Does the flurry of activity in December make you feel out of control? You are not alone. The additional responsibilities most of us take on during this month are equal to a part-time job. It’s easy to feel frazzled.
Here are a couple of habits to put in place right now that will help:
- PUT IT AWAY NOW: It is so tempting to drop things when we walk in the door or to temporarily put something down. We plan to put it away later, but frequently “later” just never comes. Before we know it, stuff is everywhere. Decide now to make yourself put everything away in the moment: hang up the coat, put the keys on the hook, carry the gifts to a hiding spot until you can wrap them, put the laundry away in the drawers, etc. It takes some extra energy, but it really pays off.
- CUT OUT EXTRA ACTIVITIES: We all fill our time with hobbies or activities that aren’t necessary, but which we enjoy. During the month of December, set aside some of these “time zappers”: surfing the internet, following social media, crashing on the couch with the remote, leafing through magazines. These activities steal significant chunks of time, and often do not leave us feeling refreshed. There is nothing wrong with them, but when time is of the essence, we need to avoid them.
- DONATE NOW: Before you know it, new items will be coming into your life. Whether it is clothing, new decorations or even holiday treats, they all require storage space. If you are currently “maxed out”, you need to make some room. Grab a bag and walk through the house (kids can get in on this too). Donate anything you can. It will free space for you, and bless someone in need this holiday season.
- MAXIMIZE THE NIGHT BEFORE: Having a smooth December is dependent upon your being able to hit the ground running each morning. Spend 10 minutes each evening getting ready for the next day. (If you’ve kept up with tip#1, this won’t be too bad.) Resist the urge to leave it until tomorrow. Set out everything you need for the following day in a staging area. Read over your “to do” list for tomorrow and mentally run through the day. Decide what you will put on when you get up in the morning. Plan what you will eat the next day. If you have children, encourage them to join you in this activity. It is a terrific life habit that you may want to continue come January 1.
- SLEEP and DRINK LOTS OF WATER. Many of us want more sleep than we get, for a variety of reasons. But this month, make it a priority to do the best you can. Keep a reusable water bottle full and with you at all times. You are more likely to drink it if it is within reach.
December is a terrific month. It can be full of fun, new experiences, and social connection. But if you are exhausted and stressed, you might miss the wonder that the holiday season is all about.
What are you best tips for keep calm during this busy time?