Saturday, December 21, marked Winter Solstice 2013, the shortest day of the year. This is the time of the year where it gets darker earlier, the temperature drops and you have to protect yourself from getting a cold or flu. On top of that, you have holidays, vacations, school or work, which means the winter season is a time when balancing your busy schedule is put to the test.
Here are a few tips to balance your schedule that will help you make the most of the winter season:
Begin with Scheduling and Prioritizing: As fast as you can sing, "It's the most wonderful time of the year," it seems to be the length of time of the holiday season, and it’s over. You may feel like you don't have enough time to do anything. Or if you live in a cooler climate, you may feel like it is too cold to go outside. If you want to make the most of your busy schedule during the winter season, the first and most important step is to schedule and prioritize. Write down all the things you want to do and list them by priority. The earlier you start this list, the better.
Now, that you have your to-do list, here's what you need to balance each part of your busy schedule:
1. Holiday Events: You check your calendar and find that you have many events coming up. You have all types of events with your company, family, friends or church from now until next year. When your calendar is full with events, it can be overwhelming. What can you do? What events should you attend? Maybe two or three, etc. Determine what events you will enjoy and are necessary for you to attend. You want a balance of personal events and professional events. The holidays are a good time to have fun, but it is also a time to network. This is possible if you have a plan.
2. Health and Exercise: Since the winter season is a busy time, you have to pay attention to your health. Being surrounded by people with a cold or the flu, changes in the weather or being stressed can make you sick. This is the time to take care of yourself by drinking more water and exercising. Sometimes this can be challenging with all the holiday treats around and traveling. If you start now ,your body will thank you. Set small health goals such as drinking more water, eating more vegetables or exercising for at least 15 minutes a day. You can even do quick exercises during football commercials.
3. Family and Friends: Many of us are busy traveling or spending time with friends and family. Sometimes you don't get to see them that often so take the time to make memorable moments happen. Plan how many hours you can spend with them and make your time count. Take tons of pictures, share funny stories and play games. Watch classic holiday movies: Home Alone or A Christmas Story. Which is your favorite? These are the times you will remember. If you have a large family or have many places to visit during the winter season make a list of two or three things to do to make the most of your time.
4. Work and/or School: If you have a short break, take some time to relax, even if that means having a "lazy Saturday." We all have to take a break sometimes. Try going to a spa, having a night with the girls or catching up on your favorite TV shows on Netflix or HuluPlus. When you return to work and/or school, you will be more relaxed.
5. Make time for yourself: After visiting your family and friends many of us find ourselves exhausted. Take at least a day before you have to go back to your routine to spend time with yourself. Even if you cannot have an entire day to yourself, take a few hours. After this break you will be ready for anything!
Scientistas are smart working women! Take time to reflect on the year and open your eyes to the possibilities of what 2014 will bring. Whether you are traveling, working, going to school or feel like you only have a short break, make the most of it. By scheduling and prioritizing, you will be able to attend holiday events, exercise and spend time with family and friends. By having a balance and a plan, you can do the things that matter to you the most.
Happy New Year, Scientistas!