During this week between Christmas and the new year, I always feel the wave of exhaustion that was masked by adrenaline over the course of the past few weeks. I’m often overwhelmed as I face the new year, knowing the work and life challenges that lay ahead, and I just want to crawl back in bed and wait for Santa. Why does facing a new year often seem so daunting?
As I begin to pull myself together, tackling the smaller tasks at hand like polishing off the eggnog and filling in a new planner, I consciously remind myself of ways to make life easier. Most of these ways were buried under wrapping paper weeks ago, so I pull them back out and even write them down somewhere, reminding myself it’s possible to control some of my chaos.
Instead of overwhelming you with a major list of life hacks, I’m offering up three simple ways to make life easier.
1. Avoid decision fatigue. By taking too long to make decisions, we reduce the quality of our decision-making ability. In other words, you may not make the wisest decision if you focus on it for too long. Plus, thinking about a simple decision over and over burns brain calories and makes us tired. As a caregiver, you already have extra layers of responsibility and worry and fatigue. Why tax yourself more by not making a simple decision? Save your mental space for bigger decisions like how to move your mother-in-law across the country instead of what to feed your kids for dinner.
2. Stop pursuing perfection. This one hits home for me. I’ve been a perfectionist for as long as I’ve known myself. When launching my website earlier this month, I so badly wanted to keep making aesthetic changes, tweaking the photos and the verbiage on each page, but I forced myself to simply make it functional and then pressed the publish button. I think we often cripple ourselves by striving for perfection, when in fact we just need to get it done and keep moving.
3. Quit something often. In his recent book, Dream Big, author Bob Goff discusses his practice of quitting something each Thursday. While I haven’t quite adopted this routine on a weekly basis yet, I have become more mindful of the mental freedom found in quitting something. You don’t have to start with your major habits. Start with the easy stuff such as unsubscribing from annoying emails. Sure, I love a good sale at DSW, but DSW thinks I want to know about the latest shoe trend every few hours. In a few days, I can easily have 10-12 shoe emails sitting in my inbox, cluttering up my mind and taking my focus away from other priorities. I often tell myself it’s easier to just delete them as they come in, but then I’m unconsciously thinking about deleting versus unsubscribing and taking up precious brain power as I do. And then I’m right back in the land of decision fatigue. Remove the daily distractions and annoyances and bring some peace back into your life.
What about you? How do you pick yourself up and keep going? What do you do to make your life easier and the daily grind smoother? I’d love to hear your hacks.
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