School is in full swing for most of us now (or getting ready for others who start after Labor Day) and the super busy routine has already left you breathless. Your first cold of the season may have already come and gone and the excitement of being back to school is probably already wearing off. Also, busy sports and activity schedules are taking hold. It can all be overwhelming! Those of us who don't have kids at home are feeling the pressures of ending the year well and knowing we need to put our nose to the grindstone with our vacations mostly over. How do we take this stressful, busy time and manage it without losing it?! Here are a few things to do routinely to help alleviate some of the burden:
Simplify Your Time - If you have a full schedule running kids here and there, lots of meetings or appointments that HAVE to happen or you are lacking in some family time because of all of those things, NOW IS THE TIME TO SAY NO to other things that aren't that important. The only way to get through is to prioritize and then STICK TO IT! This time of year parents get asked to volunteer for school things, or maybe there are some other things that are attracting your attention because work is so overwhelming, but if it is going to make things more difficult in your life, even escaping for a few hours can make things worse. I am not saying that volunteering is bad, but, one person can only do so much and adding several things here and there can really cause a lot of chaos in your every day routine. The same with "fun" activities. YES, we all need a break now and then, but, if it is taking more and more time away just from down time with your family, it might add more stress to your life because it may be adding more stress to your partner who is dealing with life while you are out playing!
Simplify Your Budget - Start eliminating costly extras you don't need. Redo your budget to see where you can save money and begin to plan for gift giving season which is right around the corner. Financial issues can bring a lot of stress. Facing some of those issues preemptively can help take a lot of the pressure off everyday costs and concerns.
Simplify Your Routine - What are you doing everyday that is making getting out the door tough? What can you do so that your life runs like clockwork? Maybe getting the kids (or your) clothes out for the next day the night before, or prepping lunch the evening before or even getting up at a better time of day can help get your routine running smoothly. If you have a handle on the everyday running of your life, when something happens that you don't expect (which it will happen--it's just a matter of time!) you will better prepared to handle it. If your routine is chaos from the beginning, something else jumping in there all of a sudden could completely throw you for a loop and cause serious issues in your life and with your family. Like say, the laundry. If you are barely getting your laundry done as it is, what happens when your washer all of a sudden breaks down and you don't have one pair of underwear clean?! Or worse yet, you have put off doing the laundry for quite a bit and it breaks so now you have to haul SEVERAL baskets of laundry to the laundromat at 8pm at night?! Just little things can become huge if your routine sucks.
Simplify Your Stuff - Get rid of stuff you don't need! Having clutter everywhere can just make you feel closed in or trapped at times. It can literally weigh on you emotionally and keep you from doing other things in your life because you feel you need to clean up the clutter before you have people over, plan a project or redecorate a room that needs it. Just getting rid of some of the extra stuff will feel liberating and make you want to do more! When you keep procrastinating doing something you need to do because it's too much to deal with, that flows over into other things in your life. So dump the junk!
Simplify Your Life - There are so many ways we humans decide to complicate our lives. We use little things to escape facing our struggles at times, which make the struggles bigger than they should be. We complicate our relationships by adding so many activities that we seriously don't have ANY TIME whatsoever to put into those relationships. We get ourselves over leveraged with "stuff" so that we have to work so much more than necessary to keep up with all the payments we have for our lifestyles. Do things to keep your life as simple as possible. Take your time to make big decisions in your life and prepare ahead for those decisions so you aren't in a mess down the road. Get expert opinions on things instead of just guessing on how to do it all yourself, so you don't make a bigger problem than necessary because you really had no clue as to what you were doing and by all means, take time to listen to those you love and work so hard to take care of. Sometimes, the things you hear from them will help you make the best choices you can.
When we keep our everyday lives as basic as we can, then when all the color of the unexpected comes in, we can enjoy some of the adventure of this life while feeling safe and cared for.