was caffeine, ibuprofen, and the chaos around me. Enough!

Sounding the Alarm

Hello!!!! SOS. HELP! Everyone saw it and asked “are you ok?” When my answer changed from yes to no, that’s when it changed. I’m an adult, a grown woman. No one can force me to take care of myself or stop until I decide. My choice. My fault. My consequences. However, it was clear I was not ok for a long time. I didn’t know how to stop doing what I’d been doing for months.

Something’s Gotta Give

I’m figuring out how to change my habits. It’s easier said than done. Saying no to anyone that you care about or want to help is difficult. It’s easier to rationalize the yes than the no. saying yes to myself feels selfish. I’m used to going until I crash. I crash, recover, and repeat my cycle. It’s not going to continue to work if I want to be able to keep going.

It’s Ok to Say ‘No’

Self care is something people say. This involves more than taking time for yourself. I am not going to book a massage and pedicure. There is no mom vacation without my kids that is on the horizon. Going to the store alone, or sitting and meditating to clear my brain is self care. Is it all there is? NO! It’s more than that, but it starts somewhere!

Self Care for me the past 24 hours has looked like a lot like stuff people should do, but for me it’s difficult. My goals to keep myself going this next week are minimal.

  • Eating at least 1 meal a day. If I eat with my kids at dinner then I’m accountable to eat.
  • Drinking water and having something to drink around me at all times.
  • Sleeping. I’ve slept 12 hours. Yes 12. And I will probably sleep more. However, deciding to be done and sleep and getting at least 4-6 hours per day is a goal.
  • Take my day off from work and try not to worry about work.
  • Spend time with my kids doing something other than appointments or errands.
  • Work at work only
  • Take some time for myself
  • Say no if it is something I can say no to.
  • Stop saving everyone and save myself.

Now, I sit and prop my feet up. I try to keep food down, because my body doesn’t feel like it is ready for this. I sleep and I allow my body to adjust to not going. I have guilt for doing these small little things, but my guilt is due to my own inability to slow down and be ok with not being ok. ☮️❤️😊~M

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Go Get Your Goals!

I thought about just giving up on my goals and then thought twice about how important my goals are to me. If I could just give up on my goals so easily, did I really want to reach these goals? YES! I want to reach my goals. My goals are too important for me to just call it quits 3 months into the new year. I have decided to revamp my resolutions and go get my goals. I am going to share with you how I plan to do this and I hope this will inspire someone else ready to flush their goals down the drain some motivation to join in on the challenge. 

Goal Getter’s Guide to Revamp and Revise your 2022 Resolutions

 

I should be ready to call it quits and throw in the towel on the year and all the goals I wanted to focus on in 2022. Afterall, four hospitalizations for two of my threefold since starting 2022, would be enough to make even the most stable people go completely bat shit crazy. YET…here I am in all of my trauma drama bipolar momma bear glory ready to take the second quarter of this year by the horns and reclaim my new year!

The new year did not start off with the momentum, fire, and future forward trajectory I had planned for. I was not expecting the chaos to commence right out of the gate, but hey, you get what you get and you can’t throw a fit! {you can but it won’t help} So I’m calling shenanigans and saying I’m going to start this year over! Anyone else?

Obviously, I’m not a time traveler who has the ability to go back to January 1st and start over, but I can restart today. I truly believe this is where so many people lose track of their vision. It’s so easy for us to say ‘screw it, I haven’t gotten to my milestone goal so I should just quit.’ I’ve done it a million times. That mindset kept me stagnant. It’s time for that to change! We need to fix the mindset that says it’s ok to give up when we aren’t where we thought we’d be. How?

Finding a Better Way to Achieve Goals

How many times are we going to set ourselves up to fail before we change the plan? Many times failure is not from the inability to accomplish the goals you’ve set or a lack of resources to achieve those goals. I’ve determined that failure is found when we choose to make our excuses bigger than our motivation is to be successful. The key is to set goals with a vision for your life in mind.

I’m not good at keeping myself accountable for my progress. This usually leads to excuses or blaming external sources for my failure. I’ve found that it’s really easy to fail when you set yourself up to fail beforehand. An internal dialogue that is negative and is constantly triggering your self doubt in your abilities will lead to you stopping to believe in yourself before you can even get any momentum.

What is your Vision?

Create a vision for your life. I know that is easier said than done, but knowing what you want is the first step to getting there. This is how I plan to create my vision for my life.

Creating the Vision to Determine your Goals

  • Write what I want my life to look like. Go into detail about everything I want for my life to be.
    • The first is the overall vision for my life.
    • Next, I will create a vision for the next 3-5 years.
    • Finally I will create a vision for this year. 
  • Create a vision board. This can be done as a cluster method with words, your own doodles or pictures of things that you relate to your dream life.
  • Determine which areas of my life I need to set goals in to achieve my vision. These are my 6 areas that I feel encompass my overall life. Feel free to add your own and edit these to fit your vision. Rank them in accordance to the importance of your ability to fulfill your vision.
    1. Family
    2. Love
    3. Self Care
    4. Creativity
    5. Work
    6. Financial
    7. Social Circle
  • Create achievable goals in each area that you feel are necessary to reach your end result or vision. Making sure these goals are dependant on your action and not the actions of others are key. 

Action Plan

Now that we know what we want it’s time to create a plan to get there! It’s easier to say you want to have x, y, and z, but how you plan to achieve those goals is key. Create an action plan that you can track and grade yourself on. This will allow you to breakdown these goals into action items that require you to take steps towards the goals and your vision for your life. If you can create a goal, you can create an action plan to reach that goal. When making my action plan I used the following template that you are able to use or edit to individualize your action plan.

  • What is the goal?
  • What do I need to achieve this goal? 
  • How much time will I need to invest to achieve this goal?
  • What is my contribution to this goal going to be?
  • What are my milestones?
  • When do I plan to have this goal accomplished?
  • Daily steps I plan to take to reach my goal?

Tracking Progess of Goals

It’s important to be able to track your progress. When we keep ourselves accountable to our goals we can more easily see what steps are working in our favor and which need to be revamped to better serve our success. I choose to track my progress on a weekly basis. This allows me to see what I’m doing right and what I am doing not so right each week. This will help to fine tune my action plan and see what aspects of my action plan are working for me and what aspects are working against me. This will keep me accountable to my plan for success. 

Each month, I will do a more thorough review to make sure I am on the path that leads me to my desired results. This is why I feel it’s important to have milestone goals. If we are hitting milestone goals then we are on the right path to hitting the target goal. If we aren’t then it’s time to see why and reflect on what actions we didn’t take or didn’t work.

Part of the accountability is in grading your progress. Much like when you get a report card in school, this well help you to grade your action plan to the progress you are making towards your goal. Much like what I’ve seen in many other goal plans, books, and guides, I have adopted the grading method as a way to make sure what I am doing is working. If I set a goal and have the action items, the action items will be what I grade. If I have five action items then I should be able to easily track which items I completed and how much momentum those action items will have in my forward trajectory. 

goals

Don’t Give Up on Your Goals!

We have to remember that this is all trial and error. Cut yourself some slack, but not too much. It’s important to remember that if it were easy we would have had it. If it were easy then everyone would be doing it. If it were easy it wouldn’t be near as exciting when you achieve it. Keep yourself motivated with the milestone goals, don’t allow them to be your excuse to not continue towards the goal. 

In addition, we tend to have  an ‘all or none’ attitude towards reaching goals. We tend to put so much pressure on ourselves that we believe one misstep means that all progress is lost. There is a correlation between repeated mistakes andfailure, but I believe if we can evaluate our actions objectively and see our mistakes as stepping stones towards the goal vs. away from the goal we can accomplish anything. It’s all dependent on how much you want it. If it’s really important to you, then you will do anything to achieve it. Even if it means revamping how you thought you would get there.

 

Goal!

I have decided that if I chunk up my goals enough I should be able to reach my goals in a shorter period of time. Since this is my quarter new year, I have opted for the 90 day challenge approach to reach my goals. I will set goals that are attainable in 90 days. 90 days is long enough to do just about anything. This way by the end of the year I will have met my goals and be well on my way to the vision I have created for the year, five years, and my life in general.

Each 90 days I will set new goals and measure my success. Follow along on this goal getter journey and lets keep each other accountable and headed towards the vision we have created for ourselves. I want to hear your goals and see your progress too! Sign up for the 90 day Goal Getters Challenge and receive a copy of my “Goal Getter’s Guide”, exclusive content related to the 90 Day Challenge including my personal goals for this challenge, a buy one get one free coupon for the stuff-n-things shop for My Threefold, AND a chance to win a $100 gift card at the end of 90 days! What do you have to lose? You can meet your goals, be in the goal getter gang, get free merch and win prizes along the way. SCORE! Your goals, my goals, together – we’ve got this! Stay positive!  ♥˜

 

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