A "full court press" is a basketball term that means all the team members on the floor surround the opposing team player when he/she tries to inbound the ball. Instead of spreading out across the court, they all gather and make it really tough for the opposing team. The full court press means they continue to do this at both ends of the floor. The team just doesn't stop pushing and running.
That's what this time of year feels like for a lot of us. And the "full court press" really seems to start now with December upon us. We're pushing and running and exhausting ourselves. So how can we slow down and not be as intense as a basketball team in a full court press?
We all live very busy lives and even though we want to enjoy this time, all the added "jobs" seem overwhelming: getting the house decorated, extra cooking and entertaining, gift buying and wrapping, etc., etc. Then add holiday parties and events at every venue in our lives and we look ahead and don't know when we'll be able to breathe. It reminds me of being in college at the beginning of a semester and seeing all that had to be done on a syllabus. I remember feeling a sense of panic looking at all the readings, papers and tests and thinking I'll never be able to do all this? The way I calmed myself down was realizing all I had to do that week, was that week's assignments. Air was let back into the room.
I think we need to do the same thing with the holidays. Take it a little bit at a time. Doesn't mean we shouldn't plan or think about what needs to be done. But what it does mean is do what needs to be done each day and try and enjoy the journey. Instead of frantically crossing things off on a "To Do" list and running to the next item, make the "chore" or job fun. Put on Christmas music while you're baking those cookies, have a favorite holiday movie on while you're wrapping gifts, order a pizza and have some friends over to help you decorate the tree.
Remember to take breaks and say a prayer when you feel overwhelmed. Most importantly, put things in proper perspective. We're not really in the NCAA championship game doing a full court press to win! And we're not Martha Stewart! Things don't need to be perfect and nothing is really that important. Whatever doesn't get done, we won't even remember next month. Relax, slow down, take it one bit at a time and enjoy the journey. Instead of a full court press for the championship, make December a "pick-up game in the park" with your very best friends. Your holidays will be better for it and so will you.
Ann Foster, MTS, LCPC, CADC, CMAT, CDWF
President ~ Executive Director