The past few nights, I’ve had trouble sleeping. I wake up frequently in the night, tossing and turning and not being able to fall back to sleep for at least an hour.
Then I have stress dreams. I realized that’s what they were when in one dream my best friend showed me a beautiful ring that she had been given by her husband. She showed me the price tag of $4,000. I set it carefully back on her desk — and then it disappeared! I kept looking under the desk, through the desk drawers, all through the room, on the carpet. I kept going back to her with new ideas of where to look. Finally, I forced myself to wake up and realized it was a dream.
I have similar dreams where I can’t find something. In one I had two nights in a row, I was looking for a friend chicken place but couldn’t remember the name. I typed in In-N-Out on google maps to get directions to the chicken place. Only in a dream right? It had me driving for hours trying to find the restaurant.
I think it’s the pressure of Christmas vacation coming up including the nine-hour drive we’ll take this week. I absolutely hate driving and I have high anxiety over long car rides. Then there’s the worry that our family will all make it to the house we rented where we’re going to spend the week. The kids and girlfriend’s family are all driving from the Bay Area to Santa Barbara.
Then I worry about getting into the Airbnb house and also worry that the owner ripped us off and I’ve got 12 people to house for Christmas.
Once we make the drive and get settled, I’m sure this anxiety will leave. It helps a bit to write about it, too. The absurdity of my worries and dreams are exposed.
For example, my son’s car is in the shop and I worried about how he and his girlfriend would make it for Christmas. I started googling everything from Amtrak, flights and Greyhound.
I asked my daughter how they were getting down to Santa Barbara. She said “We had a group chat last night and the nine of us have it all figured out.” Of course. They are all adults. They don’t need mommy to fix it. One worry off my list.
Do you think stress is common over the holidays? Or is it a result of being isolated for so long that makes it more stressful this year to gather — and the news of COVID spiking?