“Crazy Busy” of Back to School
Oh, we’re experiencing a special kind of crazy busy this year as the summer winds down. Our county fair is during Labor Day weekend. School starts for us the Thursday prior to Labor Day. Our kids are in 4H. We became members while they were in virtual school (much less “crazy busy” there). This year, we make the shift away from virtual schooling (in our jammies and slippers, using the crayons, markers and available pencils from years past), and we return to the often frenetic schedule of bricks and mortar public school.
New schools, nutty fair schedule, and for fun… we’re throwing in anniversary celebrations for both sets of grandparents during the last two weekends of summer. We’re fastening our seatbelts.
I’ve been asking myself as I prep for this next season, “how do I want to be?”
Calm (freaking out helps nothing and no one)
Playful (life is short, play hard)
Curious (I’ve never played the part of “mom of a freshman” before, so how should I pretend to know precisely what’s around the corner??)
To achieve my “calm, playful, curious self” while traveling through these uncharted waters, I figure a flexible plan would do me some good. I give us 5 tips to calm the “crazy busy” of back to school that don’t involve a strait jacket, Xanax or living in a cave:
5 Tips to Calm it
- Smile more and make eye contact
I’m talking in the mirror, at your family, at the store, at strangers, at other drivers – the grumpier the better, definitely at children, text a smile, (I’ve tried smiling while brushing teeth – too messy), aw heck, throw some smiles up on FB. Smiling has tremendous stress-relieving benefits, releases endorphins that actually contribute to your happiness, AND smiling makes you more attractive. It’s also contagious, so it can make the world a better place.
- Laugh at it all
Oh, there’s funny all around us. If it’s not overtly funny, be more curious. Take on a persona your kids might appreciate (won’t they be surprised when Miranda Sings takes them to school!) Skip or dance through WalMart, walk on a curb like it’s a balance beam (give it a stellar dismount while you’re at it). Risk being caught doing something silly. It’s been proven to relieve pain and stress, lessen tension, and help us cope with difficult situations. Truly, a best medicine.
- Speak the truth
Sometimes, we have to do the truly UNfun thing. We don’t wanna, but we gotta. Stand in the rain, go somewhere when we’d rather be elsewhere, do homework when it’s gorgeous out… so say it. This isn’t fun. I’d rather be doing something else. Or, when unexpected things occur to you or your kids – lunch is forgotten, they are in the opposite class as all their friends, they fall or don’t make the team. Guess what? It stinks. Give a moment to own the ick. Then, work on how to make it better.
- Say “NO” – It’s a gift!
No is a gift. When you say it, you are actively choosing something else, typically something better, and that might just be your sanity! When you can, give that gift. “No, we can’t make it to that event this time.” “No, I can’t spare 3 hours this Saturday to volunteer.” Sometimes you can negotiate. You might not be able to do the whole event or request, but might be able to contribute/participate in another way. “I’d be happy to print off the flyers for you, but I can’t distribute them.” Still helpful, but realistic for what you can achieve. If you can’t complete it, don’t commit. (See #3.) No one loves scrambling at the last minute for a no show.
- Carve out moments
I took my daughter to a client appointment with me the other day. She wanted time with me. I was meeting someone in a coffee shop and then running errands. We had time in the car, we had our turbo shop time (lots of smiling at strangers and laughing at goofy school supplies), and she sat quietly listening during my meeting and noted a keen appreciation for what I do after the meeting. It was so unexpected. It all stemmed from her simple request after I recited (as I too often do…) what was on my schedule of running. “Can I come with you, Mom?” So glad I said yes.
This are small, easy changes that can move you into an “intentionally full” life rather than zipping through a “crazy busy” one. Keep that chaos level under “code yellow” and enjoy!
Julie Ford is a certified life coach, speaker, trainer, and author of Creating Time and Energy. Individuals hire her to trade their “badges of busy” for intentionally full lives. Organizations hire her to attract, train, and retain our next generation of leaders, the Millennials.
Based on the foundation that when things are running smoothly at home, amazing things can happen at work, Julie uses one-on-one and group coaching to help her clients to define what matters most in their lives and to realize what is and isn’t working. Collaboratively, they move through a customized plan to implement habits that serve rather than sabotage their intentions. Her clients find more joy and less chaos in every stage of work and home one habit at a time.
Need a tip for reducing the “crazy busy” in YOUR life? ASK Julie!
Leave a question in the comments or just talk with her.