The holiday season is once again starting to show premature signs of life. Spring is making its way (slowly but surely) for the summer heat, and the general Christmas vibe is starting to make itself felt as well. And for those of you in uni, exams and assignments are coming to an end (or maybe you’re already done!) and you will soon be able to turn your back on the books without regret.
SO… then what? It’s a dilemma we’ve all been through at least once before: we love the new found freedom that comes with every summer break but we don’t know what to do with it!
All of a sudden the amount of time we now have on our hands becomes a source of stress and anxiety. And then there’s that sense of FOMO that begins to niggle inside of us. What will I do? What are others doing? Who can I meet with? Where to go?
I think people make December a lot more stressful than it needs to be. Of course it’s the end of the year and we need to tie up loose ends and finish certain tasks, prepare things for families and friends for Christmas and New Year (yes, I’m not denying that it is a busy time of the year) but we can still go about all those things without completely losing our heads or our tempers.
If you want to take on the busyness that comes with the holiday season in good stride, I suggest you take some steps now to de-stress and declutter for December.
Here are just some ideas to help declutter and order your physical and mental spaces:
- Bin it: While you’re in the process of chucking out study notes you no longer need to the recycling bin, why not take a closer look at your desks, drawers, bags, wallets and cupboards for things that aren’t needed anymore as well. Throw those flyers of past events in the recycle bin, and definitely bin those multiple wrappers of exam stress lollies and chocolate hiding in your drawers. Also, if there’s a fashion item you haven’t used in ages put it in a charity bin!
- Give it away: Besides the things that need to be binned, we probably have a few items that we no longer need that could be useful for someone else. If you have 15 pens in your pencil case, why not give some away? Instead of having that same guy or gal always asking to borrow your pen, why not gift him or her with 1 or 2 of your pens. Obviously, you can extend your generosity beyond pens but it’s just an example to start you off.
- Make a December list: Planning ahead doesn’t hurt when it comes to making your Christmas presents list or lists for other tasks for that matter. You could even plan to take up a class or activity that you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t during the academic year, like an art class or baking class or even volunteer work. If you don’t want to feel the mad rush next month, plan ahead and make a December list to make the most of the beginning of the holiday season.
- Make time for family and friends: Besides making time for yourself, it is important to make time for others as well. To de-stress and declutter our mental space doesn’t mean we have to be a recluse and isolate ourselves from others for peace of mind. We all need to speak out at some stage. Sometimes we can make our own problems so much bigger in our imaginations that what they really are, and others give us perspective. So to help declutter your mind, give some time to others.