Pre-Holiday De-cluttering: Emotions First

It’s not enough that the holidays are filled with too much food, too many obligations, and too much…stuff. For many of us, there’s also a whole bunch of emotional baggage taking up space and time, robbing us of the the joys of the season, and possibly contributing to derailments from our healthier living goals.

I thought I was doing pretty good at letting things go until I read Are You an Emotional Packrat? over on Dumb Little Man. Author Sherri Kruger suggests we consider these factors to determine if we might be storing up some trouble:

1. You constantly replay past confrontations, conversations and situations in your head.
2. You find yourself saying, “I wish I had said ______________.” Or, “I should have done _________.”
3. You get anxious when you think of certain people or get stressed at the thought of running into someone in an otherwise completely nonthreatening situation.
4. You find yourself worrying about what the other people are thinking of you.

Ouch! I hate when things hit me right between the eyes like that, and number 4 was especially zingy.

So, okay, I have some work to do. While I’m mostly comfortable with myself, my mother’s oft-used warning from my younger years sometimes creeps into my thoughts and takes over: “People will think you’re…”

Mom meant well, and it’s good to consider the image one puts forth in any given situation. What other people think about how I look, feel, work, dress, etc., shouldn’t get in the way of my dreams and goals. More specifically, what I think other people think shouldn’t get in my way. Because as the referenced article says:

You’d worry less about what people thought of you if you knew how little they did.

I’m going to remind myself of this throughout the holidays..and whenever else it’s necessary.

I tried to keep this post short, in hopes that it would leave you time to check out the full article. Well worth reading and pondering.

Do holidays bring out the emotional clutter in your life? Do you think that contributes to over-indulging?

10 thoughts on “Pre-Holiday De-cluttering: Emotions First

  1. OMG – my post for tomorrow is soooo about worrying what others think of me! (That is, if I can stop worrying the post isn’t well written enough to hit the publish button!)

    Unrelated to that, yes, holidays bring out emotions in me. Maybe not the same as others. There seems to be such a build up and then I always feel let down. I am a bit of a Grinch, I think. My big problem with over-indulging is the over-abundance of treats this time of year. Sigh.

  2. I went through that with Thanksgiving, replaying old roles and dealing with family issues. And, yes, I over ate this past weekend. But I got back on the exercise bandwagon today.

  3. I don’t find the holidays in particular bring out these thoughts. They just happen periodically for me.

    I tell myself that it really is not any of my business what someone thinks of me. it’s their business.

  4. I have a bad tendency to connect emotions to the holidays, and b/c of that, I haven’t really enjoyed them all that much. It’s usually a time where there’s lots of regret and guilt, b/c I’ve over eaten. There’s also a lot more people that you see, and there are judgments made (sometimes self-inflicted ones) about appearances. I’ve been doing a little bit better this year, but it’s pretty easy to slip back into a bad mind frame.

  5. Well, to be honest, I’ve never really given a crap what other people think. EXCEPT for the people that i love. My family and my closest friends. When I was alot younger that wasn’t always the case. What the holidays do bring out in me is the “want” to eat everything in sight. Our holidays were always centered around food, so this year and every year here on out will be different. I just don’t know how to “change” the tradition. I guess I’ll figure it out.

    You’d worry less about what people thought of you if you knew how little they did…I love this..and so true.

    Thank you for everything …I can’t explain how much I appreciate it.


  6. I’d say holiday stress definitely leads to overindulging unless we’re extremely vigilant. The temptations are there because it’s the holidays, but when the emotions get kicked up, some of us don’t stand a chance. Holidays are not for the weak.

  7. hmm… I’m not sure if that’s the reason that I over-indulged, but it sounds like a good reason to me. :) Either way, I’m glad that Thanksgiving is over so that I can get back on track. Those holidays get me every time!

  8. Im me!!
    Im confident!
    I love me!
    I dont care what ANYONE ELSE THINKS….until I get together with my mom :)


    ahhhh family :)

  9. Cammy, great post! I am bad at that #4 too! Always have been from as far back as I can remember.. really! Way back when I was like 7 years old I remember worrying about what others thought.. I guess I have not fixed #4, have I!

    And yes, holidays do bring up emotional clutter but thank goodness I have learned to handle the food part of that most of the time! :-)

  10. Honestly, I used to be VERY MUCH that way, but within the last couple years I’ve really been able to get away from replaying confrontations and worrying about how others see me etc.

    I’m looking forward to spending Christmas with the boyfriend’s this family, though – it’ll be nice not to have my whole family comment on my eating choices (they always make a big deal of how I no longer eat the turkey leg, which I used to do every year as a kid. I haven’t eaten the drumstick for about five years now, but EVERY TIME I don’t eat it, my family comments on it. It’s not so much that I feel embarassed about it as it’s just annoying that they can’t accept that people change!). Sometimes we need to take ourselves out of a certain environment and go somewhere new to work on our comfort levels and confidence.

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