The end of the year is upon us and with that comes a schedule that is pretty crazy! I sat down today to try to get all my ducks in a row and realized I do certain things to tame that crazy! So, I want to share a few tips and tricks that help me, in hopes that it will make your end of year/holiday season a little calmer!
My schedule for November and December currently looks like someone put all my activities in a snow globe, shook it really hard, and hoped for the best. I have a hard time saying no…especially to things that involve family, friends, giving back, and fun this time of year.
Here are just a few things I have going on: my normal work schedule, work travel, organizing Thanksgiving Baskets for the less fortunate, organizing a Toys for Tot collection, being a Cyclefit Spinbassador, birthdays, Christmas concert rehearsals and performances, family get-togethers, blog posts….and the list goes on.
So in order to tame the beast and put my mind at ease here are the things I do to help relieve the stress:
Keep a calendar and refer to it regularly
I actually have two calendars. I really like to physically write stuff down (more on that later)…but I don’t necessarily like to carry a paper copy with me, so I also have Google Calendar too. I keep the paper calendar on my refrigerator and my Google Calendar on my phone.
Get your calendars out and write down everything you need to do and places you need to be. Include as much detail as possible – times, locations, etc. The less you have to dig for information the day of the better. I hate coming to the day and having to search through emails for the address or other information.
Refer back to your calendar regularly. I usually refer to my calendar in the evening so I can prep for the next day.
Schedule time to just relax
I always make time to just relax. If not, your responsibilities and commitments can steamroll you and then you end up exhausted. You can spend this time however you want – working out, meditating, watching Netflix, reading a book…it really doesn’t matter. My only requirement is that it is something I want to do for me, no one else!
Write it down
When I get really busy I tend to get anxious. To alleviate the anxiety I write things down. If I have a lot to get done I make a list. If something is really bothering me at work I write about it. If I am worried about something I write it down.
This fact really shouldn’t be all that surprising (I do write this blog!) But, I find it really cathartic writing things down and getting them out of my brain. Something about putting pen to paper just calms me. Also, writing everything down allows me to put things into perspective – which items on my list can I get done quickly, which ones need a little more thought, or which ones should I not really be worried about.
Divide and conquer
If someone offers to help you…take it! This will be easier for those of you with significant others – maybe that is what I should ask for, for Christmas 🙂 It is fun to do things together, however, if you can divide the responsibilities and get double the amount done at the same time that is even better!
You grocery shop while they finish Christmas shopping. You do laundry while they wash the dishes. You go to choir rehearsal while they wrap presents. Then you can always come back and chill on the couch and watch Stranger Things together later!
So, these are the main things that I do to alleviate stress and anxiety during busy times. What do you do in these situations? I would love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments!