Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This is how I do it.

It's December now.  I can tell because, although it's 80 degrees outside, I just drank an Eggnog Milkshake from Steak 'n' Shake.  And because clients I haven't seen for months have started dropping in again.  We all know the platitudes about the holiday season being fraught with anxiety, stress, and depression.  For me, it's also fraught with full schedules.  I don't mind.  I get to say nice things to people who are being entirely too hard on themselves about whether their holidays look and feel enough like a Norman Rockwell painting.

I've had pretty bad Decembers, myself, for the past couple years.  Who am I kidding?  They've been bad years.  I wallowed in acute grief symptoms for most of 2010, then dragged around my personal baggage like Jacob Marley for the next year.  I only recently have started really feeling like a human being again.  By comparison, I feel like some kind of super hero!

So here are my coping strategies for this month.  I'll give you a hint: they're the same ones I've used for the past year, and they bake at 375º.

You guessed it!  Gingerbread boys, Linzer torte cookies, and Cranberry-Ginger Shortbread.

Try it! Everyone loves cookies; you can share them if you want, but it's not required, and they make your house smell happy, even if you're not feeling particularly so, yourself.

Then: Sing.  Really.  Just try it; singing makes you feel better.  Have you ever tried to be grumpy while you're singing?  You can't do it.  It's physiologically impossible, I think.  I mean, it is for me.  Try singing in the car, or in your basement with the door shut if you want.  But I really recommend the backyard.  So does Hannah.  It's her favorite venue.

Also, read fairy tales, write on your patio with sidewalk chalk, or blow bubbles. Talk gently to yourself.  Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say out loud to a friend who is close to tears.  Try to remember that no one else notices when you aren't perfect; they still think you're pretty great.

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