Tab’s Tips for how to survive a busy month

November 21, 2013

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

Oooooh, we’re in the thick of it, baby! Every family seems to have one–The Month of Never-Ending Celebrations. Ours is November. Here’s how to

survive a busy month

…and actually enjoy it, too!

November. My birthday, my mom’s birthday and my oldest son’s birthday, all within a ten-day span.

Birthdays for my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and two nephews. My husband’s annual company picnic to Castles & Coasters. Plus I’m hosting Thanksgiving for 20 including out-of-town guests AND putting on a Downtown Gilbert Shop Hop on Small Business Saturday.

shop hop flashback antiques

Flashback Antiques and the Gilbert water tower.

Of course all that celebrating is a tremendous blessing and I adore hosting and attending events, but with all the shopping, planning, juggling schedules, cleaning, organizing and maintaining things like laundry, friendships and writing deadlines….there are many days that I feel like I am merely choosing the lesser of several evils and that disappointing people is inevitable.

Here are a few sanity-savers I have found to help me out and I hope they help you, too.

1. Give up on making it all perfect and making everyone happy. Order your cupcakes instead of making them from scratch. Tell people, “Lower your expectations of me this month.” Give yourself the birthday celebration you want, even if some people don’t get it. Oh, and don’t take it personally when people can’t attend your events–it’s not you, it’s them.

tabitha dumas tea tiara

My birthday tea, 2012.

2. Realize that you really, truly, absolutely cannot do it all. Your company picnic may, for example, be the same day as your nephew’s birthday party. You can’t be two places at the same time…that I know of. Yet. You might also need to redefine “doing it all.”

3. Keep detailed lists. I like to keep my “to-do” and “to buy” lists in one notebook and with me at all times so I can knock a bunch of things out in one stop or at one shopping center. This close to the holidays, I keep an eye out for holiday decorations and gifts, too. I might even go ahead and buy myself that cute plaid dress for our family photos because, well, it may not still be there in my size when I finally regain consciousness in December.

4. Know what helps you stay grounded and relaxed and do those things. Have Tea Time every night before bed (which, for me, also happens to be my “T Time”). Chat with a funny friend on the phone. Take a walk. Breathe. Have a solo coffee date. Treat yourself kindly before stress levels rise too high to manage. Here are some inexpensive self care ideas for you.

5. Ask for help. Don’t be above hiring someone to clean for you or help you manage the details of an event. You may even just need a friend to bounce ideas off of. I know it’s hard to ask for help but it’s that or run yourself ragged. {Does anyone want to write and send my email newsletter for me?}

tabitha dumas birthday tea party spread

My birthday tea, 2011.

6. Stock up on necessities and easy meals. Buy your contact lens solution and the frozen lasagna so you have a few less things to worry about.

7. Get good sleep. Turn in early, sleep in late and take naps when possible. Do whatever you have to do to be rested. All sorts of badness occurs when you’re exhausted, like a weakened immune system, inability to control chocolate bingeing, or extreme grumpiness.

8. Streamline your morning routine. Your brain will be so full with everything so try to get each day off to a good start. In fact, a smooth morning starts the night before. Lay out your outfit, from the earrings to the socks, so you’re not left scrambling. Have healthy breakfast foods available. Pre-pack your tote bag and finalize your to-do list the night before.

9. Keep a gratitude journal. We should all be doing this anyway but in stressful times, taking the chance to list the things you have to be thankful for is very cathartic and helps keep things in perspective. You’ll realize that “The look on his face when he opened his present!” is soooo worth all the time and effort.

10. Be kind to yourself. You’re doing the best you can and you’re doing an amazing job. Everyone will be thrilled with what you’re able to pull off and won’t nit-pick it the way you do to yourself.

Just have fun and enjoy the moments and stay focused on WHY you do what you do–to celebrate what matters most.

And remember…if you’re feeling stuck and I can take something off of your plate, please reach out and let ME help!

How do you cope with your busiest times of year? Do share!


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