Yes, we have entered that time of the year: Jingle Bells is playing in the shops, you have endless functions to attend, errands to run and deadlines to meet. (Not to mention that suntan you wish to attain before showing up in a summer dress…) The end-of-year madness is upon us and you feel like you are struggling to keep it all together.
Think of these five Ps when those feelings of anxiety, stress and moodiness start entangling you as the calendar’s finishing line is very quickly nearing…
It helps to focus on the bigger picture when we go through hectic times. Remember that this is a season; a normal period in the ebb and flow of life. Our existence is made up of busy times interrupted by intervals of rest. So, tough it out!
Keep your period of rest in mind as you race through this stressful stretch. Think of it like this: In the same way light cannot exist without darkness, you will never be able to enjoy a relaxing break if you are never busy with things to take a break from. And if you do not yet have plans for “down time” – make some! We absolutely need rest to stay physically healthy and mentally sane!
Do not become so rushed that you forget to embrace and enjoy the goodness of this time of year. It is summer! There are plentiful parties! You get to bless loved ones with special gifts! There are bonding times with family, friends, co-workers and other significant people!
Although it is fast-paced and demanding, the end of the year signifies a celebration of life. It is a time when we are reminded of our Saviour’s birth, but we are also finishing off the old to make way for the new. This is often a phase of focussing on relationships and advances – in the office, in families, in school settings, etc. We say “thank you” and sometimes “good bye” and get to appreciate what we have achieved and gained in the past year. And if there were losses too, it is a time to end off with the bad and look forward to a fresh start.
The end-of-year blast often gets us down, because it overwhelms us. However, nothing counteracts that feeling of being drawn in by the tide than proper planning. Sit down with your calendar and make a list of everything you need to get done (e.g. gift shopping, work assignments, making an angel outfit for your little girl’s Christmas concert…). Then plot out when you are going to do what. Set reminders. Stick to the outline as much as possible.
During this season, we often allow our lives to slip into chaos as we go into survival mode. This is never a good idea as it only makes us feel more overwhelmed. Planning goes hand in hand with prioritising. You still need to make time for exercise, eating well (at least in between the parties!) family time and quiet time. These things should not be seen as additional luxuries – they preserve you and keep you positive! Even if you slack a bit, do not give up altogether!
Take some pressure off by looking very critically at everything in your schedule. Maybe there are some events that you do not need to attend (or help to plan!). Maybe some of the items on your to-do list really do not have to get ticked before the end of the year. Maybe you can lower your personal standards a bit without affecting excellence too badly. Delegate where possible.
Find time to quiet down your mind. Breathe deeply. Pray. This is something you can learn to do on the run: during your toilet break, in the car, while waiting in a queue. Replace social media time with silence. Peace ultimately lies in your heart, not your schedule. If you do not know how to achieve a state of internal tranquillity amid the external storm, a great New Year’s resolution would be to figure it out!
If you need assistance in organising the end-of-year chaos in your life and start the new year on an optimistic note, the best thing you can add to your to-do list at this point is starting a life coaching journey. This will help to get all your Ps straight, stay positive and find your peace!