Are you rounding the corner on life’s busy season? Here are my top five tips on how to survive a busy season and actually enjoy it.
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Our “off season” is coming to an end and any minute we will be back in the field. We will trade the ‘slower’ days of winter for the bustling days of seeding, spraying and harvest. My husband will return to the tractor and I will juggle all the things. And, as much as I am looking forward to the the change in seasons, I am well aware of the demands (and joys!) this season brings.
Every single year our busy season sneaks up on me. Every. Single. Year. The transition back into the field is overwhelming. Even now, just thinking of parenting from morning to night solo (single parents you amaze me!), taking on my husbands household responsibilities (the guy does A LOT around the house!), and feeding the crew (amid other things) makes me anxious.
You think by now I would have it all figured out. Disclaimer: I don’t have it figured out. In all honesty, does anyone really have it all figured out? In an attempt to prepare myself, I compiled a list of tips and tricks to help me survive this demanding season.
Whether you are about to have a baby, your spouse is deployed, you are heading back to work after maternity leave, your kids are heading back to school… whatever your busy season of life is… here are my top 5 tips for how to survive a busy season and actually enjoy it!
1. Plan & Prepare
One of the best things to do before a busy season is to plan & prepare for the season, as well as plan and prepare mentally!
Plan and prepare for the season by:
- Stocking up on all household essentials.
- Meal planning & filling your freezer FULL of meals.
- I live for meal planning! It makes my week run like a well oiled machine. But the work that it takes to meal plan AND stock your freezer – that makes me want to run for the hills. Yet, I do it often. What’s my secret? MyFreezEasy! MyFreezeEasy is a monthly membership program that helps your dream of a fully stocked freezer come true. Seriously, it does. They provide you with the meal plan, the grocery list, the step by step assembly instructions and the freezer labels (which include cooking instructions!)… all the steps that make me want to run for the hills! With MyFreezEasy, I have created a meal plan and downloaded the grocery list while nursing the baby in the parking lot of the grocery store. By now, you’re probably wondering “Where has this been all my life?”. Get started with MyFreezEasy today!
- Take it one step further. Get recipes and fresh ingredients delivered to your doorstep weekly with Hello Fresh. I am so excited to try this during our busy season! Get $40 off your first Hello Fresh box here!
- Simplifying grocery shopping.
- I order groceries online using PC Express. With PC Express you can create lists. Lists allow you to save items and add them to your cart at a later date. I keep an ‘essentials list’ which includes items we purchase weekly, such as milk, bread, cheese, etc, you know the foods that my toddler lives on! That way when I am ready to order my groceries I can go to my ‘essentials list’ and directly add items to my cart from there, instead of having to type each product into the search bar. HUGE time saver, especially when you’re on rural internet!
Plan and prepare for the season mentally by:
- Focusing on getting a healthy amount of sleep. I’ve gone into a busy season tired and it only makes the season more difficult!
- Taking time for you. Yes, amp up the self care because it’s going to be harder to come by once you’re living the busy season.
- Shifting your mindset. Think about why you are grateful for this season of life. I’m not saying you have to be positive 100% of the time. Common friends, perfection doesn’t exist. All I know is when I start focusing on the negative it can spiral. Big time! Start a gratitude practice to help you get in a good frame of mind. Read all about my morning routine, including my gratitude practice, here.
2. Slow Down & Prioritize
Remember, this is only a season. It will not last forever. It will pass. So, slow down and prioritize.
In the busy seasons of life you won’t be able to get everything you want done. That’s just the reality of it. Avoid unwanted overwhelm by deciding what is a priority in this season and what you can selectively procrastinate at. Selectively procrastinating means deciding what you are going to suck at. For me, it’s housework. Always. Consider, that your warning. If you stop in during our busy season, there’s no guarantee what the house will look like.
Not only does the feeling of overwhelm come from trying to do all the things, it also comes from having a lot running through your mind. I’m not the only one am I? Lessen your overwhelm by freeing your mind! Set out a notebook or your day planner in a convenient location and write it down. Do a good ol’ brain dump and do it daily. Get all that’s in your head, out and on to paper. Free your mind!
3. Set Boundaries
This one is difficult, but so important. Unfortunately, the reality is, unless it’s an extreme situation we usually violate our own boundaries by allowing them to be crossed. Or, we’ve never actually set the boundary out of fear of what others will think.
Here’s the thing, your time and your energy are precious – even more so during the busy seasons of life. Guard your time and energy! Know your limits and understand that it is okay to say “No”.
Everyone has different perspectives. Even if someone is going through the exact same busy season as you, you are both going to have experience it differenlty. Why? Because you are completely different people! Do not feel pressure to do something just because other people are. Girl, you do you!
As a recovering people pleaser, I struggle with boundaries. I can easily get caught up in what I think other people expect of me, instead of staying true to what I want. In case you need a reminder, like I do… your life is not about other people, it’s about YOU! And as my girl Rachel Hollis says, “Someone’s opinion of you is none of your business.”
4. Take Time for You
As I mentioned above, making time for self care during a busy season is tough. Although, a busy season may not allow time for your usual self care routine, try your best to carve out some time for you! The demands of a busy season are much greater and we need to take time to refuel.
In my particular busy season, it can get lonely. Hubs is working long hours in the field. During seeding, he is gone before I wake in the morning and home hours after I’ve gone to bed. Maybe your busy season feels the same. Lonely? So, in addition to self care, get out and interact with other humans who are not your kids!! Schedule coffee dates, dinner with a friends, sign your kids up for activities so you are forced to get off the farm. Okay, maybe that last one only applies to me, but you know what I mean!
5. Ask for Help
Asking for help and accepting help takes courage. It’s something I struggle with. You see, I’m an introvert and introverts feel like they shouldn’t burden others with their problems. But, I’m working on it. Maybe all it takes is a mindset shift? Shift your mindset from ‘asking for help is a weakness’ to ‘asking for help is a strength’.
The key to asking for help is knowing when to ask and understanding why you need it.
Do you need someone to help around the house because you feel like you are being swallowed up by your household responsibilities? Maybe, you could hire a cleaning lady? I’m just dreaming over here!
Do you need someone to watch the kids so you can meet up with friends for supper? Call Grandma right now because dinner with friends sounds amazing!
Whatever, it is you need – don’t ignore the feeling, acknowledge it and ask for help! Yes, I promise I’ll take my own advice on this one. 🙂
Bonus Tip: Give Yourself Grace!
All the grace – give it to yourself! Because, you are going to mess up.
You are going to feel like you did too much one day and not enough the next day. Your daily plans may get interrupted by a parts run, a lunch delivery, a nap strike or a toddler meltdown.
Mama, don’t beat yourself up!
Give yourself some grace. Cut yourself some slack. And remember, perfection does not exist.
There you have it, my top tips for how to survive a busy season and actually enjoy it. I would love to know, what’s your busy season look like? Do you have any tips you would add to my list? Let me know in the comments below.