Yesterday I hit that moment that always sneaks up and nails me this time of year. The imminence of houseguests and Christmas came into crystal clear focus, along with the impossibility of doing everything I’d wanted to do to prepare. Mind that this is not the blog on “How to Get Ready for the Holidays with Time to Spare.” You may have noted that my recipes are often ones that can be made at the last minute with on-hand ingredients. Well, my holidays are the same.
Along with the awareness of the nearness of Christmas a big wave of anxiety came washing over me. I kept cleaning, thinking about skipping my exercise for the day to do housework instead. But being on task for my houseguests was not making the stress go away.
I decided I was too busy to not exercise and started packing for the ice rink. Because what does my family need more? A slightly cleaner house, one more special thing planned for the holiday? If the price is a jumpy, snappish mom, it’s not worth it.
For the first 15 minutes of my skate I stroked hard, enjoying the speed and the cold air across my face until I warmed up enough to peel off my fleece jacket. There’s nothing like a bit of heart-pumping exercise to work through that stressed-out fight or flight feeling. It’s what your body’s ramped up for, whether or not it’s a physical challenge that you actually face.
Do you run? Swim? Walk up and down a few hills in your neighborhood? Get out there and get some exercise, and give your family a gift that can’t go wrong— a more relaxed companion.