September and October always pass in a blur for me. Back to school, races, kids’ birthday parties, sports… you name it, we seem to have it going on. Finally, on November 1, I take a deep breath and take a break for a month (although this year I worked the most hours in November that I’ve worked in a month since before Shoo was born.)
And now it’s December. In fact, it’s already half way through December. I’m still trying to figure out where the first two weeks of the month went. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I need to reclaim a little sanity ASAP. (And a little sleep would be nice too.)
So, how do I find balance (or the next best thing, sanity) during the holiday season?
1. Pick and choose – I can’t do everything. I’m not going to make it to every party. Not every gift is going to be homemade or perfect or exactly what I want to find. So I prioritize and make sure the priorities happen first. If I manage other things, bonus! If I don’t, oh well.
2. Make time for me – I know it seems selfish, but if I don’t make my needs a priority and just give, give, give, I’m going to end up resentful and crabby. I know I need to exercise. I know I need downtime. I know I can skimp on sleep and function fine. So, I won’t give up my run, but I will give up a couple of hours of sleep.
3. Plan ahead – I do this all year round. The first thing I do every morning is look at my calendar. I look at that day and the week ahead. This allows me to figure out where I’m going to put exercise each day and how I’m going to fit in a longer run each week. It also alerts me to days when I know I’m going to make poor food choices (hey, it happens, so I work around it LOL). It lets me know when I’ve managed to double book our family, usually with enough time to resolve the problem.
4. Start over (and over and over) – Each day is a new day. Missed a workout the day before? Add a little today. Ate (or drank) too much at a party last night? Focus on eating cleaner today. Yesterday’s mistakes do not define today. And don’t wait for Monday or January 1 (or even tomorrow for that matter). Do it now.
5. Don’t forget to that the season is supposed to be fun – For me, this is the most important thing. I sometimes get so wrapped up in trying to meet all of our obligations that I forget I’m supposed to enjoy myself. I’m always looking to the next thing that needs to happen rather than appreciating the moment I’m in. I have to constantly remind myself to enjoy the present.
How do you survive the holiday craziness?
(Of course, the best thing for my sanity is a nice 4 mile run with my dad at a pace I’d never do on my own. Surprisingly, no streets were puked on during this run.)