This time of year can be very exciting, fun and stressful. The anticipation of travel, seeing friends and family, holiday parties, looking forward to the New Year adds stressors to already crammed schedules and demands of business. Before we know it our head is spinning with a blur of ‘to-do’s’. The resulting feeling is called OVERWHELM. One of the easiest ways to go into overwhelm is to think that you have to accomplish it ALL. The structure of overwhelm in your mind is rapid pictures moving so fast inside your mind that you cannot focus on any one thing. It is a literally spinning of ideas and thoughts moving too fast to get a grip on them. Here are some brief tips on how to manage yourself and your schedule gracefully. Remember Overwhelm is fast moving pictures in your mind.
- TAKE A DEEP BREATH to slow your breathing. This will also slow your mind. Focus on your present environment.
- MAKE A LIST with as many items as you can think of. Include, parties, obligations. Be specific.
- ASK YOURSELF, WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT NOW. Set priorities!
- CHUNK DOWN WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO INTO BITE-SIZE PORTIONS. (Food metaphor not intended). Chunking down means to break into smaller pieces. Instead of a large chunk of decorating the house or the office, break that large chunk down into smaller tasks: hang wreaths, get the decorations out, get tree, decorate tree, etc.
- REMEMBER THIS IS NOT A RACE. There is not prize for the person who does the most.
- SAY NO. Weed out things that aren’t priorities OR you simply don’t have time for and are not essential. g. The Jones’ party. You never have a good time, you always feel obligated but there isn’t any benefit to you in going. And be truthful. Avoid telling someone you will try to make it – just say ‘no’.
- IT’S OK IF YOU DON’T GET IT ALL DONE. In a hundred years from now will it make a difference? If no, then take it off the list.
- GIVE YOURSELF SOME DOWNTIME. Schedule a facial or massage. Have some me-time. Give to yourself as well as others.
- ASK FOR HELP. This isn’t a decathlon. If you find yourself in a dead run, stop and focus on the task at hand. Remember, when overwhelm takes over, we tend to be unaware of what is around us. Mistakes get made, car accidents happen, we lose things.
- HAVE FUN! This time of year should be about fun and enjoying as well as focusing on the New Year. If it isn’t fun, take if off the list.
You bring about, what you think about. If you are focused on how stressful it is, how hard it is, how you’ll never get it all done, how you have to do things, you will have a negative experience regardless of what time of year. If you focus on what you want in the positive – having fun, getting important things finished, having enjoyment from your experiences, then you have a higher probability to creating an excellent experience for your holiday season. Chunk it down; take one step at a time.