Quick, before November ends, do two things….

“How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?”
-Dr. Seuss

 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?

1) Reflect

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.

2) Prioritize.

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.

Utter nonsense!

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?

You decide.
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About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.
This entry was posted in Life Mastery, Managing Stress, Time management. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Quick, before November ends, do two things….

  1. Sylvia Lampe says:

    Love the poem! I have been working on your above tips for some time, and also to go with the flow – whenever I manage this for brief periods of time, I feel much more in balance and less stressed. My last newsletter of the year to my clients starts with the following paragraph: “The year is moving towards its end faster than the speed of light – it seems we have hardly taken a deep breath after last year’s holiday season frenzy, and we have to do it all over again. Maybe we should learn from all those hectic previous year ends and try a different approach? After all, life will still go on after 1 January – you know that from experience by now, don’t you? So ask yourself , if you don’t do/buy/go to/organise …. you fill in the blank … certain things, will the world crash down around you? Maybe it is time to see what difference it makes to take more care of yourself in whatever way you need to and then experience more relaxed quality time with your loved ones, instead of rushing around and burning out in the process? Part of taking care of yourself and reducing stress levels is of course, exercise. So don’t neglect it during a time when we habitually over-indulge. My classes will continue on a skeleton schedule throughout the holiday period – please join them as often as possible. – we could all do with more reflection on what is really important.

    • Kirsten says:

      Thanks Sylvia, and yes I am ALL FOR relaxing with family and friends – I do think we must make a special effort to make sure we do that. Exercise is also very important. All the best to you and thanks for the comprehensive comment!

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