HELLO, AND WELCOME TO MY DECEMBER NEWSLETTER.
I’m Susan Regan, and today, I’m talking about “time management.”
I’m speaking to those of you, who are working on being better in your daily life.
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For this December, I decided to give you some very timely tips on time management (pun intended there). We get into a big anxiety rush during the holidays typically — most of us do. Especially if you have kids and you’re finishing off the year and there are a million more parents family events going on probably in the office lots of office parties and Gatherings and with extended family the same. So I wanted you to go into this holiday season just having a few Concepts to strategize.
Let’s first talk about anxiety. When we rush around and when we have that cortisol build-up, something happens to us where we go into fight or flight. One way to counter that is to really align and balance the sympathetic nervous system. You can do that just by breathing. So, I’m going to give you a breathing technique to do. Use it whenever you’re feeling like that angst or I’ve got to finish this or I’m rushing to that or I just have too much to do and am overloaded.
Take a few minutes. Feel your feet on the floor. Take 5 breaths. Count to five as you’re breathing in… and count to 7 as you’re breathing out. Notice on the next breath is where your breath starts and stops and where it meets. With your next two breaths, take them at your own rhythm, and again notice where the breath starts, the exhale stops, and where the breath meets.
If you can focus on your breath and the rhythm of your breath and the cycle of the inhale and exhale, it will disconnect that fight-or-flight response.
Here are four tips for you:
First… The body gets into anxiety when it hasn’t solved something or it feels like it can continue worrying about this unresolved thing. So, if something’s worrying you, I want you just think about what you’re going to do about it and if we go into our minds we are usually worrying about something sometimes it’s the same thing over and over again, so take a minute and notice if there’s any worry in there. If there is, I want you to think about three things that you can do to handle that worry; to focus on that worry to give that worry some time. Note that. Do that. Store that worry in a different place in your mind where there’s a resolution center in your mind. Store that worry there and remind yourself of the solutions you’re going to try.
The second thing is that we often have tons of stuff to do… lists to do, things that we got to do before we go to the thing that we’re going to go to… So, I want you to use to two-minute rule. If you can do that task in two minutes, then do it. If you can’t, put it in a place where you have some time to work on it. Remember, it goes in the resolution center of your mind so it doesn’t take up space and energy just floating around your mind.
Thirdly, if you want to remember what you doing the next day, you have to think about it the night before — before you go to sleep. So take a look at your calendar, write your list then of what you have to do, before you go to sleep. Then notice if you’re actually much more on track the next day and remembering what you have to do and where you have to be.
Fourthly, I want you to do a scan of your week’s events. The night before your week starts — so that you can actually think about the energy you have to have on certain days and start planning accordingly– especially to make sure that you have some time for yourself.
So my hope for you this December is that you’re more strategized, you’re calmer, you’re focusing on yourself, and your spending some time really going more into action, staying in peace, and not having floating worrying and anxiety all around your brain.
I realize one of the biggest dilemmas that might come up during the holidays, is being in uncomfortable social situations with the person that you’re in this dilemma of whether you’re going to stay together with them or separate. This is a worry that sometimes can take up a lot of time in your brain and preoccupy you. So, I want you to think about this worry for a minute and ways that you might solve it… When you are going to a party or gathering or making plans, have some solutions available to yourself. Anything could work as long as it settles your mind: not going, going for a little bit, going with a friend, going with a particular person in mind that you’re going to talk to, or going to a particular part of the evening that you might enjoy. As we go into time management issues and things that preoccupy us around the holidays (when we’re in an emotional state), go into it with a strategy, so that you can feel better about yourself and you don’t have to spend a lot of time and your energy worrying.
When you’re in a co-parenting situation, your kids can feel really rushed during the holidays, the holiday season, the ending of school, and the December break. So, if you can also strategize with taking some time to connect with yourself and breathe — before these transactions and before these transitions — and slow your mind, so that you’re not in fight or flight when you’re around your kids. See if you can really strategize about how much your week is filling up, where you have to spend your energy, where you’re going to get your energy, and see if you can be more predictable and more planned for each day. It takes a lot of energy to raise kids, to move people around, to plan occasions and events, and time off from work, so try to be strategic about it. Notice your stress level, check-in with yourself daily, and see how much energy you need to be with your kids. Remember, if you’re drained and tired, find ways of being in a low-paced mode with them during those times. It’s all about tuning-in to yourself being very overt about what you’re discovering as you’re working with your kids and trying to be a model to them about how to be in the world in a really conscientious way.
Really strategizing and planning some time where you get to join together as a couple. If you’re in a lot of family and social events, I want you to see if you can set aside some time to connect with each other before, after, and during the event. There’s so much going on and it’s so easy in the midst of everything to lose our connection — and remember your connection with your partner stems from the connection that you have with yourself.
In my earlier talk around how to take a look at your week, take a look at your day ahead of time, before it happens and have the two-minute fix — that is, if you can do something in two minutes, do it, and really come into your own breathing around not going into fight or flight. All of these ways of connecting with yourself, strategizing, and being more conscious and conscientious of how you go through your day and your week, will give you some time and some extra space to be with your partner. So, try to plan accordingly. Strategize and connect with yourself first, but also really carve out some time to be with your couple relationship so that you have a connection through this holiday season and it doesn’t just feel like a rush or that you were just two ships passing in the night.
I look forward to supporting your emotional skills development, in my upcoming newsletters. If you’re not signed-up, please take a moment to do so!
If you ever have a suggestion or topic you would like me to address, please don’t hesitate to email me.
I’ll look forward to talking to you again next month, but bye for now!!
Susan is a licensed therapist in California and a nation-wide online coach.