Hey there readers. Let’s address the elephant in the room. Money! There I said it. Now, how do you feel right now after reading that word? Tightness? Panic? Wondering where the money tree is planted? Read more.
I remember the year everything “went to hell in a handbag”. I mean, it didn’t really, but I wanted to throw that saying in somewhere. I sat on the couch trying to get my life together. I had been in pajamas for months (if you don’t know me, I once was diagnosed with 7 diseases, got pissed off at all that, and then made a plan to get better). I needed money. I needed to get well. And I needed, more than anything, to feel like a good mom. That meant that the ole “S” word, Santa, had a job to do. It was probably the year I ruined the magic of Christmas a little bit if I am going to be honest.
I was so STRESSED out that I let slip one night when I was tucking my youngest in bed that perhaps Santa was on a budget…or something to that effect. Now, I’m a firm believer in magic, and keeping it alive. I don’t care if you want to believe in purple flying unicorns. And fairies in the forests and leprechauns. Just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it’s not real to you. I don’t want to be a dream crusher, so this isn’t about the most gifts ever or anything like that. It’s also not about going into debt buying presents…I wasn’t raised that way, and I don’t do that either. This is simply about stress knocking out your belief that you can get through something.
At that moment, i knew I had allowed the anxiety, panic, and stress to over-wire all over thoughts. If you have reached this point, breathe in with me. Breathe out with me. Now let’s get down to busy here.
5 Ways to Get Through the Stress:
- You are feeling like you can’t get it all done. Yesterday, I had a bunch of presents I had hidden and I knew I needed to look at them and think about wrapping. I am a terrible wrapper << haha. Sorry, I was thinking of Sir Mix A-lot coming to help me wrap presents. Anyway, I started doing this “where do I do I start first” thing. I then stopped, got everything out that I needed to look at. Sat them there. Looked at boxes. Then put things in boxes, and finally wrapped. I just stopped the thoughts of “this is too much” by stopping myself, and making a step by step list in my head. You can also write it down if it helps you. Action actually counters anxiety. You stop overthinking the minute you start doing. Focus on one thing at a time. If a list is what you need, do it. You can also start a timer. Do each thing for 30 minutes and take a break.
- Money. Bills. Panic at bank account. True story. This part might not help you, but listen and think about it. I was at the bank recently when I overheard this guy putting a tremendously large sum of money in the back. He was dressed like a worker. I heard him say that he was a fire fighter who started his own business and had finally gotten a big contract. When I say large sum of money, it was half of what I made as a teacher. I then blessed his good fortune and his family’s even though my instinct for two seconds after I heard the amount was to think “must be nice”. Well it was nice. And there is nothing that says I can’t work hard and make money no matter my age. So here is what I do when I need money. I look at my assets. Not that one, the things that can help me. I once sold off some 1980’s Mr. T gold necklaces to buy things for my kids. Mr. T understood and didn’t pity me. I set a budget that year. I bought in bulk, some really cool things from Ebay, and that Christmas was one of the most special ones ever, and I made money stretch. You can also draw names for family members, make homemade gifts, bake and sell things to make money, or even sell whatever it is you are making. Just make it in bulk. Pet sit for people, Uber drive if you want, but don’t just sit there expecting the Publisher’s Clearing House to knock. I mean, we all did at one time, but it didn’t happen.
- You have to go to ___ (work party, or neighbors). Work “holiday gatherings” because Christmas party isn’t allowed to be said now. Here’s how to deal. Make a plan of the 3 people you might want to rotate around to and speak with. If there aren’t 3 you like, then rotate between the host/hostess and someone you at least can talk to about something. Stay for as long as you want, and not what you feel you must. Then leave. It is okay to say NO to staying long, or even going if you feel like it’s just too much for you right now. If it is between work and a friend’s party, choose what makes you happy. Seriously. If you don’t know what to wear, buy an ugly sweater and be done with it and move on. It’s the one time of the year we are encouraged to wear those and they make great conversation pieces…unless you meant to wear it and then people are just embarrassed as they say great “ugly Christmas sweater” and you say what?
- You feel like you are not in any better shape than last year. Physically. Mentally. Whatever. I remember January hanging on for dear life and then all of a sudden it’s December and all these feelings come up about what have we done this year. We compare this us, to last year us, or even 10 years ago because of this whole decade thing. Yup, I get it. 10 years is loads of memories, but what is the time I can change? Now. Boop. Over. Now again. Boop. Over. So, the time I try my best to focus on is now, or even future me. My kid said last night “That’s future me’s problem.” and I laughed. Also, this year brought us BABY YODA, even though we aren’t supposed to call him that but. That’s what he is. So this year has ended well for all of us geeks at least. Wait, back to my inspirational message. I teach being in the present. Why do I do that? Because it is hard for me as well. I did a meditation challenge for my newsletter people, and why do you think I did it this week? Because I need it as well. Don’t let anyone who appears to be doing better off than you fool you. They struggle. They might even be posting fake photos, gasp. Or heavily filtered ones like they really look like old Yoda, but post baby Yoda. No judgement (says people who judge), but it is the truth. Stop comparing where you are. Stop. You are where you were meant to be, and if things didn’t go as planned, figure out how to correct it. I am doing that lesson for my Club, and I am not linking the word Club, but read the top header of the blog called Head|Heart|Health if you want to know more.
- Moderate your urges. Oh sweet nectar from the Gods. Alcohol (mead actually). Sweet tooth things. Insert whatever it is here. New, puffy jacket even though you have 4. New outfit because you wore everything else and want to look fresh. Or better than Janet (poor Janet). Could you save that money for anything else? So I secretly wanted these Gnome flannel sheets (ok, I like to be warmy and cozy). But I didn’t “add to cart” and besides that. I have made that man enough money over there so that when he and his wife divorce she really will be the richest woman (that is gossip about Mr. Bezos and I don’t know you sir, but I heard this and Wikipedia says you are worth 111.4 billion << a woo number). If you need to step away from the Amazon cart, do so with pride. I mean, just because I could make a castle from the boxes doesn’t mean you have to do that as well. In my defense I am mostly a hermit and work from home and don’t like to “people” as much.
So. I was planning on writing this in a serious way, but apparently I can’t. This is the way.
Read more serious articles I wrote at another time here:
- 30 Frugal Gift Ideas to Show Appreciation
- Ultimate Gift Guide for Empaths
- 4 Tips for Clearing Away your Old Mental Clutter