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Stressed Out & It's Not Even December?

Self, Family

How to find some peace and lightness during this busy festive season?

I have the ability to overfunction when stressed, which is a blessing when it gets busy because you get lots done, but it is also a curse because my resources will deplete as I overstretch my abilities and resources, and just end up exhausted. It is a pattern I have started to accept and recognise. For years I would either try to ignore the warning signs and push through the exhaustion, or get very angry with or disappointed in myself for being in the exhausted, anxious space yet again. Accepting that I tend to overfunction in a stressful situations has been the first step to befriending—what I now refer to with kindness and tongue in cheek—"my yellow inner minion".

I have much in common with these delightful yellow creatures from the movie Despicable Me. Minions are helpful, loyal, and busy like bees (without the black stripes) even though they're not always focused. While their intentions are kind, filled with a need to be helpful, they sometimes fall over each other (and into other people's business, as Byron Katie would point out)—and make mistakes. Since recognising my Inner Minion, I have come to also take my work and busyness less seriously. It is quite a subtle but significant shift away from my harsher, serious attitude when I am in my very serious perfectionist mode. It has given me a different perspective, as well as some space for self-compassion and possibilty of making new choices. By being more light-hearted about my tendencies, I can also be kinder to myself when I make inevitable mistakes. I am after all only a fallible minion who does not get disheartened by mistakes, but simply starts again.

For this busy time of year, I would recommend that you discover and befriend your own inner minion—December will be a much jollier time for sure.

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