Christmas carols are playing, the air is getting cooler, malls are getting more crowded, and traffic is not getting any better. These are all signs of the so-called holiday rush. But have you ever asked yourself if there is really a need for you to rush? What is it that we’re rushing about in the first place? Perhaps you’re rushing to buy all those gifts for your officemates and inaanaks (godchildren). Or maybe you’re working overtime to meet increasing volume of work or demands of clients. Or maybe you’re rushing to buy costumes for your children’s Christmas play, make plans for the Noche Buena, or book that trip to Korea for the holidays.
Whatever the rush is in your life that might be causing you unwanted stress during this festive season, I invite you to take a moment to breathe and step aside before you get carried away by the tides.
Here are a few tips on how to stay calm and composed despite the whirlwind of events and demands around you:
- Identify what matters most.
Among the list of the 100 things you need to do, determine what are your top 10, your top 5, your top 3 down to the most important one. Let’s face it, as much as we want to be present and active in all that’s going on in our daily lives and the extras during this season, we just really can’t do and be all that without falling apart in some way. Determine what it is that matters to you most and what you’d like to spend your limited time and energy on.
Dig even deeper to understand the essence and value of these activities or events that are important to you. Are these activities rooted on your desire to spend time with family? Are these activities founded on being a good and compassionate boss to your team? Are these activities driven by your desire to succeed? Knowing what’s underneath the surface of all these events, gatherings, activities or demands will help you understand and appreciate their importance and relevance in your life.
- Plan ahead. Okay, so traffic is probably the most common topic I see people talking about these days on social media. Your usual 1 hour travel time is probably doubled or tripled given some road constructions going on and the sudden increase of commuter traffic (Hey, where did all these people come from?). Planning your days and your hours would be wise to do so that you don’t spend extra time thinking about what to do next or having to make second trips to the same place because you forgot something. This might also mean planning and maximizing your trips accordingly. If you’re from Quezon City for example and are going to BGC this weekend, think about all the errands that you can accomplish while you’re there.
- Explore options. Thanks to innovation and technology, we now have many options at our fingertips. When you are unavailable to pick up your laundry for example, you can just get your phone and ask a friend who lives near the laundromat if she can drop by (hihi, thank you, friend!). Or if you don’t have time to buy your groceries or cook meals, then explore the convenient shopping and food delivery options that are being provided these days. Need to pay bills? Use online banking or other electronic options available. Watching a movie? Book your seats online. Looking for a book? Call the branch first to check if they have a copy, or ask for online ordering options.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. As much as you can, do not wait until the last minute whether it’s to order Christmas ham for gift-giving, buying your husband a new pair of sneakers, or booking your favorite caterer. Remember, whatever it is that you’re planning for this Christmas, it is likely that every other person is, like you, also thinking or doing the same thing.
- Chill! Lastly, don’t forget to relax. When things don’t go your way, when you’re stuck in unexpected traffic, or when it seems you’ve ran out of options, just take a deep breath, let it go and remember that there’s probably a good reason why this is happening. 😌