Working in the accounting industry for 9 years, I learned really quickly when the busiest time of the year is. No one dared apply for leave during the month of July. I had to learn how to survive a season of chaos, and fast.
Here are a few things I do to keep myself sane outside of work hours during those busy times.
What is a season of chaos?
A season of chaos is a period of life where things feel unpredictable, disordered and even turbulent.
It’s important to embrace flexibility and adaptability during this time. And recognise that your circumstances may change quickly. Try to be open to adjusting your plans and expectations which can help you navigate through the uncertainty. Focus on the things that you can control, break overwhelming tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, and celebrate the smallest victories along the way.
Season of chaos events and situations
During a season of chaos, various parts of your life can feel difficult to manage. Which can also lead to a lack of stability and all-around unruliness. And the future often seems uncertain.
Losing a loved one whether it is a family member or friend can create a sense of chaos from grief and emotional turmoil.
A major transition or milestone event like moving house, starting or finishing college, marriage, divorce, having a baby, becoming a single parent or job loss can introduce a period of uncertainty.
Natural disasters like hurricanes, flooding, earthquake and wildfire can lead to widespread devastation and upheaval of your life.
A health crisis such as a terminal illness, disease or serious ailment that includes medical treatments, hospital visits and overall uncertainty can take an emotional toll.
Financial instability from unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure and significant debt can cause immense stress with the uncertainty of the future and managing the difficulties as a result.
Relationship breakdowns from romantic partnerships, toxic friends and changing family dynamics can cause a disturbance in your life.
Living in times of political or social unrest also introduces chaos into communities. Protests, conflicts, and uncertainty about the future can disrupt normalcy and create a sense of chaos in daily life.
It could even be triggered by having a busy period at work that happens at the same time of year. Overlapping events in your personal life like the holiday season and Christmas chaos or the new year can make for a crazy time.
Where to get support during a season of chaos
It is important to note that while a chaotic season can be challenging, it can also be transformative. And can provide opportunities for personal growth, resilience-building, and the development of coping strategies.
I know how difficult it can be to exercise regularly. It’s also probably one of the first things to go when you’re having a hard time. Just keep it simple, go for a walk in the fresh air or float around in the local swimming pool.
Moving your body becomes even more crucial during times of stress. I’m sure you’ve heard all about endorphins, and how they can boost your mood. Exercise is one of the ways to release endorphins.
Mindfulness is not for everyone. I really struggled with it when I started. But I stuck with it and now it is much easier. I use an app called Calm, which offers guided meditations. These guided meditations walk you through exercises that you can use at any time.
Taking a moment to take a deep breath can also make a huge difference.
Make a list
Sometimes I like nothing more than writing a list of things I’ve already done to put my mind at ease. When you can see the tasks you have already accomplished, the momentum often starts to build.
I also like to write a list because it usually turns out I don’t have that much to do. If you keep the items floating around in your head, you often think about it in circles. Once it’s down on the paper, you might realise there isn’t really all that much that needs to be done.
You can also use the list to delegate tasks to others.
Take a timeout
It is crucial to find something that you can do to really relax. As for me, I like to take a bath. I light some candles and settle into a hot bath, often with a bath bomb. Sometimes I will listen to a podcast or audiobook, other times I will just listen to the sounds of the house.
My husband likes to fly his drone. I suppose it’s because he has to really focus on what he is doing, blocking out everything else.
Team up with your partner or friend
Find someone that you can team up with to share the load of house chores and cooking. It great to know that you have someone in your life that you can rely on. Even if someone can help you with just one task, it is one less thing for you to worry about.
Family and close friends are usually the best people to rely on. But don’t forget about other networks you might belong to. A neighbour, your business partners or even parents from your child’s school or activity
There are many ways that you can meal plan. You can plan before you shop, taking advantage of the sales. You can go through your pantry, fridge, and freezer, using what you have. Setting up a meal plan can take the guesswork out of dinner as well as other meals. For me, I usually work a week at a time but I have also planned based on the meats we have available. Don’t overlook simple meals like baked beans on toast, while not entirely nutritious, it is filling and also very affordable. And I’m sure the kids will love having ice cream for dinner.
Prioritise spending quality time with friends and family during challenging times. The support from loved ones can really make a difference. They can also help you out with all of the above.
The good news is that your chaos levels will eventually go back to normal, although that may depend on the type of crisis that you are facing.