Last spring I was on my way home from work when my wife called in a panic. “Honey,” she exclaimed, “there are bees in the chimney.”
“OK,” I replied dryly (it had been a long day), “I’ll drop by Lowes and grab some bee spray.”
A couple minutes lapsed and I got another call. This time more frantic. “Honey there are bees in the house!”
“Five? Ten? Hundreds? How many is a lot?”
“Honey, there are bees in our house! Just (insert adult word) get here!”
A few minutes later I pulled into my garage. And the mental picture I snapped when I walked into our house will be forever etched in my mind. (Spoiler alert, you could count the number of bees “swarming” our house on two hands…maybe add in a couple toes.)
But there was my sweet wife of 15 years, standing in front of the fireplace shouting as she masterfully thrust, parried and deflected each bee with her hot pink fly swatter.
My 12 year old son, my wife’s wingman, was bopping up and down on our couch pointing and shouting, “Right there mom! No mom, over there! Above your head, mom! You missed it mom!”
My daughters (9 and 10 years old) were huddled together in the corner of our den screaming as loud as they could. (I’m pretty sure they were just screaming to see who could out scream the other.) And the commotion and noise was all too much for our Mini Yorkie, who darted from room to room barking and leaving a trail of treasures for us to find later.
After a few minutes of trying to calm everyone down, we taped up the fireplace, got rid of the few bees that were “swarming” the living room and made a few phone calls. Within 24 hours we were bee free!
My point is, it’s really easy to let the small things of the world make a big impact on our lives – especially during the holidays. The holidays are meant to be fun! But, too often we allow the small things (like a family dinner, the office party or rude shoppers) to bother us. And that can lead us down a path to seasonal depression or left with a sense of anxiety. Both can cause us to miss out on the joy of the holidays.
So here are a couple of BEE-attitudes (pun intended) to help us keep things in perspective.
BEE mindful of your time
During the holidays make “good, better and best” your measurement of time. You’re going to have all kinds of parties to attend, meals to make, deadlines to keep, shopping to do, travel to arrange, gifts to buy – your to-do list can be extensive and exhaustive. There are lots of good things to fill your time with during holidays. But we can’t do everything! We’re not supposed to do everything! So pick the best ones (the ones that amplify your fun and joy) and forget the good ones. By doing so, we’ll clear our calendar of those activities that add to our stress level, rather than add to our holiday joy. We’ll also be more likely to give greater attention and time to the things that matter most. And in return, get more joy out of them.
Without fail, we all converge on the same places at the same times during the holidays. Parking lots, shopping malls and grocery stores, despite being decked in boughs of holly, can be a train wreck of humanity. But, why are we surprised by this? It happens EVERY year. We don’t have to like it. But we can prepare for it.
So when we go shopping, prepare mentally and emotionally, for the adventure we’re about to undertake. Leave the house prepared to sit in traffic, to wait in long lines, to battle crowds and deal with tired kids. When you head off to the office party, be prepared for the awkward questions about your recent divorce. When you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, be prepared for the political argument with uncle Joe.
Prepare a plan. Prepare a response. Prepare an exit strategy, if you must. When you have a plan in place, it’s easier to manage expectations and keep it all in perspective.
To be perfectly clear, seasonal depression is not a small (or joking) matter. It affects people differently and because of different reasons. For some people there are circumstances that lead to depression or anxiety that are simply out of their control.
i360 Dallas can play a big part in helping you work through the depression, anxiety and stress that inevitably comes packaged with the holidays.
Please visit our Hope for the Holidays page for more tips to cope with seasonal depression and anxiety. We have some great videos that are a great resource too. Then give us a call or email us if you, or someone you know, is struggling with seasonal depression, stress or anxiety this holiday season.
We can walk the journey with you. We can help.