Achieving work/Life balance this Christmas

We lead increasingly busy lives, and as we head towards Christmas, the one thing guaranteed is that they will get busier still. We still have to work for a living, but now we are also trying to shop, put up decorations, visit family, write cards, drop off presents, enjoy an increasingly busy social life and then finally reach Christmas and hope we just don’t drop with exhaustion. We’ve all enjoyed that Sainsbury’s advert about the best present you can give being yourself, but if you’ve already burnt out, there may not be anything left to give.

So what can you do in order to chill out,  avoid creating extra stress and strain, and generally enjoy Christmas without being totally exhausted? I have put together a few tips that I will be using in order to ensure that Christmas is both ‘pleasurably’ and ‘leisurely’.

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  1. Make a list and get organised. I write lists all the time – to do’s for the next day. Being organised is a great way to avoid stress, but it still needs to be looked at carefully. Clogging your schedule will make that careful planning a waste of time, you will still be stressed from the amount of work you are setting yourself. So plan carefully – set a reasonable number of tasks each day rather than trying to do everything at once, and make sure at least one day of the week is totally task free.
  2. The one thing the run up to Christmas is known for is some great television, so switch off the computer and the social media and actually sit and watch something. Lose yourself in a great film, or laugh out loud to ‘I’m a Celebrity’, but, no cheating – there’s no tweeting allowed, and certainly no checking and answering emails at 10pm at night, no matter who has just come online.
  3. Take a little me time. There is no shame in admitting you need a break from the human race. So run a hot soapy bath, light some candles and lock that door. Close those eyes and clear your mind. You will emerge feeling refreshed and re-energised and ready for the next day.
  4. Off Christmas shopping? Look for times when the town is less busy, evenings or earlier in the morning. Take lots of comfort breaks, and stop for lunch, you need your energy when shopping. And when you’ve had enough – GO HOME. The shops aren’t going anywhere; you can always come back another day.

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It’s not conclusive, and I’m sure you can think of lots of other ways we can take time to switch off and relax, in spite of work and Christmas. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comment box below.

Striking a balance between work and motherhood

It’s not always easy to juggle different aspects of your life, especially if you have young children to look after and are working at the same time.

People who work away from home in an office and have to arrangechildcarehave one set of stresses and time management issues, while people who work at home and have the kids there too have another set of challenges. Of course, there are advantages to both styles of working. If you work for a company in an office, you can achieve that separation of home and work life more easily, but it’s not always possible to avoid bringing work home. Similarly, work at home mums have to be really disciplined about separation of time for being Mum, and time for being a working professional.

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Few women ever achieve the perfect balance, but if you set yourself some rules to live by, it can be easier. It can also make you more effective too, in both your roles as mum and worker. There will always be times when something has to take precedence, though. For example, it could be that work has to take priority when you’re up against a particular deadline, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about having to skip one of the kids’ swimming or ballet classes now and then in order to meet those deadlines; just try to avoid it happening too often. And it works the other way, too, of course. If your child is ill, then the only option open to you is to postpone and rearrange work appointments until they’re better.

It’s also important to factor in time for yourself; otherwise you’re likely to have those times when you feel like you’re going to crash and burn. One way of putting everything into perspective and taking time to review how you’re handling life is to have a psychic reading at TheCircle for example. Many people now use psychic readings as a kind of counselling session and the fact that you can do this over the phone, by Skype or even on email means that you don’t have to take a great chunk of time out of your day to achieve it.

A reading can be really helpful at letting you see your situation more objectively, and can help you come to certain decisions that might make organising a busy life easier.