In my last post about how you can’t “avoid stress” over the holidays, I challenge the popular belief that stress is something that we can only dodge or hide from and if it gets us, it takes over our brain and body and forces us to feel certain things when challenges come our way. That post was dedicated to those who are hoping stress don’t come ’round this Christmas.
This post is dedicated to those who think the holidays are stressful.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but our society has deemed certain events as “stressful”. No matter what, there are some stressful things in life. We talk like there’s a master list of “stressful things” that exists somewhere and this list contains such things as: getting married, starting a new job, moving, and of course, the holidays. Having any other kind of experience with those events is out of the question because well…their stressful. We talk like certain things come with a tag attached that says: THIS IS STRESSFUL.
I hear people say, “This is such a stressful week”, yet the truth is that it’s a challenging or busy week containing particular appointments, meetings, tasks, etc. Despite it’s challenges and busy schedule, no week comes with a tag attached to it saying: I’M STRESSFUL. YOU’LL BE LUCKY TO SURVIVE. I also hear people say, “I work with some stressful people.” Yet no one at work has ever walked up to them with a tag hanging from their arm that says: I AM HERE TO MERELY PISS YOU OFF. And of course, right now I’m hearing many people say that this time of year is stressful and yet, I’ve never seen a calendar with a tag hanging from the December page that says: THIS MONTH IS STRESSFUL. STOCK UP YOUR LIQUOR CABINET.
Nothing (not even December!) comes to us as anything more than what it is. Every event, situation, and person that comes our way is actually neutral. Yes, there are challenges and yes, there are busy times, but if we think or talk about it in a way that’s beyond those kinds of facts, that’s due to the interpretation we have of it and the meaning we place on it. For example, some people love camping and some people think it’s grounds for divorce. Some people love roller coasters and some people think life is tough enough. See how camping and roller coasters are only stressful for some people because that’s their perception of it? Camping, roller coasters, weeks, co-workers, and yes, the holidays can be anything you want it to be.
And bless those souls who view a season of eating, drinking, and celebrating with friends and family as a total pain in the butt.
Wishing you a peaceful holiday season,