5 ways to stay sane until Christmas

5 waysI feel that if I laid my head down right now, I could fall asleep for one thousand years.

I’m tired. Are you?

I distinctly remember feeling like this around this time last year.

We seem to be hurtling toward the end of the year at a rapid pace. It’s all going too fast. Can somebody put the brakes on?

We are so close to the finish line, to Christmas holidays, family time and a new year full of resolutions, goals and dreams, yet it seems so far away.

I’m throwing myself into work and this blog and those little people who follow me around all the time are quite demanding too, bless them.

I’ve noticed lately that the smallest things can stress me out.

For me, stress shows in my throat. It tightens, I have trouble breathing and I get the hiccups frequently. This is a telltale sign that I haven’t been listening to my body. Alarm bells are going off, I’ve let things go too far and it’s time for me to slow down.

I’ve been feeling a little scattered lately too, which is easy to happen at this time of year when our social calendars rev up a notch and deadlines are closer than we thought.

Blockbuster informed me last week that I have a DVD 30 days overdue. What? I returned that … didn’t I? Sometimes I’m so busy running around that I can’t even remember what I have or haven’t done.

I don’t like feeling distracted when I’m with the kids or acting like a cranky mum because I’m wigged out trying to get everything done.

So, instead of whinging about how tired and cranky I feel and how much I have to do before Christmas, I’m sharing my five point plan to keeping happy, healthy and in control until Christmas.

5 ways to stay sane in the lead up to Christmas

1. Lists

If you’re not already a list person, it’s time to become one now! I find a good list (or three thousand) helps me stay focused, organised and gives me a sense of achievement. How good does it feel to cross items off your list?

2. Calendar

I’m a recent convert to calendars. I don’t know how I survived this long without one. I have a pretty good memory for dates and events, but with all four of our schedules becoming busy lately, a calendar ensures I don’t miss a thing and can plan ahead to avoid unnecessary stress.

3. Exercise

I don’t often get a chance to exercise, but when I do the effects are instantaneous. Swimming is my medicine. I love how my body feels weightless in the water and how easily I can get in the zone when there’s just me and the black line. I become calmer and it’s often a time of clarity for me.

4. Do nothing one day a week

Okay, so as close to nothing as you can get. Last Friday I put my to-do list on hold and cast a blind eye on the ironing basket to spend an easy day at home with the girls. We usually keep ourselves busy rushing around socialising or running errands. While Miss Four enjoys getting out and about, Smiley can find it a bit much at times. The three of us needed this time out and funnily enough putting everything on hold made me feel a lot calmer.

5. Switch off the screen half an hour before bed

The 21 Day Get Healthy Challenge I did recently with The Wellness Warung is the inspiration behind this one. I’m an absolute shocker for going to bed late and waking early. Plus, most of the time my sleep is broken. I’m usually glued to one of my screens right up until the second before I close my eyes. Switching off half an hour before I go to bed has helped me to fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer.

How are you feeling this time of year? What tips would you add?

Linking up today with the inspirational Jess for IBOT.

 

 

72 comments on 5 ways to stay sane until Christmas

  1. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    November 11, 2014 at 5:41 am (3 years ago)

    Oh I hear you!
    I feel at the point of collapse! Very disorgasised this year and Christmas shopping is not underway in my normally organised manner so double stressout!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh no, Jody! I am sure you will get on top of things soon.

      Reply
  2. Mel @ House of Powell
    November 11, 2014 at 5:47 am (3 years ago)

    Lists are my saviour. Mainly spreadsheets on the computer. I have one for nearly everything! haha
    My Christmas shopping list is an excel spreadsheet – colour coded and everything so I know what I need to buy and what has been bought, even what has been wrapped already!!! I don’t think I could survive Christmas without a list πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm (3 years ago)

      Wow, Mel! The colour coding sounds impressive. You’ve inspired me πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Jodi Gibson (JF Gibson Writer)
    November 11, 2014 at 5:53 am (3 years ago)

    So tired Renee! I’ve been on the de-stress wagon this week. Love all your tips. I think so many of us feel the pressure in the lead up to Christmas and it is so important to stop, breathe and take stock. Take care lovely. x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:34 pm (3 years ago)

      True that, Jodi. Taking deep breaths right now. Take care too x

      Reply
  4. Lydia C. Lee
    November 11, 2014 at 5:56 am (3 years ago)

    oh, pretend it’s not happening isn’t part of the plan??

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm (3 years ago)

      Haha. Nice try, Lydia πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. Lydia C. Lee
    November 11, 2014 at 5:57 am (3 years ago)

    I think I need to be in denial a little longer then I’ll just lose it big time…I have given my charity gifts tho, that’s something, right?

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm (3 years ago)

      Very good, Lydia. I am yet to do that!

      Reply
  6. Raychael aka Mystery Case
    November 11, 2014 at 6:26 am (3 years ago)

    I’m averaging 4 hours and 23 minutes a night. My new fitness band tracks my sleep and throws the stats at me in black and white. I knew it was bad, just didn’t realise how bad. I have to agree with you that this time of year is stressful. Love your tips and I might need to head over and case The Wellness Warung.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, you definitely do, Raychael. Meanwhile, four hours and 23 minutes sleep!!! How do your survive? You must be perpetually tired πŸ™ I hope you get a good sleep tonight.

      Reply
  7. Bec @ The Plumbette
    November 11, 2014 at 6:52 am (3 years ago)

    I’m a sucker for looking at the screen before going to bed but I’m waking through the night anyway still to feed Phoebe. I can’t believe how fast this year has gone since I had Phoebe. I’m trying to get organized with presents and this year we are going out for Christmas lunch which means less preparation for Christmas day. I’m a list girl too, but I think I need to also get into using a calendar.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:44 pm (3 years ago)

      I think going out to lunch on Christmas day is a perfect idea. When I was breastfeeding I was hooked to my phone also. It was the only thing I could do to not fall asleep!

      Reply
  8. Kathy
    November 11, 2014 at 7:11 am (3 years ago)

    I haven’t even thought about Christmas, just rushing on to my Dad’s 70th this weekend and then our holiday at Brunswick Heads for a week starting the following weekend. Then I’ll breathe, and think about Christmas.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:44 pm (3 years ago)

      Yep, first things first. I hope the video is going well πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. Amy @ HandbagMafia
    November 11, 2014 at 7:17 am (3 years ago)

    Great tips here. For once, I put a laybuy on a few weeks back so I feel slightly organised!

    Reply
  10. Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    November 11, 2014 at 7:40 am (3 years ago)

    I really need to not check my phone for another half hour before I go to bed. I don’t know why I think there’s going to be something so exciting that I didn’t see before my shower on the computer, yet every night I have to check.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:55 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m the same, Toni. It’s a hard habit to break.

      Reply
  11. Tonia Zemek
    November 11, 2014 at 7:44 am (3 years ago)

    I’m guilty of the screen time before bedtime too! This is a great list and has certainly got me thinking. It really does feel like there are not enough days till Christmas. Here’s to a relaxing holiday at the end of all the rushing.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:55 pm (3 years ago)

      Definitely, Tonia. Here’s cheers πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    November 11, 2014 at 7:45 am (3 years ago)

    I’ve been trying to forget that Xmas is looming. Just the thought of it elevates my stress levels. It’s all the gifts I have to buy for far too many family members that elevates my stress levels. Too much expense! There is also the juggling of seeing both hubby’s side of the family and mine. It’s become a lot harder now because of aging parents (long story). You’ve outlined some great tips there to help us keep sane over this silly season!! πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, trying to see both families is hard isn’t it. We all try so hard to give each side the right amount of attention πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Me
    November 11, 2014 at 8:48 am (3 years ago)

    I so hear you. This past weekend I spent so much time sleeping it was a bit scary – clearly it was something that my body needed and I’m glad I was able to listen to it.
    My diary is my best friend.
    Good luck with the lead up to Christmas !
    Me

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Linda. You too! That is great you listened to your body and took time out. Hope you’re feeling better now πŸ™‚

      Reply
  14. Rachel_OurTownBNE
    November 11, 2014 at 9:05 am (3 years ago)

    Yes!! This is just how I feel. It’s like the last few weeks of the year get stuck on warp speed and there is suddenly more to do and less time to do it. I’m going to make an effort to reinstate my exercise regime. As you said i always feel better once I’ve done it – I just need to find the motivation somewhere πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm (3 years ago)

      I know, Rachel. It’s so hard. I really have to push myself, but once I do I feel so much better for it.

      Reply
  15. Michelle@myslowlivingadventure
    November 11, 2014 at 9:09 am (3 years ago)

    Great advice. I am feeling the pressure rise. We always have one sons birthday just before Christmas, then Christmas. We are going on a mega camping trip in January and talking about the possibility of getting married at the end of January which we’ve been meaning to do for years…stay chilled!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm (3 years ago)

      Good for you, Michelle. Sounds like exciting times ahead!

      Reply
  16. Jodie@Fresh Home Cook
    November 11, 2014 at 9:32 am (3 years ago)

    Great tips Renee! It is such a chaotic time of the year indeed. We have lots of birthdays in November & December as well which adds to the busy. I have been sidelined with a bad virus which tells me I have not been looking after myself well enough either.

    Need to slow down & take some time to just chill – the rest will happen. xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:01 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, please look after yourself, Jodi. That virus doesn’t sound good at all. We have a few birthdays in November too. Busy times xx

      Reply
  17. Jess - Peachy Keen Mumma
    November 11, 2014 at 12:39 pm (3 years ago)

    YES, yes yes!! Really good tips! I woke up from a nap the other day. I realised when I looked at my phone that I had missed my friend’s Body Shop party. I didn’t need to be there for the products but the women time. Time with out my son at my ankles. BUT I guess I needed that nap more. I too have been so tired. I love my calendar. My husband keeps wanting me to put things in the ical. NOPE. I use my kitchen calendar. I walk past it all the time. Turns out so do my guests that come over (that’s annoying). My mother in law went to it the other day to inform me “You are free Thursday morning to go grocery shopping with me, LOOK.” haha

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:03 pm (3 years ago)

      Haha. Classic. Yep, I prefer a calendar for the fridge too πŸ™‚ I’m a little old fashioned that way!

      Reply
  18. Josefa
    November 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm (3 years ago)

    This time last year I was wiped out! A complete exhausted mess. This year I am doing much better. I’m trying to be very present and trying very hard to not let worries spill over into tomorrow, next week – what I need to do. I do what I need to do right now and I am wholeheartedly trying to just “trust” in everything else. It will be fine and if ts not – then that is how it was meant to be. gosh I’m rambling. Hope we can sneak in some moments to chat in person over summer lovely xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, I really hope so. That would be lovely. I think going with our gut and listening to our body will put us on the right path πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  19. EssentiallyJess
    November 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm (3 years ago)

    I am a huge fan of just staying home for at least one day a week. I hate rushing around or having somewhere to be.
    I would struggle to be screen free before bed though. I should try it.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:06 pm (3 years ago)

      Give it a try and see how you go. I found it really really hard at first.

      Reply
  20. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    November 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm (3 years ago)

    All these tips are so important, Renee. I don’t quite know how I’d function without my calendar!!
    I’m getting really excited about Christmas, but do need to stay organized to keep my head together xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:08 pm (3 years ago)

      I know what you mean! I just can’t wait to have some down time with my family πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  21. Tegan
    November 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m wrecked as well, counting down the days until our holiday in 3 weeks time. Your point about the pool reminds me how much I love swimming. I might make the effort this week to head to the pool while Mr 5 is at daycare.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:10 pm (3 years ago)

      Sounds like a plan, Tegan. Bring on your holiday!!!

      Reply
  22. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    November 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm (3 years ago)

    OMG! Christmas!!!! Already? Freak out ….
    Great list.
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:10 pm (3 years ago)

      I know right! Serious freak out πŸ™‚

      Reply
  23. Vanessa
    November 11, 2014 at 6:05 pm (3 years ago)

    Last night I was so tempted to drive to the pool for a swim, but too tired to drive! Catch-22.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:11 pm (3 years ago)

      I hear ya, Vanessa. All too well πŸ™‚

      Reply
  24. Robyn
    November 11, 2014 at 6:23 pm (3 years ago)

    I need to print this out and stick it on my fridge. I must say I love lists and could really do with streamlining them as I have lists for lists of lists!! I love the idea of a day doing nothing but I just can’t do it – I just can’t sit still. My mum suggested I take up yoga or meditation or something like that. xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:12 pm (3 years ago)

      That doesn’t sound like a bad idea, Robyn. My mum has trouble sitting still too. She always has to be doing something πŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  25. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad
    November 11, 2014 at 6:28 pm (3 years ago)

    Yes! Great tips! I’m a big believer in lists and scheduling quiet time whether it be a night or entire day. It’s needed breathing time.
    I can feel the cray starting to creep in so definitely a sign Xmas is creeping up. Hope you can find some respite x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:13 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. You too, Vicki!!! Breathing time is a must. x

      Reply
  26. Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life
    November 11, 2014 at 9:15 pm (3 years ago)

    Great tips. Unfortunately I know what I should do to de-stress and stay sane, it’s just that I can’t seem to implement it. Something more important than me always comes up that I need to deal with and complete! I am going to try really hard though to have at least one “do nothing” day a fortnight!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:14 pm (3 years ago)

      I know what you mean, Ingrid. It really is hard. I hope you get to have some time out soon.

      Reply
  27. Dannielle @ Zamamabakes
    November 11, 2014 at 10:27 pm (3 years ago)

    Renee I’m with you all the way on this one! A few weeks ago I totally overlooked the kids mufti day at school and yes we turned up to school in uniforms, eeeek!! Felt like the worst mother in the world!! Calander a definitely help me even the kids! I’ve also started trying to plan what we have for dinner 4-5 nights a week and that helps me feel a bit more organised. I am planning to get back to some excercise on Thursday (fingers crossed). Great post glad we’re not the only ones who forget about DVD’s!! Xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. Good to know, Dannielle. How awful about the mufti day. Heartbreaking. I hope you have a chance to get your exercise in on Thursday πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  28. Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages
    November 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm (3 years ago)

    Yes – Lists, all the lists! That and learning to say no – at this time of year something has to give and you can’t say yes to everything.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm (3 years ago)

      Very good point, Malinda. I wish I was better at saying no.

      Reply
  29. Aroha @ Colours of Sunset
    November 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm (3 years ago)

    I was feeling stressed and insane, but uni is over until next March, my Tuesday tennis comp just finished up for the season, as did my unpaid internship, so at the moment I’m feeling ok! But great advice here for staying sane heading into the ridiculously silly season. x Aroha

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:17 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh yay! That’s great you’re getting a break for a while. You deserve it xx

      Reply
  30. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    November 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Such fabulous tips Renee and I need to work WAY harder on all of them… I’m trying to get organised so I’m not scrambling at the end. Lists are my besties though! I need more sleep! x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:18 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh yes. Sweet sleep. I hope you get a good rest tonight. x

      Reply
  31. Carla from My Yellow Heart
    November 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm (3 years ago)

    I am a strong believer in the do nothing for one day a week too.
    It just makes everybody, including me feel calmer. Otherwise all the busyness just makes me stressed. Everybody needs downtime xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 12, 2014 at 9:19 pm (3 years ago)

      They sure do, Carla. It is so important x

      Reply
  32. Becky from BeckyandJames
    November 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm (3 years ago)

    Great list. I am in denial and things just keep coming up that I put off. Silly really. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  33. Elisa {With Grace & Eve}
    November 13, 2014 at 3:32 am (3 years ago)

    Do nothing one day a week – so good! We had a do nothing morning yesterday and I felt recharged after xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm (3 years ago)

      Sounds blissful, Elisa x

      Reply
  34. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    November 13, 2014 at 7:20 am (3 years ago)

    These are great tips! I love them. Yep totally with you on all of these. Especially the exercise one – gosh you feel better after it. And lists are of course a given!!! xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 16, 2014 at 9:00 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lucy. I’m glad you like them πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  35. Smaggle
    November 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m a massive fan of turning off screens before bed, I’m practically reliant on it now! I’m not even thinking about Christmas yet… I’ve got too much work to wrap up the year I’ll be book marking this for when I’m ready to deal with Christmas!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 16, 2014 at 9:02 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s great news. It’s amazing what turning off screens before bed can do. Good luck with your workload before Xmas and thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

      Reply
  36. Lisa Wood
    November 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm (3 years ago)

    Great list of things to do to stay sane! I find that this time of the year is way too crazy and goes far too fast!!! I am not really into Xmas this year {our oldest sons are both out at sea with the navy for Xmas} and would like to cancel it but I have to think about our other three boys needs πŸ˜‰
    And seen as how we don’t have a TV but I am always on my phone, I so need to take on board switching off at least 30 minutes before bed.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      November 16, 2014 at 9:03 pm (3 years ago)

      Ahh yes, I’m sure those three boys would love a christmas celebration. I can imagine it would be hard with your oldest sons out to sea though πŸ™ Good luck with switching off before bed πŸ™‚

      Reply

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