In Student Affairs, as in many part of our lives, there is a moment when we manage to juggle all the balls in the air as one more thing is added. To survive the circus of it all, we use our mad multi-tasking and planning skills. Yet, for some reason, even though we say it will be different every semester, we still find ourselves suffering from winter break burnout.
For me, I know when I can start to feel the winter break burnout. Dec. 1. Before I know it, the task of decorating, shopping, holiday card making is back and yet, I still need to achieve my regular weekly projects. I started thinking about this annual dilemma and the one thing that kept coming back to me is, how can I make this One More Thing, something I want to do. I started thinking. What makes me WANT to do something? What makes me NOT WANT to do something?
Thing I thought some more, and with every month, every week, even sometimes every day, there will always be one more thing to do. It’s life. It’s Student Affairs. It’s the end of the semester and it’s the Holidays. I’ve discovered, that the key is knowing when to say yes and when to say next time.
-To the holiday party.
-To the warm seat by the fire.
-To the student who is nervous about going home for winter break.
-To hanging Christmas lights.
-To putting up a tree any size tree, big or small.
-To making holiday cookies with your kids, even it it keeps them up late.
-To help. If someone is offering it, take it!
-To getting a picture with Santa, even it means you might be waiting in line or maybe not. One year, I for some reason showed up at the best time.
-To finishing up strong.
-To cleaning out clothes, toys, books, office things you don’t need and donating them.
-To getting rest.
-To getting exercise, even taking a 15 min walk in the cold.
Say Next Time
-To that one extra holiday party you really can’t do.
-To that event idea that someone is thinking about it but you know it will be rushed.
-To that one more item on the agenda, save it for after Winter Break. It can wait.
-To Holiday cards that must come before Christmas. Some years in my family, we do New Year’s cards.
-To making sure you get away for winter break. This year, go simple. Stay home. You know you want to just enjoy being home.
-To staying home and if you know you want to, and you know yourself best, book that Winter Vacation and go!
If you find yourself with that feeling not one more thing, take a deep breathe, write down what you are currently doing and decide, what is the one thing I must say yes to, that I want to say yes to. Then, what is that one thing I can say next time. See if it works. I can already feel my mood changing. Logging on to Shutterfly now!