what the hell…next thursday is thanksgiving. literally, it was july 4th not more than a week ago. my mind feels like a bag of frozen blueberries all being dumped into a blender at once; only to be aggressively swirled into a crazy ass smoothie moments later. everything is a whirlwind. time is bat shit insanely impatient. it’s cold outside and i still only have sleeveless dresses hanging in my closet. help.
this time of year, people need other people’s energy to get through every day. it is dark. it is dark all. of. the. time. the temperature is more bi-polar than the crazy homeless woman you ride the train with every day. your boss has been shifty and it’s making you paranoid. your boyfriend keeps forgetting to set his fantasy lineup on time. my blood sugars are 300 one minute post-emo donut consumption and 47 the next after i run 7 miles to numb the stress. is this season out to push us all to the brink of self-destruction just to see what we’re made of?
fear not, my friends, i am convinced that we will survive. and not only will we survive, we will thrive. (what movie…come oooon…you totally know it’s bridesmaids.)
i think i’m actually one of the rare few people in this world that don’t hate winter. secretly, i love it. i look at it as a time for reflection, to recharge, be introspective and private, climb in bed with my socks on, and enjoy good wine served in the biggest glass you can find. i try to seek out the people that i know will really make me feel better when i’m having a particularly vitamin d deficient day. but most of all, i try to take my shaken up snow globe of a universe, set it down on the table, and watch the flakes slowly fall into a pattern of peaceful settlement. (stole that analogy from my yoga teacher. thanks, brenna!) in the winter, my number one goal (aside from not gaining 30 pounds…damn you, brie cheese) is to slow. the f. down.
to remedy this seasonally depressing time where often our expectations from others and circumstances typically fall short of what our imaginations conjure up, i decided to think critically and stop whining so damn much. so, on a particularly ho-hum sunday, i made a mental proclamation that i was going to slow my roll, not wear concealer OR foundation (take that, society. you’re lucky i wore a bra!) and said, “ima do me” for like, at least 12 hours. i put my phone away. i kind of momentarily forgot what time it was. i did some cool, relaxing shit. i spent quality, focused time with some amazingly warm-hearted people, and i observed the present. i took a breath before i spoke, i listened to people more genuinely, and asked questions instead of talking about myself out of knee-jerk reactions. when i did speak, believe it or not (leaning towards not, if you know me at all) i spoke more slowly and even more quietly.
this type of thing is what my mom always called a “mental health day” when i was growing up. sadly, these are a luxurious amenity that i’m realizing when you are member of corporate america, you tend to need more than “physical health days.” i’m a firm believer, though, that to an extent, every day should be a mental health day because i’m sensitive and get my feathers easily ruffled. so instead, i deemed this particular sunday a, “más despacio, por favor” day.
it was such a simple thing to dedicate a few hours to the “despacio” after weeks of being caught up in an unhealthy pattern of cumulating stress. i was ignoring my body, my heart, my blood sugar, my eating habits, my hooch consumption, and my self- esteem wasn’t reaching the top of the empire state building any time soon. i was putting so much pressure on myself to show up to every last thing, that instead of being impressive, i was quickly digressing into a blob of mediocrity; exhausted and inevitably becoming a nasty little monster of bitterness, irrational emotions, and a lack of motivation.
this time of year is a challenge, everyone can agree on that. so, before you say yes to every holiday party you’re invited to, before everything you say to your boyfriend is passive aggressive, before you tell your boss you can take on 13 more projects, take a step back, take a deep breath, listen to your mind. contrary to steve job’s quote, “better done than perfect,” i believe that biting off more than you can chew just to say you carried that weight is presumptuous. you have to at least try to know your limits. listen to your gut. your body and spirit will thank you.
this season is meant to be joyful and cheerful. instead of attempting to be bethenny frankel (love you, though, girl), or martha stewart, and appease everyone else’s expectations, be on the lookout for what makes YOU feel good. what makes YOU feel like you’re on a sustainable and manageable track for true, deep, and sincere happiness. i know it’s not easy; trust me. every day dishes out a new piece of shit situation for us to deal with. but, if you’re armed and ready with the super powers of sleep and a clear head, you’ll be ready to take on everything from finding a hole in your favorite cashmere sweater, to moody pregnant coworkers, to champagne hangovers, wonky blood sugars, and financial squeezes because you bought 9 more people gifts than you should have. you can do it, you just have to listen to yourself and allow things to slooooooooooooooow down.