Preparing for a Busy Season
The first day of spring isn't technically until March 20th, but I can already tell it's going to be a chaotic season.
Between work, house hunting, family visiting, and a trip home, my planner is rapidly filling up with to-dos and save-the-dates. When I was younger, I feel like I was able to work through crazy seasons of my life, but now that I'm older (a.k.a. now that I take better care of myself) I find it to be a lot harder. When I was in college, I had a few semesters where I took 20 credit hours in addition to having a job and a social life — now I start to panic a bit if I have too many plans in a week!
When you're in a time of chaos, it's all you can do to stop and take a breath. When you're preparing for a time of chaos, it's hard to know where to begin because the craziness hasn't quite happened yet. I have to feel like I have a handle on things for my own sanity, so this is how I handle chaos that's on the horizon:
Cut Out What You Can // There are only so many hours in a day, and chasing down spare time is exhausting. Instead of constantly playing catch up, try to find things in your schedule that you can preemptively cut down on. Personally, de-cluttering my social media and banning myself from my Facebook newsfeed has given me so many extra “open minutes” throughout the day that I never knew I was losing! Whether you need to take a break from the timeline, unsubscribe from emails that aren't serving you, or spend TV time multitasking, busy seasons are the perfect time to shed whatever doesn't best serve you in the long run!
Be Thankful // Yikes, this is a hard one. I'm incredibly grateful that I get to work from home and do work that I'm excited about, but there isn't a job in the world that doesn't have its own stressors. Especially when I get overwhelmed, I start obsessively going over my list of everything I “have” to do...but then I remind myself to reframe it as what I GET to do. In my experience, the craziest times in our lives are the ones that advance it the most, so it's good to try and keep that progress in perspective.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare // It's not always easy to prepare when you don't know what your schedule is going to be like, but taking small steps can still go a long way. I have a bad way of compounding stress — like if I'm overwhelmed and then remember I have a ton of laundry to do, things can go from stress to meltdown real quick (especially depending on how tired I am, ha!). To deal with that, if I know I'm going to have a crazy few days, I try to knock out those quicker tasks in advance. It might not tackle the reason I feel overwhelmed, but it at least gives me one less thing to worry over.
BREATHE // Taking time to breathe is impossible for me sometimes. When I get worked up and lose perspective, it's unbelievable how difficult it is to calm my thoughts. My Apple Watch has literally given up on sending me those "take a minute to breathe" reminders that come built into the software😳. But still, I try to persevere and remind myself to chill as often as I'm able. If there's one thing I know, it's that things are never as bad as they seem to be in a moment of panic!
Whether you're busy with work, school, or a million little things, a little perspective and preparation go a long way! Also, if you have any tips on how to keep calm during craziness, that would be great😅