Monday, December 19, 2011

Pull Out All Techniques So You Can Have a Good Day, Week, Month

There's a whole week until Christmas, two days until Hanukkah, and two weeks until the new year. This is often a time of too much and too little: too much to do and not enough time to do it, too many expectations and too few resources, too much fatigue and too little sleep,  too much perfectionism and too little acceptance, too much up tight and not enough relaxation.

Looking back and looking around I see how unimportant some of the major stressors of the holidays have been for me, although of course I didn't see it at the time. "In the big picture of life" it doesn't really matter if Jane doesn't like the scarf, or your son is disappointed with the too small fire engine, or you never sent cards out for the third year in a row, or the house looks yukky, or that you didn't make cookies, or even that you have to be alone for the holiday season.

We all have to dig deep to find our resilience and to rise to a reasonable place where we can be comfortable and slightly happy. So we have relatives who are a pain in the neck, or competitive co-workers who are difficult, or health and money problems, or worst of all, tricky problems with our partners, spouses, family. Not good.

I don't have the answers and I can assure you that I don't handle things well and easily, routinely. But I encourage us all to at least be most accepting of ourselves during this time of year. Remember the three ways to get rid of negative self-talk: problem-solving thinking, cognitive restructuring, and detachment. Eliminating NST will not solve all problems, but it will definitely help you have a more enjoyable few days, few weeks, few months ahead.
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