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If you’re not new to these parts, you know that one thing I hate is being busy. In fact, in 2015 my word of the year was just that: #BanBusy.

That said, life isn’t always as free as we want it be, and I knew full well I’d be in a busy season right about now. For months, during the calm before the storm, my husband and I talked about how we knew this was coming.

And it has. Oh it has.

There’s been travel, visitors, sickness, a quick vacation to some glaciers, and a big work project about to launch (wait for my big announcement next week!) that have been keeping me burning the midnight oil (and by midnight I mean 8 pm, but that’s just me). I don’t love it, but I also don’t shun it. Busy seasons happen. The important thing is trying to remember how to handle them.

Here are a few things I’ve been doing this month that have kept me on a more even kilter than not. I’m not perfect at them, but I am doing well, and more than anything it’s the fact I’m doing well that is making me feel even better than ever (positive reinforcement, anyone?).

Here they are:

  1. Sleep. Oh hey, sleep is important DID YOU KNOW? Given that I probably need more sleep than you do, you might not know just as dearly as I do. But I do. Oh I do. I spend about 10-11 hours a day in bed, with the goal of my Fitbit saying I slept 9.5 hours. It’s hard, but worth it.
  2. Meditation. In the past year, I’ve actually…(drumroll please)…learned to meditate! I’ve been saying for years that I would, and I even tried to do so more than a few half-hearted times. In 2015, though, it finally clicked. I’m doing it about twice a day these days and have seen great improvements in terms of my feelings of calm and peace in a given day.
  3. Eating well. See the weird ghee (it’s like butter) in the travel tupperware in that picture above? Yes, I dragged my own ghee across continents when I had to travel last week, just to keep my decaf coffee awesome. Trying to stick to my whole-foods, low-sugar eating has been essential to keeping me healthy and to keeping my energy levels more or less where they should be, even when I know I’m stressed out.
  4. Reading — even a tiny bit. This week, for example, I am scheduled to the gills. TO THE GILLS. That said, I’m trying hard to make sure I get in at least 20 minutes of a good book each day. I’ve been on a run, and here’s hoping I can keep it up.

It’s harder than ever to do these things when I look at my calendar and to-do list this week, but I think it’s more important than ever.

What do you do in those crazy busy times to ward off the madness?

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