The countdown is on! Just a few days till Christmas, and, if you’re like me, there’s still much to do! A simple tip for beating the stress: remember to reward yourself. Here’s what I mean.
Last week, after several musical presentations, shopping, cooking, errands, etc., I was feeling the stress of the season. My day hadn’t even started, but I was tired, just thinking of what needed to be done! I was tempted to skip my walk with the dogs; after all, it was cold, damp and dreary outside. But I donned my sneakers anyway and off we went.
John and I usually walk them together, but today I had both by myself. Because they are big dogs who have a terrible habit of pulling, soon I was walking faster than I would’ve chosen. Up steep hills, down hills, it didn’t matter to them. They lunged at a cat, requiring all my strength to keep from sailing across the road. We lingered a moment at the bus stop where a few 2nd and 3rd graders wait. They shrieked with glee like they do every morning at the sight of the dogs. Lots of petting, laughing and tail wagging, then we were on our way again.
As the sprinkling picked up, so did our already fast pace. Now we were jogging and blood was pumping. Sprinkling became steady rain. Steady rain became a downpour. The three of us were in a race for home. Cold, stinging rain on my face, heart pounding, thighs burning.
Why was I laughing?
Up the driveway, to the shelter of the carport, soaked to the bone. I fed the dogs, took a hot shower and got on some dry clothes. I sat down with a cup of hot tea, and that’s when I realized it: all the stress, irritability and fatigue were gone. In their place? Renewed energy, a more “alive” feeling and pure gratitude for a warm house! In addition, the tasks before me now seemed more do-able.
This can be a hectic time of year. I sometimes find myself so busy taking care of day to day activities that I can forget to take some time for myself.
Rewarding ourselves is an important part of maintaining a balanced life. With the hectic pace that the holidays can bring, remember to reward yourself. It may not be a run in the rain with crazy dogs, but whatever it is for you, find some time for yourself this holiday season and beat the stress!
From my heart to yours, I wish you a stress-free, healthy and blessed Christmas!