I turn the page on my planner, and it is November! Suddenly it feels like I am riding a rollercoaster until the New Year. 

If you are feeling the same excitement, speed and overwhelm... you are not alone! 

One of the constant coaching themes around this time of the year is "how can I tackle EVERYTHING I need to do?", "I will NEVER make it!", "I have so many things to do and not enough TIME!" 

This season wraps many activities: family visits, travels, shopping or making gifts and if you are a student, the papers and finals due right before the holidays! This may be the first time since the pandemic families come together to safely gather and celebrate.

Feel the excitement and the pressure? Now imagine adding the inconsistency of the holiday schedules, the extra "to do" items and not enough time to get everything done. Recipe for chaos? Not necessarily if we pre plan some basic tasks. 

The key is to look at your day and your to do list and chunk things down into manageable bits. Yes, the 'chunking down approach' works wonders here too!

 Be honest and ask yourself: What can I realistically tackle today? In the same way students plan their week setting their goals and intentions--this time of the year allows us the opportunity to practice setting daily goals and design the action steps we will take to reach our goals. 

Here are some general tips that can help streamline the busyness. 

1. Simplify, simplify, simplify... What will 'good enough' look like?

2. Smell the wood burning? See the lights? Marvel and take the time to 'take it all in!"

3. Find a time everyday to mindfully slow down (better yet-- find 3 or 4 times to incorporate mini breaks into your schedule! They could be as simple as looking away from the computer and breathing deeply 4 times) 

4. Design some simple 'me times' throughout your day and schedule them! (take a walk, listen to music, drink a cup of tea -- my fave!) 

5. Get a good night sleep. Keep a notebook next to your bed and write the things that are in your mind-- 'brain dumping' will allow you to empty your brain and get the zzzz. 

6. Eat well. It's my daily intention to make the 'best choices I can at the moment' when it comes to food and the Holidays. Remember that protein will fill you up for a longer time-- so incorporate some high protein snacks into your day!  Had a bad 'food choice' day? How can you rebound and make it a better one tomorrow? 

7. Don't be afraid to say no. Too many things on your plate and a new one is waiting to be added? Self advocate and ask for what you need. Count to 10 or take time to think about how will you feel adding a new task to your list? 

8. Allow yourself to do things in a different way. Tradition holds you hostage?  Who says you can't change the 'rules'? 

9. Connect! Make the time to safely connect with family and friends on a daily basis.  Friends keep us grounded and we can 'vent' and recharge with them! 

10. CELEBRATE! Celebrate the seasons, the values and beliefs!  Celebrate family! and Celebrate yourself and all your accomplishments... great AND small. 

We look forward to Thanksgiving day to safely gather and give thanks. Don’t wait!  Start expressing gratitude for everything — no matter how mundane. The more we train ourselves to look, the more we find what to be grateful for! Studies have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier. Right now, stop and think… what are you grateful for?

With gratitude, 

Ana Isabel Sánchez