Even in a regular year, the holiday season is full of stress. There are a lot of things we do out of tradition (though we may question why) and things that we want to get done as well. From getting the best gifts for our friends and family, planning the family meals, and decorating.
But this year, it seems a lot of us are trying to go through the motions and do all of this – while working at home, home schooling and have the added stress during the pandemic. It’s hard to focus on one thing too long anyhow. So how do we manage to maintain it all and not worry that the stress will get too overwhelming? We have a few things you can do (or not do) that wil help you through the season.
Create Lists of What you Still Have Left to do
One of the most effective ways to get through any task is making a list. It may seem silly that you are stopping what you are doing to write a list of what needs to be done. But just simply taking the time to make the list is a big help reducing stress. And being able to see this visually can give you the satisfaction of physically checking off an item when you get it done.
While some people find that writing it out on paper is the best method for them, you can do this digitally too in an app or even in a text document. Delete or mark off what you got done. Being able to see what has been completed can make it seem less stressful and easier to process.
Start Practicing “Chunking” as a way to Process Things
Although Chunking might sound like a funny word, it’s something you already do! It’s what you do when you remember a phone number or a long account number – you break it up into smaller parts. So how can this apply to things around the house? You break up your stress into smaller chunks making them easier to process and less stressful for you. What items can you do together? What items can be done in “small bites” rather than stressing about all of it at once?
Here is a good read on what chunking is and how is actually works and how you can apply it to your life.
Schedule Times for You to Get Work Done
Since we’re all home and trying to do it all at once – there’s a lot to get done in a day. But this is why setting a schedule is important. When you’re working out of the home, it’s easy to make sure work gets done during work hours but it’s not as easy when you’re trying to get work done and make sure the whole family is fed and cared for.
So how do you set a schedule when you seem to being pulled in all directions? Do it by the hour or even smaller segments if possible. Set a time for meals, then work in work around that. This doesn’t mean that you’ll always keep to a schedule – but again seeing it visually laid out will help you keep on task. One of the perks of working from home is that it can be completely flexible for your life.
Ask for Help
Despite what most people think – we can’t do it all. Yes, working, teaching, and raising the kids is a lot. But if you don’t ask for help once in a while you wont be doing any of it to the best of our abilities. The key to asking for help is to not wait until you are at your breaking point. Ask for help when you need a break or know that you will soon. This will make it easier over all and will keep that to do list from seeming too overwhelming.
When it seems like your whole purpose is taking care of everyone else’s needs – it’s time to take some time for you. If it’s just a break to take a bubble bath, read a book you’ve wanted to or whatever is your idea of self-care. It is hard to fit this in, we know, and you may need to put it on the schedule. But without a break you will burn out quickly – and you wont be able to get to anything on that list.