Tips to Pace Yourself During These Crazy Busy Holiday Months!

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Does your calendar look like this?! Overcrowded with multiple events every day during this busy holiday season? I no longer use this cluttered type of system, but my calendar is just as full this year!

Manic:  My brain as I realize that now that Fall Break is over, I’m about to launch into a very busy, crazy, hectic and insane fall/winter schedule!  These coming weeks bring three birthdays in our family, several hockey trips for my son’s travel team, a big hockey tournament, Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, auditions for my daughter, three big American Girl shows that I’m co-emceeing (thank goodness for the “co” in that word) and much much more.  I have left off dentist appointments, my freelance job and a Halloween party that my daughter is hosting for her show choir.  Whew!  I’m tired just thinking about it!

Managed:  Remembering some helpful tips on how to pace myself to stay well, focused and organized as the coming days and weeks tempt me to feel overwhelmed and frazzled.  Here are my tips on pacing myself.  Read on and share your manic to managed mom tips on how you manage these crazy fall/winter months!  For me….

*Journal about it!  For me that is writing this article in my website.  Writing is a release and it helps us to dump the cluttered and overwhelming thoughts from our brains and into a journal, diary, list or whatever floats your boat when it comes to releasing it all with a pen or keyboard!

*Get organized with helpful tools.   For me that means, which is a free online calendar service that only requires me to record it on a calendar once and then the site sends the family calendar to all of my family members.  This way we don’t double-schedule events and we stay on the same page.

This is an example of Cozi, the online calendar and get organized tool that I swear by. It is free, so you should try it! Click on it to get a close up view.

*Put a weekly printed calender on the fridge.  My family all know to look there for our week at a glance.

*Have a family meeting on Sunday nights.  During this meeting, we take a look at the calendar together to see if we have missed anything.  And we have found that we are nicer to one another when we start the week knowing just how crazy it is for all of us.  Any issues, questions or concerns about the busy week are addressed and fixed on Sunday before we are knee deep in the week’s busy events.

*Take some time for a glass of wine!  Whether that be with your gal pals, hubby or simply sitting alone with your Vino and your People magazine, do it.   Find 30 minutes somewhere to catch your breath before you dive into the next thing! 

*Get your sleep!  Although it is tempting to stay up late to get more done when everyone else has gone to bed, your lack of sleep will catch up with you as the week progresses.  Being stressed, busy and tired can be a recipe for mom ending up rundown and more vulnerable to the cold and flu germs that lurk with the season!

*Work smart!  That may mean different things to different people.  For me, it is planning ahead and asking for help.  For example, I realized that my son has a very late hockey game in the middle of the week, so I have asked our favorite teenage babysitter to come and be with our daughter so that she gets to sleep on time.  I was glad that I thought ahead on that one.  So ask for help if needed!  That may also mean saying no to a volunteer request.  You may feel guilty, but if your week is already jam-packed and you squeeze one more commitment into your crazy days ahead, you are again wearing yourself too thin and you will pay for that by becoming over exhausted.

*Find time to exercise. This is one that I have started slacking on yet again!  I was going so strong in August and September, but now that our lives have kicked into high gear, I find myself not making time to go to my gym.  What is ironic about that, is not working out may give me an extra hour to tackle my list, but I get several additional hours of good energy when I’m sticking to my workouts.  Plus if you exercise regularly, your immune system fights off those pesky cold and flu germs better than your non-exercising self!

*Eat well and remember to eat!  This is the time of year that I’m tempted to either skip meals all together or eat fast crap.  Make time to eat well. 

*Remember to stop, breathe and smile!  That is a free one, too….just remember to do it! 

What are your ideas to up your stamina this time of year?  Please share because I’m looking for additional tips to get me from now to January in one piece and with a few very successful and enjoyable months behind me!