It's the first day of May. The beginning of the month of ALL THE THINGS.
It's end of year celebrations, end of season parties, end of grade testing. It's spring dances, band concerts, Field Days. It's Mother's Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, Summer Camp sign-ups. It's shopping for gifts, writing thank you notes, planning parties.
Seriously. Are you having a panic attack yet?
Add all of the above to a calendar already full of orthodontist appointments, work commitments, and the usual laundry and housekeeping duties and you have a recipe for insanity.
Basketball got it all wrong when they dubbed the third month of the year, "March Madness." It's the fifth month that has earned the title of "Madness." In an effort not to go "mad" this month, I have come up with a list of 7 things to do to keep yourself sane. Some are things to do TODAY to alleviate some of the stress you may already be feeling as the month looms ahead, and some are things to continue doing even as the month progresses. Start on day 1 of May with this list, and you'll be golden.
1. Update Your Calendars: Get out your calendar(s) and make sure you have all the dates and times entered accurately. If you are like me, you use a paper calendar AND your phone's calendar. The beauty of the paper calendar is at a glance you can see what is going on all week/month. But the phone calendar can come in handy because you can program it to remind you when an event is coming up. I find both to be musts. Check back through your emails to make sure you have written down/entered all of the important end of season and school year dates. Write in pencil on your paper calendar. That way, when things change--and they will--you can keep your calendar neat and uncluttered.
2. Buy Mother's Day Gifts: You know it's coming! It's May 12, in case you haven't looked. :) Get ahead of the game and order or shop for her TODAY. Here is a link to SunnySideUp's Mother's Day Gift Guide. Erin always has beautiful--and useful--gift ideas!
3. Plan Your Outfits: You know you'll be going to parties and events, so go ahead and choose a few outfits you feel confident about, and hang them in a special spot in your closet, from your outfit to your jewelry, to your shoes to your purse. I knew I could count on Cassie at Hi Sugarplum to showcase some amazing Dresses for Spring on her blog. I have my eye on number 10 on her list! Number 12 is pretty cute too, and at $26, quite affordable!
4. Make Two: Of everything! Scramble two servings of eggs at breakfast and put some in the fridge for tomorrow. When you're making your kids' lunches, make two sandwiches, one for today, one for tomorrow. When you're making you own lunch, make two salads, one for today, one for tomorrow. Grill two dinners worth of chicken and put the second serving of chicken in the fridge for a hectic night. When your calendar is crazy, investing just a few extra minutes each mealtime can ensure you stick to your nutrition goals and don't end up feeding your family at the drive-thru.
5. Have Gifts on Hand: Purchase a few generic gift cards (think Starbuck's, Chick-fil-a, Target) and/or some pretty soaps or lotions to have on hand. There is nothing worse than making a grocery store run at 10pm because you forgot to buy a gift to give the following day.
6. Keep exercising! Along with the tendency to grab what is easiest to eat (and not healthiest) comes the impulse to throw in the towel when it comes to exercise goals during the month of May. Don't! Exercise can be the stress reliever you need on your busiest days. If you're feeling burned out at this point in the school year, check out Seven Ways I Keep Exercise Interesting or update your running playlist with some songs that are Runner Tested, Dance Party Approved.
7. Make Lists: Get up 5-10 minutes before everyone else, and make a list of the things you need to do that day. At the end of the day, revisit your list, and be grateful for the things you can check off. Did you read my journaling post? This is probably the BEST month to start dumping your thoughts by using a thought download, or try the 5-minute journal. Also make a list of the gifts you need to purchase, any cards or letters you need to write and send, and people you want to thank. Walking around with all the things you need to do up there in your already overcrowded mind can be too much for anyone to handle! Get it down on paper, where it has a chance to breath and you have a chance to assign due dates to all of it. I promise YOU'LL breathe easier.
That's it! Are you ready to embrace May?
The alternative--running away to a tropical island? That probably isn't in the budget anyway...