December is a tricky month. For many it is the time of year when people are more tolerable, which is a bonus for us all! It is a happy time full of family, decorations, dinners and long evenings in. Don’t get me wrong, I do like December. However, from my calculations and Wikipedia’s facts, December is a long and dark month (literally if you live in Northern Europe). That plus it is the busiest time at year with work and as an expat your family is on the other side of the ocean oh and my husband decided shopping is the best idea ever. To me, December is a month you know you have some long weekends, warm nights in and time to cause adventures in the kitchen. However, the reality is much different. Instead you look like a monster who is exhausted and accidentally ate half a dozen cookies. In my world, my ability to work out 5 times a week has been exchanged for pajamas with slippers instead of yoga pants and sneakers. Bedtime at 9pm seems like an old school comfort that you want every day. Finally the piles of folded laundry to put away seem like Mount Everest and your waiting for that fictitious earthquake to come along so it is no longer an issue. So how do you find ways to take refuge and get through the month? Well lets just say, I have found some middle ground.
Accept it and just go with it
Yes, your body weight may currently consists of cookie dough, cocktails and a dose of December stress. You may look in the mirror and feel like this isn’t the same person as even a month ago. But, you kind of accept that whilst you do your best to stay on track, it is okay to let this month be a write off. If you look at the social calendar, there isn’t much chance to get a break and as long as the whole year is not like this then it is okay. Days may be busy, but just remember January brings new starts so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So stay positive. Plus eggnog laced with alcohol only comes once a year!
To do list and daydreams
To do lists take on a whole new level in December. They morph into some Star Wars worthy super power and that list could potentially change the universe…okay maybe your own universe. Your mind begins to get ideas of what the new year will bring. So you make a list of all the things you want to accomplish next year. Ideas that may have floated around in the past few months due to your husband, own initiative or worse a cocktail too many. Now all these ideas don’t seem like such bad or crazy ideas. In this process you begin to look forward to the new year and all the potential it may bring.
Routines are not just advice from self-help books
It is safe to say that most people have routines in their life. It is just the way humans function. The December routine for many has morphed into a routine that slightly reflects hibernation. However, this routine is partly keeping me sane for this month. Coming home from work, cooking dinner, watching some television, then heading to bed. The sofa has become the place nobody dares to leave. If a snack falls on the floor, the cats, my husband and I all look at each other in a face off of who dares to touch the ground as if it is hot lava. We are all just content on the sofa, resting and watching some tv. Knowing tomorrow may be another long day and weekend may seem far away, we just go with it. When days are long due to work or errands, keep those moments in mind and know what is awaiting for you when you return home. You can move forward in the day just so you can make it home to this routine which brings some relaxation.
Enjoy whatever you may do for the holidays
You don’t have to do much, but sometimes just something small is all you need to do to relax. This year Hanukkah falls early, so there was no overlap in holiday. However, we also don’t have kids and I don’t think our cats are willing to act as substitutes for dreidel games. So celebrating wasn’t necessarily in our cards. However, for 8 nights, my husband and I took the time to light our candles every night. Just having the potential fire hazard in full flames every night, really helped bring some calm. Especially as the weather outside was often raging. Those little moments will give you a boost to keep going.
December is just one of those months for some people. You just feel like a bear, but got the memo that you are not one. However, you take the little moments and steps to get through the month. After all, this year will become another year for the book of nostalgia and the new year will bring new opportunities and chances to burn things in the oven, destroy some things in the laundry and find new things for yourself to do and enjoy.
What was I listening to when I wrote this blog? Jacob Golden: Book of Ages