Monday, November 16, 2009

Chicken Little and Feeling Overwhelmed

It's that time of year again - holidays and finals. Parties and papers, festive ensembles and feeling exhausted, decorations and deadlines. Who planned this anyway?

Some days I feel like Chicken Little - my sky is falling - especially when the retailers so rudely remind us of that we only have so many shopping days until Christmas! Thank God for online shopping. That's one of my time-saving holiday secrets.

Other holiday/finals time savers?
1. Don't wait until the last minute - for shopping, shipping or studying.
2. Simplify. Is your family going to remember the elaborate holiday centerpiece you created or are they going to remember doing something fun as a family (such a board games and s'mores)? Have each member of your study group be responsible for one section of the study guide so one person doesn't do it all while everyone else copies from her.
3. Give your family the gift of your time. Barter with them - two dozen Christmas cookies for two uninterrupted hours at the library.
4. Celebrate simply. Finished with finals? Order out pizza and play a board game. Or nosh on fudge while wrapping gifts. Turn off all the lights in the house except for the Christmas tree, then sing Christmas carols acapella while snuggling on the couch with your children.
5. Do something for someone else. Put together a basket of stamped cards or magazines for a shut-in and taken it to them. Make a meal for a single Mom in your church or neighborhood. Offer to babysit for the young couple down the street so they can have a date night.
6. Learn to say "No". Family and school are priorities. You and I are not supermoms (or superdads). We don't have to do everything. Let someone else step up to the plate.

Above all, take time for yourself. Walk the dog in that brisk evening air. Curl up on the couch with a mug of flavored coffee and listen to Christmas carols or start knocking out your "To Read" pile of books that is sitting on your nightstand.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when so many demands are being made on your time. Chicken Little must have been a nontrad. Remember your priorities. Don't sacrifice your school for your family and visa versa. Simple holidays are often the best. Stay tuned . . .

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