You know the one part that sucks about holiday time that doesn’t exist around Thanksgiving… The torture of trying to find gifts, for everyone. And make cookies, and hang decorations, and go to holiday parties, and try to eat healthy. Adding gifts on top of all that jazz is what can easily make you freak the F out. I have a few ideas….
5 Ways To Finish Out The Holiday Season Stress Free
The Gift Of Being Stress-Free: Ok, think about the people you’re buying gifts for. Thinking of them? If most of those people knew you were stressed out, driving around like a maniac, spending more money than you had, buying their gift from the checkout line in Target because you can’t think of anything else – they wouldn’t want that from you! So don’t feel like you have to do it. Wait until the next day, by them a good book, or gift card, and let the pressure of other gifts go.
Essential Oils: This may or may not be a placebo, the essential oil trend, but I don’t give a fuck. If it works because my mind is telling me to believe it’s working, or the oils are truly relaxing me – I’ll fucking take it. Am I right? I met an essential oil doctor (jk she was selling her oil potions at the grocery store & I stopped to talk to her), and she gave me a combo she said would help me relax. (5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Jasmine, 5 drops Frankincense, 3 drops Ylang Ylang.) She put it in a tiny spray bottle (here) and said to spray it on my pillow at night, on my clothes, mid anxiety attack – whatever. I’ve become obsessed. It’s so easy to do too! Go to Whole Foods, get these essential oils, get a tiny spray bottle, and make your own secret Xanax potion.
This is the only “Holiday Gift Guide” I had time to make this year! My goal for next year is to be more specific & give some super badass ideas for everyone you’re shopping for. To take the weight off your shoulders & have a stress free season. Holiday Gift Guides are my jam & I find them to be incredibly helpful. Hopefully this list will at least send you in the right direction…
Your Friends Businesses:
You know what’s freaking crazy, not supporting your friends small businesses or hobby’s. If you have a friend or know of someone that’s bravely trying to create their own business & fulfill a passion, you should be the one in line to support them! I feel like I’m always hearing the critique of what people are trying to do rather than the encouragement & support. SO, what a wonderful time to show support to these businesses by ordering gifts through them. Think of people you know that are trying to start a product, sell a product or service and figure out who you can gift that to. That way, you’re giving an awesome gift to the receiver and another gift to the person you’re purchasing from. If you don’t have any friends doing this, check out Etsy. Tons of businesses & hobby’s on that website are small (& you can consider those people friends). Love this idea!
Ok. Ok. So when I first mentioned my few weeks of life changing events I said it was a combination of things. One was Jury Duty but the other was a book. Somehow, the stars aligned in a way that helped me read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton during my week of Jury Duty. fyi – There is plenty of opportunity to read while on Jury Duty, it feels like you’re constantly sitting in the small Jury Room waiting for the courtroom to be ready. I was easily able to finish reading Love Warrior… and wow.
I first heard of Glennon Doyle on Chelsea! about a year ago. Since then, I’ve been wanting to read her book, but procrastinated. I picked it up, and even read a page or 2 several different times, but always ended up putting it down. At first glance, the book seemed too emotional & strong (if that makes sense) which scared me away from it. Emotionally deep books (and movies) gets my anxiety on it’s tip toes so I tend to avoid them. However, Love Warrior was the only book I packed in my purse for Jury Duty, leaving me no choice but to get through it.
Lucky for me, because this book changed me in a similar way Jury Duty did.
Let me explain. I recently had a truce with my anxiety, where I looked it in the eye with a smile & shifted my mind to start using it as a tool. (Also on Chelsea!), a woman being interviewed asked Chelsea to name 3 qualities she likes about herself, and they couldn’t be physical. I listened, laughed and fell asleep. In the morning, I was driving to work & thought about that same question. 3 qualities I like about myself, and they can’t be physical. One of the answers that kept creeping in my mind was – anxiety. Wtf. I thought anxiety was something I hated. But, I started feeling like Batman’s bestie. Powerful, relieved, and excited. I told myself, anxiety is a superpower. A freaking superpower! Because of anxiety, I’m uber aware of feelings & emotions. They’re loud, and they’re always there for me to hear. And if I can control them a little, they can be a badass superpower. And that’s exactly what I’m going to make them.
I never know if I should write how I feel right when I’m feeling it or wait until I get my thoughts together… For example, Jury Duty. I walked out of Jury Duty feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I was fucking rocked, and scared, and anxious. For a week I couldn’t sleep without having nightmares. Surprisingly, my immediate reaction was to hate blogging. The first thought I had was “fuck my blog”. Although it’s my creative outlet, my experience on Jury Duty made me feel like I was wasting precious, valuable time working on my silly blog. I needed to be doing more! A week or so passed and I started thinking I need to write this all down in my blog, change my blog, change people! But then I felt I was too wrapped up in emotion, not thinking clearly. Now, I’m a month past Jury Duty and feel like I’m rational, yet still kind of wish I would’ve written everything down when I was irrational. When people are super expressive with feelings I listen to them, even if they’re wrong, there has to be parts to take away.
A month ago I had to report for Jury Duty. I recently registered to vote and the two results in that decision were (1) Donald Trump as my president (2) Jury Duty summons. Real winning decision making skills right there, Ha!
My first reaction with Jury Duty was, anxiety. Because that’s what I do best. “What if I have a panic attack while I’m there” “There’s no way out of this” “What if I can’t breathe” “What if I can’t talk” “How long will it take” “What if I don’t show up”. Welcome to my brain.
Everyone told me their Jury Duty stories & how they tried to get out of it or why they weren’t chosen or how strong minded they were so no way someone would pick them, or it’s probably a dumb case, so annoying to go to Jury Duty.
I had NO idea how fucking hard it would be for me. I happened to get chosen to be a Jury member. 12 out of 80 something people were chosen. I have a few thoughts on that. If you have an education, compassion, you’re smart, you listen, understanding, morals & ethics – you SHOULD be a chosen member for Jury Duty. When I started hearing what some of the other Jury contenders were saying, I thought holy Jesus I better be chosen. No way they’ll let these fucking stubborn assholes make a judicial decision, right?! And I was right – they chose me. And they should choose me. They should choose you too, if you’re smart and a good listener. It is your duty and it is your responsibility. ESPECIALLY if you’re making decisions about someones future. If you don’t do it, those stubborn assholes will, and that’s not acceptable.
The Case. I’m going to summarize what was a week long journey of my court case the best I can. In reality, the details of the case itself wasn’t the traumatizing part of Jury Duty so I don’t want it to be the highlight of this post. There was a domestic violence dispute where a woman ended up with a cut on her hand and the defendant plead not guilty. This was a felony case because of the claim of the use of a deadly weapon. When it came time to deliberate there were two different charges we could sentence the defendant with, or decide he’s not guilty. The jury decided the harsher of the two, a felony. The second decision was his sentencing. Because he already had a felony on his record and spent time in jail, the Texas law requires a minimum sentence of 25 years. My jury members wanted to really stick it to him so they gave him a 26 year sentence, as kind of a “ha ha”. The defendant stood up, heard his sentence, ran his fingerprints, and went to jail until he likely will pass away.
With the last few weeks feeling like my eyes were wide fucking open, I decided I have to get my shit together. I always feel this way, like I really need to get my life wrangled in, but this time the feeling felt focused. Small changes had to start happening, now. A few weeks ago I discovered The Container Store. Damn, for people that already knew of this beautiful secret of a store, congratulations. I bought one small organizer for all my hair clips, I think it was $2.99. I brought it home, and felt changed. Organized and proud. But I left it at that. Every once and awhile I would brainstorm ways to organize my makeup but didn’t follow up. So… after this slam dunk of events happening and being woke the F up, I decided no more waiting – I need to act!
Clear drawer trays: (here)
I chose clear because I can leave notes under them // Clear drawer trays: (here)
Super cheap but super valuable hair organizer: (here)
So that’s what I did. I went to The Container Store and bought pieces that I thought would help organize my room. I didn’t think about what someone else would use to organize, I didn’t think about what made the most sense, I didn’t think about what a fancy organizer person would do – I only thought about how I wanted to organize my shit… and I proceeded.
The reason I’m even bringing up The Container Store is because it’s a one stop spot to knock out all of your organizing needs + most of the items are affordable. I’m obsessed with this store now. So let me tell you how I started. I bought this tiny box organizer that looks like a children’s fishing tackle box and decided to separate all my hair clips into the dividers. Before, they were all in one location, but in a small plastic box mixed together. I had no idea how many ponytails I had, where the other shiny blonde bobby pin was, or what clip I was looking for. This $2.99 organizer made it so simple, and easy to store! (Full disclosure, I left it out on my bathroom counter for a week just so I could stare at it).
For my makeup, I started with different sized drawer organizers. I went back and forth about where I wanted my makeup… On the counter or put away in drawers. What do you think? I’ve seen it on counters lately as like a decoration? But I wasn’t feeling it for myself… so I went for these drawer organizers. I decided on clear plastic organizers because they’re shiny, and I put little notes underneath them to reference.