So this post is running about a week ahead of Christmas on purpose. I was going to get to wine but since I feel SUPER run down, I figure so do you. It’s just that dang time of year that you want to be all happy happy smiley smiley but Janice over here is on your ass at work and then you forgot to buy some gift online and now have to ACTUALLY WALK INTO A MALL, and your children, bless them, they’re feeling the pressure in their own way. Thus, I’m attacking the #mentalhealth side of life first. Obs I’ll still have something about wine up in here. Come on.
To re-reach your own personal level of zen I suggest you:
1. Take some REALLY deep breaths. Like the ones you take to stave off tears. Seriously deep. Try 5 breaths from the belly and 5 from the lungs. It will increase your oxygen levels and get your system out of fight or flight mode. Repeat until you’re good to face another human who probably has a bunch of stress all over their face.
2. Drink water. It sounds stupid but dehydration raises stress levels too. Even minor dehydration. So if you’re feeling off, sit your ass down and drink some H2O. And stop with the coffee. Even the fancy stuff.
3. Smile. Even if it’s the worst fake smile ever, smile. Like, smile at nothing. Its funny how the body can trick the brain and vice versa. When you fake smile it actually mimics a real smile, releasing all sorts of good stuff into the brain (endorphins, dopamine and serotonin). So sit in a bathroom stall and just smile your butt off like the crazy person you are and get back into the “functioning human” game.
5. Remember you can only control your own behaviour, and no one else’s. So if everyone is being a dick around you, don’t hesitate to ask if someone’s “okay”. I did it a few times this weekend because I actually had to step into overcrowded insane malls and stores where the staff working looked like poor chickens who were half roasted and they’d rather their heads be cut off than work another second the week(ish) before Christmas.
6. If you can, hug someone for more than 20 seconds. Breathe into the hug. You may want to cry. It’s okay, its just your body releasing tension, there’s nothing REALLY wrong with you. You’re just a stress case at the moment. Which most people are.
7. Turn off the Christmas lights if they twinkle. I sound like a troll and I promise my house is so full of twinkly lights that I understand the appeal of having them go all day every day, but give your senses a moment to catch up. Yes twinkle good. For a bit. If you’re losing it, turn them off and just be one with the darkness. Flashing lights of any kind are designed to elicit a fight or flight reaction to our good ol animal selves. So unfortunately, Christmas decor, in all of it’s glory, if on all the time, actually stresses you out a bit. If you’re determined I have no bloody clue what I’m talking about, no prob. Leave them on but now I want you to focus on the silence between the noise. Watch as one light flickers on and off and time your breathing with a few cycles of the darkness.
8. Last but not least, have a glass of wine. Cheers!