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Making Hard Times Easy!

Sometimes, life seems to put us to the test by making everything happen all at once. Juggling multiple, demanding tasks whilst staying reasonably calm can be a lot easier however if you just listen to the following three pieces of advice. 

Disclaimer: If you are feeling overwhelmed by your life in general, and not by an accumulation of specific tasks and situations that are going to come to an end within a foreseeable amount of time, these tips are not for you! You should then consider changing something more fundamental about your life, which this post is not about. The following tips are just meant to help you through busy phases due to, let’s say, a new job AND a move AND a deadline ahead AND your partner being in a stressful situation, too, all at the same time.


(Buddha by Stephanie Carter is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0)

  • Overview!

Nothing is more frightening about busy times than this lingering feeling of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Therefore, the most important thing is to make yourself feel like you are on top of the situation; which starts by knowing what exactly there is that needs to be tackled. By all means commence your de-stressing intervention by taking half an hour or an hour to make a list of literally everything that needs to be done by a certain due date of your choice: At the moment, this could be Christmas, for instance. From now on, tToughts like “Oh, I still need to do XYZ” won’t upset you anymore or take you by surprise, because the task is already on your list: You will automatically feel prepared and in control! It’s important however to write down all your major tasks as well as your everyday chores. You’ll see why in a minute. Lists

(Readin’ Writin’ Sippin’ by Gene Wilburn is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

  • Forget the Lone Wolf Tactic!

At the end of the day, you are not going to win a medal for having fought this war on your own! All you’re going to achieve by not asking your friends and family for help is that you’ll give yourself an unnecessarily hard time! Going through a busy phase without seeking support is not heroic, it’s stupid and inefficient in the long run, because you are just going to lose your energy a lot sooner. By telling your friends and family about your situation, you clearly signalise that you could do with some support: Good friends are certainly going to get the hint.

My partner and I are moving house in a bit, for instance, and we could not imagine doing it without the help of our friends: Just ask one of them to hang the lamps, another one to go and pick something up at IKEA, and you’ll have saved yourself a day’s worth of work. And as soon as the storm has calmed down, invite them for a really nice dinner and make up for it 🙂 Also, communication avoids ill blood: If you just disappear for two months without letting anyone in on the causes, your friends might not take it well.Wolf

(Wolf! by The Shared Experience is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

  • Spend your money wisely!

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in terms of handling busy times is that your should spend your money on services rather than goods! This is especially true when it comes to your daily chores: After a solid 16 hours of work, you couldn’t care less about that Chloe bag you bought the other day; but you certainly cannot be bothered to clean your house, to fill the fridge, to iron your work clothes or to cook dinner, either. Therefore, get the list you made earlier on and see how you can get your chores done by paying for it!

A lot of supermarkets offer online shopping nowadays and deliver your weekly shop to your doorstep; cleaners are willingly going to take care of your more time-consuming laundry; and you are going to eat a lot healthier by ordering (healthy) take-aways like Thai curries, sushi or an opulent salad than by cooking pasta every night. In bigger cities, there are even companies who’ll send you over a housecleaner at call, without long-time contracts, just when you need one. “But”, you are going to object, “this is going to cost a lot of money!”, which would be a perfectly true statement. I’m not saying however that you should get these things done for you for the rest of your life: Keep in mind that I am only taling about those super duper stressful four or six or eight weeks!

Money(Berlijn #79 by Michel Kalff is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

As a bottom line, I’d always recommend to keep in mind that exceptionally busy times like these are not going to occur every six months: But when they do come up every few years, it is perfectly appropriate to take every measure and to even spend money in order to make them as easy as possible. Drastic times call for drastic measures! And don’t forget: There will be no medal at the end for having done everything all on your own, and for having ironed your shirts yourself!

(Thumbnail: Buddha by Stephanie Carter is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0)


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