Clear Your Mind … And the Rest Will Follow

 In holidays, motherhood, planning, productivity, time management

Travel. Family. Food. Friends. Family. Stores. Parties. Family. Overtime. Presents.

The list of amazing Christmas joys is as long as Santa’s naughty list this time of year!

I love the holiday season, especially now that the baby will be big enough to open presents and the other three girls have been counting down to the last day of school since Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I can be a consummate over-planner which invariably leads to overwhelm and anxiety. Even if the only events clogging the schedule are fun and games and family time and making happy memories whether they like it or not, dang it!

When this happens, I have found that no amount of essential oils, meditation good intentions, or yoga help me unwind unless I get everything out of my head and onto paper first.


Analog Journaling


I clarify what is stressing me out. Maybe we need to leave early and I haven’t started packing, yet, and it’s a week until Christmas and we haven’t bought a tree, much less any presents, and I finally broke down and hired a house cleaner (The Cleaning Fairy, to be exact), but now all of that clutter is stacked in piles around my bedroom … hypothetically speaking.

Then I write out exactly what I can do to control each bit of craziness … in detail. If it’s the potential craziness of tomorrow, I might start with giving the girls baths, pajamas, laying out clothes for tomorrow, bedtime routine. Then I write the packing list, including the order in which I will handle it and stack it all by the door or in the car. Then I run through my appointments, work commitments, the girls’ school parties and last minute shopping lists. Everything that pops into my mind makes it onto to the paper.

If anything comes up that has nothing to do with that article of stress, I write it on another page so that it doesn’t keep popping into my mind while I am trying to focus on one big thing at a time. If I get it all mapped out while I am calm and focused, all I need to do while mobilizing is follow the plan. Then I’m not running around like a crazy person trying to pack and remember everything and realize at 10 pm that the kids are still not fed or ready for bed and a second later I’m standing in the middle of the pantry with a diaper in one hand and a dog collar in the other, wondering why I’m there and what I was in the middle of doing.

Does any of that sound familiar?

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