Self Improvement, Going Mad? It's just November

by SANDRA PRIOR - Date: 2008-11-15 - Word Count: 608 Share This!

November Madness or 'Novemberitis' is the unofficial name psychologists gave a condition they commonly come across as each year speeds to a close. People feel pressured to finish whatever they're doing before the December holidays. With the end of the year in sight, they have a multitude of tasks and projects they want to finalize.

On top of that, we seem to have a psychological compulsion for completion in all aspects of our lives. People tend to see things as running in cycles from 1 January to 31 December. So if our relationships, jobs or finances are in trouble, we often use the end of the year as the deadline to resolve things.

Nuts in November

The looming holiday season brings pressures of its own. December is not necessarily a good time for people, especially those without family or friends, or those who have lost someone - it reminds them of what they don't have. Others feel compelled by a sense of duty to be with family they would rather avoid.

Parties can increase tension rather than release it, particularly if they're office parties. There's often anxiety around revealing your personal side at work events. People get terribly worked up about finding a partner if they're unattached, and hear horror stories of the embarrassment caused when a partner misbehaves.

Alcohol takes a toll, encouraging indiscretions and contributing to exhaustion the next day, leaving us less able to cope with heavy schedules. Party fare and fast food can also lead to mood swings and an energy slump. And when exercise is put on the back burner, the cost to our body shape and confidence mounts - just when we're hoping to shape up for holiday swimsuits and party dresses.

Also, financial concerns frequently weigh us down as Christmas shopping and holiday costs loom in already tough economic times. Don't go Crackers

Unchecked, Novemberitis can result in major stress, even emotional breakdown. When we're exhausted and overwhelmed, and the end is at last in view, it's easy to start letting go the control that's carried us this far. We're prone to lose patience, tolerance and tact, and a minor incident or remark can trigger events we regret long after New Year. The moment you sense warning symptoms, from sheer exhaustion to rising panic or uncharacteristic rage, take steps to stop the madness.

Acknowledge that you are taking strain, breathe deeply and relax consciously.

Ask yourself: are my goals realistic and set aside a reasonable period for truly important tasks on a daily planner. Get help with the rest or delegate. It's okay to admit you're not Superwoman. Some tasks can probably be held over. Don't feel automatically compelled to finish things before you go on leave.

However full your day, factor in time to unwind and to exercise, sleep properly, eat nutritious meals and drink plenty of water - all of these will help keep your brain functioning optimally and your mood up.

Celebrate sensibly and drink alcohol responsibly.

Learn to say no - to invitations, drinks or holiday plans you don't truly want, and to conventions that don't work for you. If you can't afford expensive holidays or gifts, make plans to enjoy your own town and give small presents or handmade cards.

If you'll be working until the eleventh hour before going on leave, plan chill time at home for a day or two before heading on holiday. You'll be far more receptive to the benefits of your all-important break.

Remind yourself you feel this way every year and that you'll get over it - it's just November.

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Related Tags: year, november, people, pressure, finish, psychological, mad, madness, pressures, finalize

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