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3 tips to survive the holiday chaos

I don’t know about you, but life is crazy right now. It’s also the holidays. There is no reprieve for us parents. Kids are going nuts with a holiday break at Thanksgiving and another at Christmas…the energy is boundless with little people fully aware of Santa’s impending visit right around the corner.

At this point in my life, I’m also closing a chapter as my role as Chief of Public Affairs at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. I’m launching a business. I’m moving me and the kids to Dallas to be with my husband right before the holiday. 

I’m working to get connected in Dallas and staying as active as I can in two communities in two states. I’m trying to get Christmas coordinated at the new house so the kids have some semblance of normalcy on top of getting ready for a new school, new friends, new schedule. 

Life is…well, it’s chaotic. 

We all have seasons when life hands us a little more than we feel we can manage. It’s hard to keep all the balls up in the air at the same time. 

So, how do you survive the chaos? 

I have two tactical pieces of advice and then one piece that’s more life skill oriented, I suppose. Overall, though, I know I’ve preached this before and it’s worth repeating: Make. A. Plan. 

  1. At this rate, I have my stick-it notepad that is utilized on a daily basis. As I drink my coffee every morning, I write down the top three things I MUST get done today and then jot down a few items that need to be handled that week. 

  2. I use my Google calendar ALL the time and drop in lots of reminders…reminders for picking up dry cleaning to what I need to get at the grocery store. I’ll even “invite” my husband for some of the reminders, just to keep us both “in the know.” There’s so much happening at one time that you have to keep organized or you’ll go batty crazy. 

  3. The other thing that is helpful for me is working to manage my mind…my thoughts. I’m sure this sounds hoaky to some, but I firmly believe that taking a minute or two to get your head right in the morning will lead to better outcomes during the day. In other words, you choose your attitude.

Get a hold of your negative thoughts about yourself and really stop to think about what’s holding you back from being successful. Is it fear of change? Is it the fear of making a wrong move? Is it the fear of what others might think of you? Whatever your “thing” is – grab hold of it, and get it wrangled or it WILL wrangle you.

I’ve been asked by a lot of people how I’m feeling about leaving my job and moving to Dallas. When they ask, I can see the look in their eyes as if “I can’t believe you’re leaving your home of 44 years…aren’t you scared to death??” 

It’s a big deal. I get it. 

But, my answer? Bring. It. On. Bring on the new house, friends, life. Bring on the insecurities of it all too…because, believe me, I’ve got those as well. 

Bring on the challenge. To me, there’s nothing better than showing my kids (and myself) that I can do whatever I set my mind to do.

Life is full of change, and I do believe what makes us stronger is leaning into the unknown. You’ll never grow if you don’t try something that forces you out of your comfort zone. The hard truth is – none of us know what tomorrow really holds anyway…even for those of us who make “perfect” plans. It’s not like you can’t course correct if you make a wrong move. 

You can choose to be scared or you can choose to dive right in and figure it out along the way. That being said, I believe in thoughtfully diving in…and this requires you to think ahead. Assess your risk factors, make a plan, and execute. If you’re confident in your decision making processes, then go! Make your move.

I do believe what helps keep your head above water is DOING rather than just thinking about it. Write your to-do’s on the stick-it note pad…put all your appointments on your google calendar, and then DO IT. 

And here’s the deal…if you make a mistake, dust off, figure out what went wrong, and go for it again. Remember, the chaos of the season is temporary. Embrace it. Make your plan, and then execute. 

We’ve got this.

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