My all-time favourite author, Dr Seuss, expresses so well those feelings of anxiety and overwhelm that accompany this time of year. How often have you thought, “Where has the year gone?”
Things will get more frantic. You know that. I know that: Year-end functions, Christmas shopping, companies closing for the festive season (for my non-South African readers: Christmas falls at the height of our summer; this is when the schools and varsities have their extended summer holidays; many companies close down between Christmas and New Year; many families go on their annual holiday at this time) , contracts to be completed, holiday plans, meal plans, long trips, dealing with relatives, mosquitoes and sunburn…
What can you do to keep a modicum of calm, control and composure?
The more frantic you become, the more important it is to take a daily 10-20 minutes of non-negotiable time for reflection. Non-negotiable means that you declare, you decide, you CHOOSE to take that time no matter what. Think about what has been accomplished. Get a sense of what you have learned this year and how you have grown. Reflect on what actions you can take that will leave you feeling complete and satisfied with your progress for the year. There is still time.
If your anxiety feels out of hand do breathing exercises or listen to a guided meditation. Your task for this time is to get yourself into a grounded, calm space so that you can get through your day in an effective manner – you will know the best way that this can be achieved. Sometimes I sit with my morning cup of tea in the garden and just enjoy – even this gets me grounded for the day ahead.
One of the reasons many of us experience feelings of overwhelm at this time of year is that there is so much to do, and less time to do it in. There is often a deadline – the day you go on leave – and everything must be done by then. The last sentence is the crux of the problem – everything must be done by then.
Know this: you cannot do more in a day than the number of hours in that day. (We do know that, don’t we?) Take a look at what you would LIKE to accomplish by the time you go on leave and choose to do these things first.
Operating in choice and awareness from a state of calm and composure will get you through the next frantic weeks most effectively.
What will you choose to do so that you experience a sense of satisfaction and completeness before the year is up?
How will you choose to live out the last few weeks of the year?
Will you choose calm and composure OR anxiety and overwhelm?
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