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Winter has officially arrived in Michigan and while we knew it was coming, being December and all, it still has been an adjustment.  As the snow falls and we struggle to get warm, I keep finding the people in my life questioning their productivity.  Labels of tired, exhausted, lazy, and depressed are all emerging.  Yet when they go over all the things they have accomplished in the past week…it’s impressive…and I’m confused.

I want to be clear that I understand that depression is very real and people who bump into depression should be very attune to what is happening with themselves.  Yet, I also want to make sure that you’re checking in with yourself and not rushing to label yourself as lazy before you recognize the items checked off the ‘To Do’ List.  Is it your body and mind asking for a day to rest and maybe not entering a depressive episode?

Here’s 4 questions to ask yourself before you start calling yourself a lazy bum…if you only read one…make it #4!

  1. Do you need a nap? Or to meditate?  With the repetitive Christmas lists, grocery lists, party invites, charity asks, decorating schedules, etc.  Do you need to go in the bathroom and scream?  Please ask yourself if maybe you need a minute to clear your head, get organized, and breath.
  2. Are you adjusting for the weather change? If you live in the upper Midwest you know it takes a day or two to get your bearings again with weather driving.  Bundling up takes a couple of more minutes.  If you are in a warmer climate, you are still battling holiday traffic and extended lines.  This time of year, the only antidote to the hustle and bustle and snow is acceptance.  Are you accepting what is?
  3. Is the holiday energy adding to your list? Is all this hurried holiday magic having you believe that everyone else is doing waaay more?  When you see those parents of 4 at the holiday party smiling, do you think…”they must get up at 4 am, they probably start shopping in July, and I bet they hire more help than I do…they are just more organized and I only have 2 kids.  I’m always so lazy.”  Make sure your mind isn’t becoming a runaway Polar Express train?
  4. Do you calculate the time it takes? This is an exercise I do with clients often.  So many of us rarely take the time to look at exactly how many hours we are working?  Driving?  Socializing?  We are always chasing time, but we aren’t actually calculating it.  It is amazing to see how much we are doing in a day.  You won’t dare call yourself lazy after this calculation, trust me.  The second we can look at how much time we are spending on X, Y, and Z is the second we can start to appreciate, preserve, re-organize, plan for, and enjoy that precious time.  And maybe…even smile at a holiday party.