Come again another day!
Are you starting to feel a bit stressed, like little CurlieQ up there.. with Thanksgivukkah, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve and then 2014 coming up in the next 30-odd days?
Phew! If I wasn't stressed before, listing out all these "popular" celebrations have really made the message sink home! So in times like this, the best thing you can do is breathe!
Here are a few tips to get you through the magic mayhem we call the silly season!
Yep, take baby steps. Break down your tasks into little, bite-sized chunks. Like that dinner party of yours.. or that birthday gig you were planning. You're worrying about the menu, the decorations, the guests, the dress code, cleaning the house, making sure there's toilet paper in the guest bathroom.. and so on. Don't try to do it all at once, even if you ARE a superhero in disguise.
When things start to overwhelm you, try one of the oldest tricks in the book. Well, the doctor book anyway. Stop and talk your pulse. Some people literally have to do that to calm themselves down. For others, simply focusing on breathing in and out is enough to draw your focus away from the crazy whirlwinds in your head. Take the time to sit down, have a cuppa and let yourself have some peace. Even if it's only for 30 seconds, it's often enough to allow you to regroup and re-focus on tasks at hand.
Making a list, and checking it thrice
Write, or draw if you're so inclined, everything that you need to do. It doesn't have to be a boring, daunting list if that's not your thing. I find it helpful to have an overview of the upcoming weeks in a monthly calendar grid filled out with just event names. I then have a list if more detail is required for each specific event on my monthly calendar to help me work out my priorities. Everything is written down and I worry less about forgetting to do something this way. You can also see your tasks at a glance this way, and increase efficiency by grouping similar tasks together from different events. For example, just the other day, I managed to drop off parcels at the post office, then a stash of cards to our new stockist (go say hi to Sew Make Create!!), get groceries, gas, replenish my ailing balcony garden and get to the hardware store in one car trip doing a little loop around town. Not bad for 4 hours, if I say so myself!
As tempting as it is to stay and finish whatever is keeping you busy (especially for all you night owls, like me!), your mind and body will thank you for going to sleep before midnight when you're tackling your tasks the next day. No use stressing and doing a job in a rush, or poorly due to lack of concentration or sleep. That just creates more stress and you end up in a downward spiral! Might as well get some good, quality sleep and tackle the new day feeling refreshed.
Laugh, smile and enjoy it! After all, this madness comes only once a year and sometimes, this is the only chance to catch up with certain friends and family. Try not to get bogged down with all the details and stress so much that little kids mistake you for the Grinch because your brows are perpetually furrowed!
What kind of things have you tried and tested to help you cope with the silly season? I'd love to hear and learn a thing or two!