We’re not silly! 5 ways we won’t be wearing ourselves thin between now and the new year

End-of-year drinks, work Christmas parties, final school assemblies, concerts and class parties, wrangling the family calendar, shopping, cooking, decorating, coordinating who brings what and meets where and when… The familiar whirl through the last few weeks of the year can leave us gasping for breath.

Do we really have to drag ourselves though it every single time? Here are 5 ways that we can we ditch the ‘silly’, but hold on to the ‘special’.

Drop ‘I have to’

“I have to go to the end-of-year water polo BBQ and awards night.”
“I’ve got this work do I have to attend.”
“I have this family thing…”
“I’m expected at the business breakfast for my networking group.”

…And expected to be at this and that and the other thing. There’s a smorgasbord of invitations at this time of year, and you probably have a good reason to accept most of them. That doesn’t mean you have to. Choose the ones that really mean the most to you, and politely decline the rest. The phrase, “Thanks for inviting me, I wish I could be there. Hope it goes well!” is your friend.

Cut corners

If you love staying up til 2am home baking the class party treats, or if this is one of the highlights of your year and you look forward to it every time, enjoy! But if it’s costing you stress and sleep, take a shortcut. The food will be devoured by hordes of excited kids within minutes. Contribute a bag of cheezels or a bunch of grapes.

Ask for help

You are not Joan of Arc and the couch is not the place for the rest of the family while you run yourself ragged doing everything. Divi up the chores fairly.

Let go of ‘Nobody does it as well as I do’My 15 Minutes For Parents 3

This is related to the last point. Your seven-year-old mightn’t fold the serviettes into perfect fans. Your partner might incorrectly stack the dishwasher. Your kids might turn the Christmas tree into a dog’s breakfast and the fancy hors d’oeuvres you’ve been pinning on your Christmas board since August might be mangled if a teenager assembles them with one eye on Snapchat… but stand back for a moment and try to imprint the chaotic scene before you into your mind. One day you’ll have all the time and space in the world to get everything ‘just right’. You’ll miss this. Let it unfold.

Prioritise ‘special’

What’s the nicest part of this time of year for you? Carol concerts? Lazy days at the local pool or beach? Brunch with old friends? Reading a stack of new novels?

You’re not going to remember the times you networked over the times you nested and nourished your body, your mind and your relationships with family and friends. Let these things trump the ‘should do’ schmoozing in your schedule.

This can be a serene season. A season of self-care and self-compasion. Just because we’ve always done it like a desperate sprint to the finish line doesn’t mean we can’t relax and take the scenic route now.

If you’re routinely struggling to squeeze self-care into your schedule, you might enjoy our free Momentum Map.

Download it now.

All the best!

Emma & Audrey

About The Author

Emma Grey & Audrey Thomas

Emma Grey is the author of Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum and Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band (a novel that she wrote because her teen daughter hated reading but loved Harry Styles). She writes regularly for Australian and international media and offers practical, realistic solutions to the modern challenge of ‘having it all’. She lives near Canberra, with her teen daughters and little boy. Audrey Thomas is an experienced coach and facilitator, whose corporate career spanned the UK, Europe and North America. She works with people to discover and develop their potential and improve effectiveness and lives in Adelaide with her Welsh husband, Dafydd and their two young sons.

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