Archives for the month of: December, 2017

This will be my last blog entry for 2017. I’ve experienced an exciting year with lots of personal change. The biggest change of all was leaving Epic Careering in August two months after I landed a full-time job at UPS. Working full-time has been an exciting and fulfilling experience. In addition to those changes in 2017, I want to look back at some other goals I set for this year. In fact, I wrote about several of them in January.

  • Resuming old hobbies: I wanted to read fiction, write fiction, and draw art. With the exception of reading fiction, I didn’t get very far in resuming my old hobbies. Going full-time and having busy weekends hasn’t allowed this, but I’m not giving up on these goals.

 

  • Getting back into social media: I wanted to use social media platforms other than Twitter. This has been a mixed bag. I actually took the initiative to set up a Buffer account for my personal profiles. This has allowed me to post to the major social networks all at once and to easily schedule content. I’ve been on Facebook more, but I’ve slacked on LinkedIn and Google+. To be honest, Facebook is best in small doses to keep my stress levels down. I’ve also gotten into Discord (it works similarly to Slack) and I’ve found it to be a useful way to keep up with people outside of the major social networks.

 

  • Tackling the backlog of personal website projects: I wanted to move my older sites over to WordPress. I’ve not moved my websites to WordPress yet, but earlier this year I had to take them down because of a hack. I do plan to take time off from work to perform the overhaul in late January/early February.

 

  • Getting my landlord life in order: I wanted to set up a savings fund and get all of my certificates for my property. I’m far away from meeting this personal goal. My tenants moved out of the property after refusing to pay rent, not keeping up with the utilities, and have not given back the keys. The only way fix this situation is with an eviction lawsuit and an order to repossess the property. Needless to say, this year has been a money sink instead of a boon. It’s complicated.

 

  • Biting into my video game backlog: I wanted to finish a few games in 2017 that had been sitting in my backlog for years. This goal is actually going as well as it could, given my limited free time. I finished two games that have sat in my backlog, as well as a smaller game I purchased on a whim. I also should have one of my big games for 2017 finished before the New Year.

How did your 2017 goals progress?

Goals by Pawsitive Candle_N of Flickr

Goals by Pawsitive Candle_N of Flickr

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I feel like I just said this about Thanksgiving, but I cannot believe Christmas is this Monday! I don’t feel stressed out or behind on anything–my shopping is almost finished (everything else I need to get are just little things) and, luckily, I’m not the main cook for any holiday dinners my family may have. Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year–I love the music, lights, cold weather, and being with friends and family. I also love traditions and I want to share one that my family started doing recently and it’s worked out so well for everyone.

I have two sisters and the middle one is married with 3 kids (I’m the oldest). Instead of my sister and brother-in-law trying to decide which of their families to go to for Christmas, they mainly stick with his family or on their own on the actual day and then have what we call “Festivus” with our family. We pick a Saturday or Sunday sometime in December and my sister, her husband, and the three boys come over and we have a big dinner and exchange presents. It’s one of my favorite new traditions because it is so low stress! My grandmother comes as well to see all of us as well as her great-grandchildren, so it’s a smaller get-together with just family.

My point is that this is the time of year to be de-stressing and trying to make your life easier! I know that’s easy for me to say because I’m not a mother and I don’t have a family, but I wanted to offer an example of how my family began a new tradition that worked for us and made everyone’s holiday a little more enjoyable. So kick off your shoes and pick up the eggnog this weekend and enjoy yourselves!

What’s an unusual or new holiday tradition that you and your family (or you and your friends) have started that you look forward to every year?

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The holidays are in full swing and there are 12 days left until Christmas. Depending on your line of work, you may be extremely busy, or the holidays may be a time to rest and relax. The holidays are definitely the busiest time of year for me. At work there are endless opportunities to chase after overtime hours, and even if you don’t plan to work overtime, longer hours are still unavoidable. Add the stress of the season and other types of everyday stress, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

In fact, I fell ill last week and spent the weekend in bed, as well as taking a sick day on Monday. I was unhappy that catching a cold meant I had to give up productivity for the weekend (even missing the chance to work extra hours on Sunday), but I made a quick recovery. When I began to feel better, I noticed a lot of sick and unhappy co-workers who didn’t take time to rest.

So here are a few tips for the holidays:

Take care of yourself. Remember work and trying to buy presents for everyone on your list isn’t all there is to the holidays. Aim for least 7 hours of sleep per night. It may be tempting to be more productive by sleeping fewer hours, but your body will suffer as a result.

Think about if working long hours per week (70-100) is really the best thing for you. I’m not going to tell you how to earn your own money, but again life is not work. Even if you love your job, it is important to take breaks. If getting to Christmas is the goal, think about how you’ll feel when the day arrives. Will you be well rested and happy to see family and friends, or will you be a tired mess? Taking time for yourself gives you an opportunity to rest and recharge rather than slowly suffering.

If you’re in an industry that does not give you the opportunity to have many days off (such as retail), maximize your free time. Spread tasks over periods of time off, so you can actually use some free time to relax. Try not to do too much on your days off.

The holidays are supposed to be a time filled with good cheer. If you feel crushed by the holidays, there’s no harm in putting on a cheesy Christmas movie, a favorite song, or decorating your living space or work space.

The end of the year is also a great time to reflect. Sometimes looking back, instead of feeling anxious about the present or future can also have a calming effect. What went right for the year? What makes you grateful?

 

How do you get through the holiday crush?

Christmas 2014 by Gunilla G of Flickr

Christmas 2014 by Gunilla G of Flickr

I’ve been so busy lately with a project at work that is running very behind. It’s not my fault, but I still do have to keep up with it and try to get my end of the project done as quickly as possible. Some days I feel like I come in to work and don’t look up again to take a breath until I realize it’s already lunchtime and I’m starving. Then, I’m usually working right up until the very last minute until I have to leave to catch my train home. This is both good and bad–it makes my days go by pretty quickly, but sometimes I’m left with a vague, stressed, uneasy feeling when I leave for the day. Here’s what I’ve been doing recently to combat this:

  • Listen to music. I already listen to music almost all day in work, but recently I’ve been listening almost solely to classical music or other instrumental music to calm me. I don’t have to concentrate on any words and I can just get lost in my work (and avoid the sometimes noisy distractions around me) without blasting loud, distracting music.
  • Drink lots of water. Not only does drinking a lot of water make me feel better physically and mentally, but it also forces me to get up more than twice a day to stretch my legs. It’s never good to go most of the morning before realizing that I haven’t gotten up once to do anything! I’m kind of getting two birds with one stone on this one :).
  • Take a minute or two to chat with coworkers. Sure, I have a lot to do, but will it really matter if I complete a task if I’m left frazzled afterwards? As much of an introvert as I am, I still do need human interaction. This morning, I talked to my friend for a few minutes before we both dove into our respective to-do lists for the day and I felt so much better for it. Conversation about things that matter to me (even if it’s a silly conversation) keeps me grounded and focused.
  • Unwind on the commute home. I keep my headphones in when I go down to the train and I also take out a book to read. Like I said earlier, sometimes I leave work and I feel stressed and I may even have the beginnings of a headache stirring. Once I get one the train, though, I force myself to let go of all that stress and worry and switch into home gear instead of work gear.

These may seem like simple things, but they’ve helped me immensely during this crazy time. Do you have any tips or tricks for staying sane during a busy time at work or school?

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