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Look after yourself in the mad Christmas rush

Does thinking about all of the events in the lead up to Christmas cause you stress? Learn how to take care of yourself at this busy time.

This is the time of year when things start to get busy. For the next few weeks in our house we are staring down the barrel at dancing concerts, end of year parties, birthday parties, sports wind ups, school Christmas concerts and family get togethers. There was a time in the early part of the year when we had nothing special planned on a weekend for weeks and now we are having to make choices between two and sometimes three things at the same time. It’s easy to get caught up in the mad rush of it all and forget to look after yourself in the process.

At this time of year it seems that everyone wants to organise an end of year event or party of some type. It always seems like a nice idea. In practice however, it can be a recipe for a lot of stress. Instead of enjoying the events we have on, it can simply be an exercise in time management and scheduling. The planning needed to decide who is going to drive which child to which event can be intense. Then the decision about who gets to go to their function while the other parent stays home and babysits can cause extra tension in the house.

I have to confess that I breathed a sigh of relief when the children’s piano teacher told me she was not having a concert this year. It meant that I didn’t have to work out how on Earth we were going to fit it in between ice skating lessons and dancing dress rehearsals. Does that make me a bad mother? Perhaps in some people’s minds. For myself I prefer to see the silver lining. It means I get to have a few moments to breathe and enjoy this time of the year rather than just endure it and wait for it to be over.

It’s supposed to be fun!

It is important to remember that this is supposed to be a happy, enjoyable time. It is not meant to be a time of increased stress and rush. Of course it can be difficult to reign things back in, particularly since many of these plans are made by others. You may feel as if you have no choice. You might feel as if you have to participate in every function that comes your way, but you really don’t.

Rather than just blindly saying yes to everything, keep your physical and mental health at the forefront and begin to say no to those events that don’t add value to your life. Don’t let all of these things overwhelm you and make it feel as if you are going through the motions and not actually enjoying the things you are doing.

Physical health

Keep in mind that most of these extra events usually involve food. It can be very easy to overindulge and eat more than we intended. If this is coupled with finding less time to exercise, we can end the festive season overweight and out of shape. Not really a good way to begin the new year. Though, I suppose it won’t be too difficult to set resolutions on January 1st.

Mental health

Make sure that you also schedule some time into these busy weeks to relax and recharge. A few moments of silence and contemplation can make all the difference between enjoying an event and just wishing for it to be over so you can go home.

Look after yourself and your family first

Remember that if you find yourself spending half of the first event worrying about being late for the second, then this should be a red flag for you to stop and re-evaluate your priorities. Consider the overall cost of attending an event and say no if it is going to be too great a drain on the family.

For help in better managing your time, check out the free Timewrangling worksheet here.

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