It's a busy time of year, and especially so for families. School is in full swing, evenings are packed with practices, activities, and homework, and now, holiday activities could quickly put you over the top. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel one step behind while trying to stay on top of it all. Fortunately, there are ways to slow down, stay organized, and enjoy the moment.
Keep a calendar: Don’t try to remember practice schedules, due dates for homework and projects, or items to send to school. Write it down on a monthly or weekly family calendar and look at it every day. Then, relax and return your attention to the present moment.
Plan ahead: Pack lunches and backpacks, pick out clothes, and find sports equipment for practice the night before. This will ease morning stress, save valuable time, and set a positive tone for the day.
Plan meals: Take time each weekend to plan meals and grocery shop for the week. Meal planning takes the rush and stress out of supper and minimizes the need for last minute trips to the store or drive through. Freezer meals are a huge time saver!
Enlist help: Have a list of age-appropriate daily chores for your children after school. When children contribute to the household, they feel a sense of belonging and begin to appreciate the value of a job well done. Chores could include completing homework, feeding a pet, or taking out the garbage. Make it fun by turning the list into a sticker chart with a prize at the end of the week, such as dinner out to their favorite restaurant or family game night.
Schedule time together: Set aside time to spend together as a family with no distractions. Schedule it on your family calendar. Make it your time to slow down and connect with one another while engaging in an enjoyable activity.
Declutter: Clean out closets and drawers. Do one room or even one drawer at a time to prevent it from feeling overwhelming. Donate unneeded items to local charities. Not only does this help children develop a generous heart, but it also declutters your home, making it easier to stay organized and find everything you need during the week. You'll feel so much better!
Simplify: Take an inventory of what you and your family value most in life. Eliminate obligations that do not line up with your values. Focus time and energy on those aspects that make life fulfilling and meaningful.
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