Statistically speaking, the holidays are a stressful time that sees a rise in stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal feelings. It has something to do with high expectations, among other things. I have felt myself getting veeeerrry anxious and a little depressed this past month. A lot of my issues stem from high (read, unrealistic) expectations and way too much going on in my life.
As a teacher, December is crazy. Additionally, I coach an activity from November to January. We practice at 7 am. And as a grad student my class was wrapping up as my teaching classes were getting ready for semester tests. Now, logically I know that’s a lot on anyone’s plate, but I also convinced myself I had to have perfect holiday decor in my house and classroom, fun and educational winter activities for my toddler, and perfect photo ops to post on social media.
Are you catching a theme? Perfection. What the fuck was I thinking?!
So, obviously all these high expectations have lead to a breakdown…or ten. But more than that, they’ve made me miss out on the important stuff going on. Last Christmas G was six months old, not old enough to know what was going on. But this year is different. He’s excited about lights, Santa, Christmas goodies, snow, everything. And in the midst of my need for perfection I’ve almost missed how-as cliche as this is going to sound-magical this season is.
I’m not going to lie and say that realization has made everything better. It hasn’t. I’m still struggling, and honestly will continue to do so, because family can be a stressor in my life; but if I take a second to appreciate what I have, and to try and see things through G’s eyes I feel a little more peaceful.