Here in Canada it’s business as usual today. But we will be drawn officially into “the festive season” tomorrow, on Black Friday, which somehow has snuck its way into the Canadian calendar in a big way.
It used to be that a few people would take the day off work to drive across the border and get in on some of those Black Friday specials. Then came online shopping, so we could take advantage of the sales online. But not to be outdone by US outlets making their wares available to Canadians online, Canadian retailers with actual store fronts started to get in on the fun. Go to any Canadian mall on Friday and you’ll see signs if it everywhere.
But the shopping frenzy is not the only thing that takes hold. It’s the eating and the socializing. Despite being an introvert, I actually like the social aspect of the season. I also like the lights and the Christmas trees and the music. Another source of frenzy for us academics is the end of term. Essays, exams, grades that need to be submitted. Students who need reassurance. It’s one of the busiest times of year already!
And with everything, the schedule gets all thrown off. And it’s winter. So many variables. Like, I’m supposed to start that 39-day running challenge today and as I write this (actually writing the night before), I’m not entirely sure when I’m going to fit that in, what with teaching and a full work day and a volunteer commitment after work and then a concert. Okay, I’ve only committed to 2K a day, but it’s suppose to be raining in the morning.
Whether you love it or hate, the “season to be jolly” can be draining and discombobulating. So in order to get us an early start on that added stress, here’s an article that suggests some ways not to succumb. “25 Ways to Fight Holiday Stress” is full of some fantastic suggestions, like:
- walk away from worries
- do less, enjoy more (this is one of my favourites)
- stick with your daily routine (okay, okay, I’m heading out the door for that run now!)
- forget perfection
- fit in exercise
- plan a vacation
That’s not all. There are 19 other suggestions. I’m going to close with a sneak-preview quote from my December newsletter to the Arts and Humanities students (I’m the Associate Dean, and I post a monthly newsletter):
Remember to do all the smart things that keep you grounded, whatever those may be. For me, it’s all about getting enough sleep, eating three decent meals a day, “single-tasking” instead of multi-tasking, taking breaks from my work to spend time alone and with friends, and doing some form of exercise each day. How about making a checklist of what keeps you grounded and committing to checking off at least three of those things each day?
Let’s not wait until the panic sets in. What keeps you grounded through this time of year?