Running through December

Holiday CookiesOkay, if you read even a few of my blog posts you will notice a recurring theme- – why are we all so busy and what can we do about it?  And by “all” I mean to include our kids in the mix. Let’s see if we can sort this out a bit.

I’m busy. You’re busy. Your mother-in-law is busy. Your friends are busy. And your children are busy. Is it any wonder that life feels that it’s constantly in a precarious balance, ready to spin out of control at any time?

You’ll notice the title of this blog post: Running Through December. I think that paints an accurate picture of so many of us as we try to keep up. And it seems to me that in many ways, society is at fault for encouraging us to suit up for this very real race we all run.

Societal pressures to decorate, bake, entertain, wrap gifts, host cookie exchanges, get kids to holiday pageant practice, have a family holiday movie night, etc., bombast us daily during the last month of the year.

And each of these activities seems like something we’d like to do. But trying to fit more and more into the 24 hours a day we each are given isn’t a good way to find serenity. So just how is it possible to find balance in our lives in December?

Whether we are talking about kids or adults here are a few basic rules that we can all follow.

 Get Enough Sleep

For me, when push comes to shove and I need to finish something, I accommodate that need by staying up a bit later to squeeze a few more minutes or hours out of my day. I’ve also been known to get up an hour early to find time to work on things, such as knitting a family Christmas stocking before heading to work.

Employing this tactic once in a while shouldn’t impact us too much. But if this becomes a regular occurrence it’s time to reassess the wisdom of our plan. Countless studies list the results of not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

One result that kept popping up in every study that I read is that a person who repeatedly doesn’t get enough sleep suffers from a lack of efficiency. Cognitive skills are impaired and even motor skills can be affected.

Thus your plan for fitting more into your day by staying up late or getting up early backfires. You and your children will be more efficient and less grumpy if you consistently manage to get enough sleep. You can check out one of my previous posts for some of my other thoughts on sleep deprivation.

Try to Avoid the Fast Food Trap

We’ve all been there. You get home from work at 5:30 and the family needs to be out of the house in an hour in order to make it to the kids’ activity on time. It is so tempting to make a dash through the local fast food drive-through and have everyone munch in the car on the way to the activity.

Sometimes this is absolutely unavoidable and it’s so okay! However, the trick with this is not to overdo it. Making sure that our family has reasonably healthy meals and snacks is another way to increase the ease with which we get through the busy times of our lives.

WebMD has some nice suggestions for quick and healthy meals for the busy times in our lives. And I’ve written a couple of blog posts with some good breakfast and lunch tips for keeping your family balanced. Read about my breakfast in a basket ideas and some easy lunch suggestions for your child.

Even though it seems counter-productive to find more time in your day by getting the proper amount of ZZZ’s and taking time out to stock your cupboards, in the end you will save time by being more efficient and less harried. Give it a try and see what I mean.

In addition to these two basic suggestions, I’ve put together a list of links to tried and true tips for easing the stress of too much to do. It’s my gift to you this holiday season.

Well, that’s it from Stress Busting Central today! I hope these tips help you ease through the rest of the holiday season in fine form. I close today with sincere wishes for the happiest of holidays for you and your family.

Cathie

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