The idea of time wasted can feed anxiety and panic symptoms. It encourages a mindset that others are doing more valuable things with their time and feeds the comparison monster. Each season in life has a meaning and purpose. Planning out how to best use the seasons in your life can help you focus your energy as well as bring calmness to a mindset of being busy.
ONE: Make a List.
December and January are great a time to reflect on goals – both reviewing what was accomplished in the past year and to set future goals for the year ahead. Write it down! Take time out to record your accomplishments from the past year broken down by seasons.
Example: Winter Goals
- Host friends during holiday
- Save money for summer trips
- Eat three healthy meals a week
- Rest and meditate
- Practice indoor hobby an hour a day
Example: Summer Goals
- Grow relationship my partner
- Work on yard
- Be active
TWO: Do what matters most to you.
When you look at the things you did over the season does it align with what matters most to you? If you spent your summer hanging out with friends and family instead of working on your home improvement projects did that align with your goals for that season? Try making a list of things that matter most to you.
Examples: Things that Matter Most to Me
- My relationship with my spouse, partner or friends
- My relationship with my body and self
- My relationship with my family
- My relationship with my job
THREE: Take inventory of your time.
- How much time was spent on things that did not make it on your most important list?
- How much time would you want to focus on task outside of the home during each season?
You may find yourself outside more during the summer than winter months. Or maybe you prefer to do inside activities in the summer and more outside activities in the winter. That’s okay, being aware of that can help you focus your energy.
FOUR: Don’t compare yourself to a celebrity.
I’ve often seen the social meda post saying, “You have as much time in a day as Beyoncé.” That’s true, but you probably don’t have a team including an accountant, nutritionist, nanny, stylist and assistant like Beyoncé does.
Don’t compare your time to someone else’s! Release the guilt of having to accomplish just as much as someone else. You never know who is helping and supporting that person with their goals.
FIVE: Build your own team.
Have honest conversations about the things you need support in doing. Pass off tasks you don’t enjoy to someone in the house who doesn’t mind them. See what you can take on to relieve someone else’s burden.
Examples of Your Team Members and their Roles
Spouse / Partner:
- Make dinner twice a week
- Pick up kids from school
- Provide quiet time for me once a week for 30 minutes
- Pick up toys daily
- Clean bedroom once a week
- Help garden in summer and shovel snow in the winter
- Provide occasional childcare throughout the summer
- Help host holidays in winter
No matter what you decide is your busiest time of the year, it is helpful to take a deep breath and be patient with yourself. Set attainable goals and use the seasons for rest, creativity and calmness to a busy mind. Enjoy every season of your life! Have patietence and remember that you won’t see growth from many of the seeds you’re planting now until the seasons pass.
Elizza LeJeune, LMSW, is a fully licensed clinician social worker at the Pine Rest Northwest Clinic. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Central Michigan University and her Master’s in Social Work with a Certificate in Disaster Mental Health from Tulane University in New Orleans. Her areas of interest include working with children, adolescents and adults struggling with depression, anxiety and spiritual issues as well as family, child and women’s issues.