For many of us, this is the busiest time of the year. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, there are holiday parties, family events, and friendly gatherings, not to mention the presents that need to be bought, the outfits for each event, and the decorations to be made and hung. All of this is on top of your every day life of jobs, workouts, family and friends. All this added pressures on your time can turn the holidays into a nightmare rather than the fun festive time that it is supposed to be. So how do you make the most of the holiday season without letting things slip in other areas of your life? The answer is scheduling. By scheduling I don’t mean a calendar that has every holiday event written on it, but a detailed breakdown of your day, scheduling time for workouts, relaxing and still having time to get to the best parties.
Note: Before you start, make sure you have a planner that you like, but otherwise won’t use.
1. To start, look at the entire month and pencil in all the parties that you are thinking about attending. Looking at your options, sort events into one of two categories, super fun or super important. If you are not looking forward to going to the party or it is not important, like a family or work event, take if off your calendar. You heard me. You do not need to spend time doing things that you don’t enjoy. Spend your holiday time wisely.
Next, schedule your workouts. If you know that you are going to be busy at nights or worn out and busy on the weekend, try to schedule around it so that you don’t end up with one workout a week. Working out is important for so many reasons but one that is essential around the holidays, is that excise will help you de-stress. The consistency of a yoga class or a gym routine helps relieve anxiety and bring grounding during a hectic time of the year. Make sure that as your schedule fills up, your workouts are not the first thing to be booted off.
Personal time comes next. If workouts are how you treat yourself or how you relax, then don’t worry about this. But if workouts aren’t always fun for you, schedule time to relax and wind down. During the holidays we can spend a lot of time thinking about and taking care of others. Make sure you extend yourself the same courtesy. Get your nails done, take a long bath, have a movie date, really anything that helps you relax and center during this time.
2. When looking at the day-to-day break down, try to think each day out before hand. Do you need to bring lunch? What will you wear? Do you need to bring a gift? Write notes for that day of what you will need. Make specific shopping lists and try to plan outfits ahead of time. When shopping have a very clear idea of what you want to get and where you will get it. The same idea goes for outfits for parties and events. Plan outfits ahead of time so there are no last minute surprises like the wrong color tights or a broken zipper on a dress. I know that this can seem like a lot initially but it will help ease overall anxiety and stress throughout the time ahead.
3. Almost as important as all the events, parties, workouts and lists is to give your self enough time to complete everything. Be honest with yourself. How long does the gym take? How long does shopping take? However long you think, add more time. The point of scheduling is to feel less rushed. If you don’t give yourself enough time to complete the tasks on your calendar, you will feel like you are running behind the whole day. Leave space in your day for traffic, getting stuck at work, and long lines are the store. Worst-case scenario, you get done ahead of time. Talk about setting yourself up for success.
4. Lastly, stick to your schedule. Now that you have gone through all the trouble to effectively plan your time, stick to it! Having a routine and knowing what each day looks like can help bring a sense of calm to each day as things get more hectic around us. Undoubtedly things come up, and when they do, that’s okay. Acknowledge that you are doing the best that you can and then let it go and enjoy the rest of your day. Because that’s the point of this schedule anyways, to provide time to enjoy the holidays rather then feeling frazzled and worn down going into the new year.
5. Last bit of advice to stay calm, bring snacks everywhere. Nothing is fun if you are hangry.
Do you feel rushed and short on time during the holidays? What’s your find more time tip?
Also by Nina: Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About Food
Photo: Sarah Witherby via Flickr