It’s already December, which means the holiday season is beginning. It’s also one of the more stressful times of the year, where you have to manage budgets, friendships, family relationships and a to-do list that is pages long. (It’s no wonder that the post-holiday season is the most popular time to file for divorce!)
I’ve got so much on my mind that sometimes I feel like I’m gasping for breath, rushing around all day trying to get things done as quickly as I can before I have to pick up the kids from school, take them to appointments, or chauffeur them to activities. There are bills to pay, cards to write, presents to buy, baking to do. Plus school work and freelance writing to squeeze in there, too. I’ve still got a mouse in the car and was driven to the brink today.
In addition to making the kids a hot breakfast, getting them dressed and preparing their lunches, I found myself in my pyjamas at 7:30am vacuuming my car. Enraged by the sight of more mouse droppings, I drove my car right up to my front door so I could use the central vac. As I was vacuuming I realized that I only had one spin shoe in my car. Did the mouse steal it? Did it fall out of my car by accident one day? After volunteering at my son’s school in the morning, I rushed off to buy a new pair and realized when I pulled into the parking lot that I’d left my purse at home. It was the last thing I needed. Maybe that’s how my to-do list ends up stretching on like the book I’m supposed to be writing.
I’ve tried all sorts of strategies to cope with the stress: vitamins, green tea, avoiding people who cause me stress, spending extra time with people who pick me up, yoga, deep breathing, meditating (that didn’t last long), exercising, writing, making more to-do lists.
Today I learned about a new idea from a wonderful therapist, Lindsey Keyfitz. It’s called a Mind Jar and it’s a cool way to cope with strong feelings. It’s supposed to be a way for kids to cope with stress, but there’s no reason it wouldn’t work for an adult, too. Basically, you fill a jar with water and sparkles and close the lid. When you get angry, you shake the jar and it seems to come alive with sparkles, like a snow globe. By the time the sparkles settle back to the bottom of the jar and the water becomes clear, your mind is clearer too. This strategy is supposed to be paired with deep breathing. I’m going to make one for every room of my house so I have one handy whenever I get upset in the next month. I should even have one for my car.
[Image via Her Family]
Here is Lindsey’s recipe for a Mind Jar:
- Pour many different colours of sparkles (your choice) into a bottle/small mason jar.
- Fill with water about 4cm from the top.
- Add a small amount of soap (or a few drops of glue).
- Close lid tightly
P.S: This doubles as a fun and easy activity to get the kids involved with!