Oh heck its nearly Christmas and I’m already overwhelmed
Are you thinking like me, FFS! It’s nearly Christmas?
I’ve a shed load of stuff to do and to organise, I’ve got work deadlines coming out of my ears and a credit card which I am relying on to be my “Flexible Friend.” Not forgetting the monumental task of producing some festive magic, seemingly out of nowhere.
I have 3 teenagers who some days seem to exhaust themselves with just one grunt, yet would be devastated if I didn’t arrange for Father Christmas to draw his sleigh on our rooftop on the 24th.
I’ve also got to fit some time in to do that mammoth food shop and fight for sprouts, fresh cream and a ton of other stuff that nobody will actually eat, but that everyone buys ‘just in case.’ I’ve to cook, socialise, visit family AND take some time to relax, cos all the magazines tell me that I should be looking after myself too…
AND EVEN WRITING THIS, I BEGIN TO FEEL THE SLIGHT PALPITATION OF OVERWHELM
I’m probably very much like you…. I think I’m superwoman, especially at this time of year. I’m inclined to try and run on on all cylinders, whilst wearing glittery shoes, carry a lap-top and notebook and only fuelled by the odd glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.
Now the ridiculous thing about this survival plan, is that it really isn’t designed to help me survive at all, infact, it’s more guaranteed to have me fighting off bad skin, exhaustion a threatening cold and the dreaded overwhelm.
At this time of year, we almost expect that we will take on too much and despite my pleas to the contrary here, you’ll probably do similar again. But there’s an enormous difference in between being productive and busy and turning into an arsey cow because you’ve got SOOOO much to do.
The trick to dealing with overwhelm is, like many things, having a plan. i must confess, I’m not a natural planner, I’m more of a
fly by the seat of your pants kinda girl.
But I’m also the kind of girl who has been overwhelmed, stresses and still up at 3am wrapping presents, ready for the 5am role call of “He’s been…”
SO ASIDE FROM HAVING A PLAN, HERE ARE MY TOP 10 TIPS FOR STAYING OUT OF OVERWHELM…
1.MAKE A LIST –A proper list Yes, I know you can keep it all in our head, but this way you can see what you’ve done and what is still to do and you won’t forget anything.
2. EDIT THE LIST – Everything feels important at this time of year, but let’s have a little reality check. Are all these tasks as important as you’re thinking, could you perhaps buy a cake as opposed to marking up your entry for next years GBBO? Would anyone notice?
3. DELEGATE SOME OF THE LIST – Get other people involved. Another classic for us perfectionists is the ‘Nobody can do it like me. I like it just so.’
4. SET PHONE REMINDERS Sometimes the days and the weeks just run away with us and we genuinely forget. This is a great way to ensure you prioritise the important stuff. School play, lst posting date, collect the turkey from the butchers… 5. AVOID THE NEED TO MAKE EVERYTHING PERFECT – Yes I know that this is a difficult one, even more so at christmas time. However, practising perfectionism, really is a sure fire way of making yourself miserable. 6.YOU DONT HAVE TO ATTEND EVERY PARTY YOU’RE INVITED TO – FOMO (Fear of missing out) is a real thing these days. Working or socialising to the extreme because you’re worried that you may miss something vital if you’re not there is an exhausting process and guaranteed to take it’s
7. PLAN SOME GOOD STUFF – Sometimes in the anticipation of an event we forget to enjoy the run up or consider it to be all work and ‘must-dos” Factor in some stuff which makes you feel good on the inside. Go to a carol concert and sing your head off. Volunteer and give something back. Plan some real cosy time… see the Danish idea of Hygge. Make a consious effort to take time out, even if it’s only 10 minutes to grab a coffee or a cup of tea…. Set a phone reminder to make sure you do it.
8. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT – I’m not talking about finishing the Quality Street or the ability to finish more than 1 mince pie in a sitting; but high carb, high sugar, high alcohol diets will add to feelings of stress and overwhelm. I know that they’re the quick fix of choice when we’re busy and it’s dead easy to over indulge without even noticing. However over indulgence leads to headaches, sluggishness, tiredness, inability to focus, I’m not saying don’t, because we all know that ain’t going to happen and anyone who knows me, would be howling at the very idea. I’m just saying be aware, notice what you’re doing.
9. BE WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOU SMILE – At this time of year, we see lots of people because we feel obligated, because we feel we should! If those people hoover your mood, dampen your spirits or generally piss you off, perhaps you need to ask yourself why? (Family members are exempt from this – you have to suck that one up, with your best smile and an additional sherry as a reward!) But seriously, spend time with people who make you feel good. Smiling and laughing is proven to increase endorphins – our happy hormones, and to reduce stress levels.
10. BREATHE REMEMBER IT’S ONLY 1 DAY – And if that doesn’t work, a glass of wine! Mine’s a large one!
See You Soon