I have this thing with organization. Not in an over the top, obtrusive and annoying way, but in a “this-is-how-I-maintain-sanity,” kind of way. I understand that my allergy to bullsh*t and clutter is my thing, so I never try to impose it on anyone else. It’s just how I personally like to roll. I’m a very de-cluttery, list-y person. I’d rather read a straightforward, to-the-point list than a novel of what I need to do ANY day of the week. There’s nothing like checking things off of a list, crossing things off (which is even more gratifying after checking something off), and feeling that sense of accomplishment, peace, and open SPACE that comes with de-cluttering. Out of all the coping skills, lists have proven to be extremely helpful for me.
One of my favorite stores is The Container Store. The sheer level of specificity they get into when tackling disorganization and clutter is not only impressive, it’s unmatched.
Every post that I write on this blog is in the hope of providing an emotional container store for us all. Not so that we CONTAIN emotions that need to be expressed, but so that we can better organize our emotions – get easier access to them, process them and then decide for ourselves if we want to express them through our words, actions or both.
Okay so back to LISTS. Here’s why I’m obsessed:
Lists give easy access to the most seemingly inaccessible, intimidating, daunting, “too-much-to-handle,” stuff that our fears are all too eager to brush under the rug.
Under the rug brush enough times though, and the moment you get triggered by a toxic f*cktard person, just WATCH how the dust flies everywhere. You won’t be able to see with all the crap flying around (that you thought you had so masterfully contained).
And because you can’t see, you’ll start to rely on others to be your emotional eyes, ears and oxygen. You’ll end up being made to feel like an ineffective, dirty, ‘falsely advertised’ pariah – by no one more than yourself.
Like I’ve said in many posts before – the holidays are great, but they also have a way of highlighting the lack in your life to the point of resurrecting emotional paralysis and impulsive behavior.
What are the coping skills? How do you deal with holidays that are manufactured to celebrate the joy of togetherness while also passively exploiting your loneliness?
So for this post (the post after this is going to be published this Friday 12/22 and will be announcing my HUGE holiday giveaway !!) and my New Years post, I wanted to keep it simple and write 2 very different LISTS. Lists that provide accessibility and sense amidst the emotional and physical chaos that this time of year brings.
I’ve said this before – the worst advice I’ve ever received: “It’s not that simple Natasha.”
It really is that simple. You just have to stop allowing holiday triggers to disable your emotional intelligence and sight.
Coping skills, Dilemmas Decoded & Being Alone: Holiday Edition.
Here’s what you need to know…
As far as coping skills, dilemmas, heartbreak and being (or feeling) alone during the holidays and beyond, here are a few things to keep in mind that have helped me not only get through my loneliest holiday moments, but have initiated massive change in my life:
- Self-love, self-esteem, and self-care are not just about buying yourself a gift, getting gifts for others, volunteering, getting into the holiday spirit by allowing yourself to indulge in yummy foods, booking a massage/blowout/spray tan and a mani/pedi for yourself. I am a huge fan of all the above, HOWEVER… The root of all coping skills; the foundation of all self-love, self-esteem, self-care, and mastery of your life is about self-awareness. It’s RECOGNIZING who you are, ACCEPTING that good or bad, everything is temporary, and ALLOWING yourself permission to just.f*cking.BE. When you do this, you will finally be able to establish boundaries without the anchor of guilt. You’re then able to say NO through your dignified actions. And because of this, you exclusively stand in your power – you know your worth. The title to the movie of your life is no longer: “Bright Light With Potential Dimmed by F*ckatrds, Holidays, Friendsh*ts & Relationsh*ts.” Yawn. No one wants to see that movie. REMEMBER: You are NOT that thirsty (it’s a bad look). And NO water well is ever as full as your own.
- The holidays are ALL about nostalgia and that’s great. It’s what makes this time of year so magical. Just make sure you don’t allow emotional nostalgia to infiltrate to the point that you ever condone anyone’s dishonoring of you by re-engaging/responding/gift giving, in light of “the holiday spirit.” Tomorrow won’t be a holiday and you’ll be left with a regret hangover without the life raft of dignity to keep you afloat.
- There is no need to text, call or send a card/gift to anyone who disrespected you, hurt you, lied to you, broke your trust, and consistently devalued you. It’s JUST a holiday. It will pass. What won’t pass is the fact that they sh*t the emotional bed. Holidays don’t have the power to emotionally potty train f*cktard people nor SHOULD they have the power to give you selective amnesia.
- I saw this quote on Instagram last week and it stopped me in my tracks. Not because it was some “aha! Moment,” revolutionary concept, but because I think it’s what we all want to believe deep down: “Somewhere, someone is searching for you in every person they meet.” I’d like to add to it if I could? Here’s my version: “Somewhere, someone is searching for you in every person they meet and guess what? They.can’t.find.YOU. Why? Because there’s only ONE of you on this planet. And until you see your value, no one else will see it. They’ll just exploit the fact that you’re blind to it. This year, decide to give yourself the gift of knowing your worth (and acting in accordance with that knowingness).
- The more you look for an eraser, the more highlighters you’ll find. Especially during the holidays. Feel your feelings without impulsively acting on them and you’ll immediately regain your power. It’s the only way to expedite a pain contraction.
- Instead of focusing on who’s not texting/calling you, keep your focus on who YOU AREN’T texting/calling and WHY.
- Use the holidays to take a good look at your family, friends who are like family… any and everyone you love. Think of the person who you love the most in this world. Now, I want you to do this: Think about if that person passed away tomorrow. Who are the people you would be angry at? Who would you be mad at for taking your emotional/physical time away from this person that you love with all your heart? Who would you be upset with for mistreating them or you? Make a list of these people, check it twice and vow to create emotional and/or physical distance from the vampires. My Mother’s cancer taught me to do this and it’s changed my life. It’s also allowed me to separate friendships with what I now call “acquaintance-ships.” I’ve got a hell of a lot more acquaintance-ships because just like true love, true friendship is just as rare.
- Just because your ex isn’t calling you, it doesn’t mean that they’re not thinking of you. They may know that by reaching out, they would be reasonably expected to do 4 things that goes beyond their emotional range: be honest, accountable, empathetic and responsible. And that’s okay. Remember – they have nothing new to say. And there’s really nothing they could EVER say that would give their actions justification or you better closure than you can provide for yourself. Right now.
- You don’t have to text anyone back in the name of holiday cheer. If texting back would cost you in any way or feel like a self-betrayal on ANY level… it’s too expensive. Know when to fold.
- Holidays, successes, failures, diagnoses, accomplishments, weddings, big events, etc., will truly show you who the people around you are and what they’re about if you allow it. The only way to get the most out of this observation is by recognizing the insanity of making other people’s behavior about you. Never react, ALWAYS respond. The denominator of reactivity is emotion; the denominator of response is ACTION.
- Understand that true love and a mutual relationship did not hurt you. Someone who didn’t know how to love themselves and who lacked the necessary equipment to be in a mutual relationship hurt you. There’s a difference. Confusing the 2 in the name of emotional holiday nostalgia does nothing more than translate to the universe that the gift you’re most comfortable giving yourself is misery. And what’s more painful (and destructive) than a contradiction? Give yourself the gift of cleaning up the contradictions in your life and just saying no to contradictory people.
Lastly, if you feel alone during the holidays – whether you’re in a crowd of 100 people feeling more alone than ever or if you’re physically alone, just know that you have family right here, reading these words with you right now – All over the world.
ps. THIS FRIDAY (12/22) I’m announcing my big holiday giveaway here on the blog so stay tuned ? It’s insane. I’m already jealous of the winners (yes, there will be multiple).
Love you so.