It’s almost the end of the year and the shining beacon of the Christmas break is just around the corner - but undoubtedly this is the time of year when frustration is at its highest, patience at its lowest and we all start to feel a bit overwhelmed with the weight of quickly approaching work deadlines and endless social commitments. The combination of all of the above, plus the feeling of being ‘almost there’ makes us more vulnerable to stress and burn-out than any other time of the year.
So as the silly season speeds up your schedule, here’s five ways to slow it down.
1) Get clear on your calendar and scale back accordingly
Be really clear about what you’ve committed to across the next four weeks as there is nothing worse than something that you are already locked-in for sneaking up the day before, causing even more stress than you have time - last minute KK present anyone?
Take the time to really plan out your movements, goals and unmovable end-of-year deadlines, paying particular attention to what your calendar items require of you (ie. time, gifts, travel, a new outfit) and any double-bookings. From here - scale back. Do you really need to catch up with everyone ‘before Christmas’? Or can this wait until the new year, when you are more rested and will give the activity more enthusiasm? Think of your time over the next four weeks like the battery on your phone, the longer you are without charge - the less energy you’ll have to give those people and occasions that really matter. Take the time to fully recharge in between engagements.
2) Time is precious, spend it with precious people
When you’re to-do list at work starts running off the page, it’s crucial to think also about how we spend our time out-of-work hours and how this impacts our day-to-day mindset. More so than any other time throughout the year - it’s important remember that the people you’re surrounded by will shape how you think and feel. So be picky.
You know those friends or colleagues that you leave feeling inspired and uplifted by? You need more of them right now. When frustrations are high, and energy is low, we all need these kind of people who we look forward to seeing and are left better from having spent time with. If you dread an upcoming event or feel like you ‘have to go’, you are going to feel even more overwhelmed by your schedule. Carve out time for those people who replenish, and limit the time spent with those who don’t.
3) Get outdoors more
It’s hard to skip this one as nothing is more restoring for your mindset than spending time outside, and this is the perfect time of year to do so. For me personally, sunrise is a peaceful reminder that everyday we get the opportunity to start again, so no matter the day I had yesterday, today is a clear slate and I can accomplish anything.
Start the day with a walk, and finish it with an evening swim or meditation in the park. Or rushing in between meetings? Look up at the sky - life is always better when we can connect and get grounded with what just exists.
4) Get clear on what is your blockage or suppressing you right now
Pay particular attention to what is the cause of your stress right now - whether work-wise or socially, what is overwhelming you? Is this something that you can avoid next year? If you can identify everything you are struggling with right now, in the heat of the moment, you are in a really powerful position to develop a plan to create learnings from these areas next year.
For example, if you straining to stay on top of your workload, now is the time to isolate what you really are struggling with and discuss some further development or a different work schedule with your manager. Sometimes our moments of struggle can bring on the greatest ease and opportunities in our future.
5) Use it as a time to set next year's intentions
End of year is a great time to start thinking about your intentions for the year ahead as it leaves enough space and time to really develop them before the coming of the New Year. Use this period as an opportunity to also reflect, carving out some time to get across how you have changed, grown and shifted in the past year and what you want to accomplish next year.
If you need help making the time or don’t think you’re in the right headspace to do this right now, perhaps think about urging yourself into action by booking into an event that will better position you to do this. Wellineux still has lots of workshops available for the remainder of the year in which you’ll be challenged, inspired and surrounded by creative and connected people. Your 2018 will thank you for taking the time now to properly consider it and create good habits to take you into the New Year.
Above all, be grateful for all the people, love and value you have in your life. What a wonderful problem to have too many friends, family and responsibilities in your life. At a time when they all come together into one very busy month, shift your focus to this idea and be thankful for the bustle of the season.