Well, here we are. Back to reality.

I don’t know what it is about Thanksgiving… but I feel like the Monday after it’s over always catches me with my pants down.  (I typed that… thought about changing it to “catches me off-guard,” and decided to stick with my original phrasing.)

In the preceding weeks, I must have gone into shut-down mode or something, because Sunday night showed up and BLAMMO I was behind on everything.

Budget! New schedule! Dentist appointments! Doctor’s appointments! Hey SURPRISE your kid’s turning two this month ALSO CHRISTMAS WHEEEEEEEEEEE!

I’m still figuring out how to keep sane during the week after Turkey Day… but I think I’ve gathered a few techniques that help me stay calm. Mostly calm. Mostly.

Rip off the Band-aid

What is the ultimate goal when I’m stressed out? Having the stressful things not be there anymore. Unfortunately, the only way to reach this lofty goal is to make the stressful things not be there anymore.

It’s a total bummer, but that’s it. I just have to make the phone calls, send in the payments, set the budget for the month, go to the dentist, and cross things off the list.

I’ve really gotten into using my Google Calendar for this. I list my tasks for the day, and mark each one off as it gets completed. If I’m feeling extra stressed, I make myself power through the WORST ones on the list, and then reward myself with one of my fun tasks… like some creative client work or catching up on work-related blog posts.

Also, marking off each task in the calendar, then clicking the trash can button is pretty satisfying.

What can you do about it? Right now?

I’m a worrier by nature, and it only gets worse at night… when my brain gets a chance to slow down and think about things other than herding children (lovingly…herding them lovingly).

Luckily, I’ve got a very pragmatic dude for a husband, and he’s had a huge role in keeping me calm this week.

Loosely Paraphrased Example in Play Form:

LAUREN: Holy crap, I totally forgot about ______! I can’t believe I forgot that! (Smacks forehead with heel of hand)

PAUL: (Sets down coffee mug) Okay, yeah. That sucks. Don’t freak out.

LAUREN: Gahhhhhhh, crap! (Throws hands in air, gives up on everything.)

PAUL: Well, what can we do about it right now? Seriously? Can you call them? No. So, let’s deal with it tomorrow. (Calmly drinks coffee like Zen master.)

(End scene.)

So, moral of the story is this: I have to do my best to worry about things I can control right now… not something that can’t be tackled until the next day.

Word to Your Sanity

I’m usually really grossed out by motivational quotes. Memes with pictures of sunsets in the background preaching to me that “No one ever regrets going for that run,” or “If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough,” generally make me want to do the exact opposite of what they’re trying to motivate me to do.

BUT I have found that, if written the right way, certain words really can light a fire under my butt or help me feel reassured.

My mom gave me this daybook a while back, and it’s kind of creepy in how accurate it can be sometimes. I’m not so good at reading it every day, and some of the things the author says get a little ridiculous, but I do like to return to it when I get stressed out. Sometimes it fires me up, and sometimes it helps me feel like I’m not the only one in the world feeling the way I do.

But you know what? If those memes actually do make you want to dance like there’s no one watching, by God, do it! Dance! Love like there’s no tomorrow! Don’t eat yellow snow! Whatever it takes to get you through this week!

So.

I didn’t really intend for this to turn into a tip post or anything… that’s just how it came out. My path to post-Thanksgiving sanity is far from finished, though, so if you’ve got some hints, I’ll totally take ‘em!