5 Ways to Overcome the Crazy Busy Syndrome

Listen to the interview.

It was great to chat with Laura Grace Weldon. She shared some wise words for simplifying for the holidays, and beyond. Here’s more, from Laura:

Who isn’t busy all the time? But around the holidays we’re crazy busy. At least women are, and those lights in our lives we call children make the pace even more frantic. Sure we make efforts to simplify and de-stress but for most of us the additional joy of holiday decorating, baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping, gifting, visiting, hosting, and merrymaking have to fit right into our regular (overburdened) schedules. It’s not like we can make more time where there is none. Well, maybe we can. At least we can use our time differently. I confess to suffering from Crazy Busy Syndrome but I fight back with these tactics.

1. Renounce the How-Does-She-Do-It-All-Disease.
You know the symptoms. You add extra responsibilities to your already hyper-responsible list of tasks. You uphold traditions because your family enjoys them. You pay close attention to get just the right gifts. You worry about money more than usual while spending more than usual. On top of all this you try to keep the focus on intangibles like joy and togetherness. The most extreme cases of How-Does-She-Do-It-All-Disease manage to keep up with everything and still keep smiling. Or at least feign good cheer.
When the frenzy is over you often end up with an empty feeling. The warm tenderness and connection we hope to feel around the holidays often gets lost under the sheer weight of obligation.
The cure? Talk to your loved ones about what means the most to them, then slice away the rest. If that doesn’t work, slice anyway. If you feel guilty about it sit down and read a nice stack of picture books to your children. No one really puts you in the Little Red Hen role for the holidays. Besides, that too-cheery tone you use doesn’t fool anyone.

2. Shun Those Voices.
They speak to you from TV shows, magazines, websites, blogs, store displays—in fact they’re hard to escape during the holidays. They seem genuine and alluring but their sole aim is to make you feel insufficient. These voices relentlessly tell you that you’re not enough. To compensate you must do more. Dress beautifully, make elaborate meals, buy lavish gifts (and wrap them with panache), lose 10 pounds by New Year’s Eve, capture every holiday memory in photos and videos, be a sexy surprise for your partner—oh, you know the list.
This is the only diet you need to go on. Don’t watch a single cooking show, don’t open one slick women’s magazine, avoid stores as much as possible. You’ll have a lot more time plus you won’t have to reassemble what’s left of your self esteem.

3. Screw Tradition.
No, I don’t mean you should shun Grandma’s house. I mean it’s possible to enjoy the season without so much of the heavy Gotta Do It Because We Always Do It weight hanging over you.
Some of my family’s most memorable holidays have actually been those that veered wildly from tradition. We won’t forget a holiday dinner at Becky’s house featuring walls still wet with paint, an oven on fire, and a dog getting sick everywhere. The zinger? She hosted the event to show visitors from Germany how we celebrate here in the U.S.
If you’ve always gone to the movie theater to see the newest holiday releases after a day of shopping, skip both and go to a play at your community theater. If you’ve accepted every holiday invitation despite the costs of babysitters, travel, and lost sleep limit your selections to those events that are simply too wonderful to miss. If you’ve always made a big meal, consider ordering take-out from a locally owned restaurant to serve on your best plates. If you’ve always accommodated your kids’ requests for gifts because it’s Christmas or Hanukah or Kwanzaa put new limits on materialism, letting them know you’ll consider one or two items they make their highest priorities. If you’ve always driven around to see the holiday lights, go outside on a frosty night to sing together (even if only to a lone tree lit by moonlight). You’ll not only save time and money, you’ll also create new traditions.

4. Rethink Gift-Giving.
Great-grandma is right, things have gotten out of hand. In her day children looked forward to gifts such as a fresh orange, maybe a piece of candy, and if they were lucky a toy or useful gift like a pocketknife or sewing kit. Historian Howard Chudacoff writes in Children at Play: An American History that most toys co-opt and control play. A child is better off with free time and objects he or she can use to fuel imagination (yes, a cardboard box).
I admit things got out of hand in my own house. In a quest for meaning (let’s rephrase that to my quest for meaning) we’ve always had handmade holidays. I’m one of those annoying people. Meals from scratch, hand crafted gifts, organic cookies that are frightening dark due to buckwheat flour. Each of my four children made gifts for everyone every year, gifts that took substantial effort such as woodworking, felting, and ceramics. My kids still make some of the gifts they give although I’ve stopped putting myself in charge of coming up with the ideas and supervising the process.
The last few years economic realities have made handmade and useful gifts ever more necessary for many of us. Thankfully there are solutions. Choose gifts from socially responsible vendors, non-profit sources, and directly from artisans. And take heart, studies show experiences brings more lasting pleasure than possessions. That’s a great reason to steer your holiday dollars toward gifts of theater tickets, museum passes, unusual lessons, local restaurants, and other experience-based gifts.

5. Last Resort.
This tactic is heavy duty, the one I bring out when I start to feel sorry for myself. Because we’re not crazy busy in comparison to women throughout history. We think we’re stressed? Our foremothers hauled water; carded, spun and sewed clothes; chopped firewood and maintained the stove they cooked on; ground grain and made bread each day; planted and weeded gardens, then canned and dried the harvest; stretched limited food reserves with careful planning to last; cared for babies, children and the elderly with no professional help; treated the sick, stitched wounds and prepared the dead for burial. You get the idea.
Worse, many women in today’s world still do this sort of grinding labor each day. Typically, women in developing countries work 17 hours a day. Our sisters receive a tenth of the world’s income while performing two-thirds of the world’s work. These harsh realities put any concept of busy or stressed right out of my head. (For empowering information, check out the wonderful book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.)
So fight the Crazy Busy Syndrome with all you’ve got. And if you aren’t on my list to get homemade buckwheat cookies, count your blessings.

 

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Vickie Milazzo discussed strategies from her New York Times bestseller Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman

September 30, 2012 Show Details: Amy’s Table Welcomes Fall
Mary Hunt prepared listeners to debt-proof their kids
Amy McCready discussed how to get your Kids to listen without nagging, reminding, or yelling

Grant Petersen shared his [quirky] rules to prepare riders for every bump in the road
September 23, 2012 Show Details: Howdy Y'All! It's an All American week on Amy's Table
Leaders for Linda's Legacy Team at the Race for the Cure September 29, 2012

September 16, 2012 Details: Bonjour mes amis! It’s tres French this Week on Amy’s Table
September 9, 2012 Show details: Konnichiwa ! It's everything Asian this Week on Amy's Table
Palace Restaurant Chef Jose Salazar dished on Gourmet Sensation

August 26, 2012 show details: Back to school, back to your yard and window boxes for WOW curb appeal
August 19, 2012 Show details: From Picky Eaters and Lunch Wars to Raising an Engaging Child
Lunch Wars with Amy Kalafa

August 12, 2012 Show details: Making cheese, popsicles- and money!
August 5, 2012 Show details: Sun, Fun, Style and Raising Kids
7 Essential Coping Skills from Dr. Madeline Levine

Expert advice from Dr. Jon Mendelsohn
July 22, 2012 show details: Color, style and Food Trucks
July 8, 2012 show details: Quickies, Flips and GF Treats

June 10th show details: Parties, Pure food, Purposeful Kids and Perfect Bathing Suits
May 27th show details: Detox, Declutter, Delight
The Charisma Myth with Olivia Fox Cabane

Unjunk your Junk Food with Andrea Donsky
May 20th show details: Skinny chefs, better junk food, more money- and your psychic abilities
Infinite Quest with John Edward

Feel better fast with Essential oils
May 13th show details: Cooking Mom, Baking Mom, Busy Mom, Mom likes you Best
May 6th show details: Drinks, Detox and getting Better Each Day

Wishes Fulfilled with Dr. Wayne Dyer
April 29th show details: Wayne Dyer, Ellen Whitehurst and Emily Maynard
Feng Shui Cleaning Tips from Better Living Expert Ellen Whitehurst

April 8, 2012 show details: Slow cooking meals, long lasting husbands, the (new) richer sex and staying safe
The 6 Husbands Every Wife Should Have
April 1, 2012 show details: Lost and Found (Weight, Meat, Love and Fitness)

Three Diet Rules from Fitness Expert Todd Scarborough
March 25, 2012 show details: Finger Food, Flowers, Asian Splendor and Personal Safety
Personal Safety with Marcia Peot and Streetsafe

Organize your mind; Organize your life with Coach Meg
March 18, 2012 Show details: Music, Mad Men, Coaching and Confession
The Art of Confession with Paul Wilkes

Sleep tips from sleep expert Dr. James Maas
March 11, 2012 Show Details: Sleep, Space, Supper and Salary
March 4, 2012 Show Details: Fresh look at Flavors, Vegetables and Restaurants

Fresh, local produce delivered to your door with Green Bean Delivery
February 19, 2012 show details: Getting real, light, glam and inspired
The Impostor Syndrome

February 12, 2012 Show Details: Love, Money, Friendship....and Dessert!
Pink Kisses: discovering your inner bombshell
Spontaneous Happiness with Dr. Andrew Weil

February 5, 2012 Show details: Happiness, Heart, Hops and Hues
How to: clean those places where germs lurk
How to prevent wrinkles- and what to do if it's too late!

Todd Patkin’s Ten Simple Secrets for a Happier Life
January 29th Show Details: Soup, Beer and Happiness
January 15, 2012 show details: Notable obits, effective self-defense and getting rid of Mr. Wrong

Self-defense tips with Shawnie Haskell
January 8, 2012 Show Details: Daily thoughts and thanks, getting glam and royally fed
Dr. Jon Mendelsohn on refreshing your look, no matter your budget

Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You
6 Top Tips To Navigate Holiday Eating
5 Ways to Overcome the Crazy Busy Syndrome

December 4, 2011 Show Details: Great gifts from the Kitchen
Amy's Amazing Adventures: The Ozone Zipline
Top 10 Way to Stress Less

November 6, 2011 Show Details: Life, Love and Ice Cream
October 23, 2011 Show Details: The habits and careers of marvelous Moms
October 16, 2011 Show: Sweet dreams- and dreamy casseroles

The Entitlement Trap
October 9, 2011 Show: Spooky, Seasonal, Savvy and Sweet
October 2, 2011 Show: Savvy Strategies for a well-run home and family

Dr Jon Mendelsohn chats about the latest cosmetic surgery procedures and "CoolSculpting"
September 25, 2011 Show: Makeover ideas for your skin, face, wardrobe and space
September 18, 2011: Celebrating Bad Girls, Great Careers and Dynamite Dining

ABC's of Vitamins
September 11, 2011 Show: Beauty, Bounty and Boy R Dee
September 4, 2011 Show: Color, Cooking for a Crowd, Cheap Eats and Classrooms

Raising Extraordinary Kids
Raising Philanthropic Kids
August 28th Show: Canning, Caring and Cocktails

August 7th 2011 Show Details: Keeping the Peace, the Kids and Sleep
Fueling the Teen Machine with Ellen Shanley
What's Eating your Child with Kelly Dorfman

July 31st Show: Feng Shui, Fish, and Good Things in Town
Good things are going around with Lisa Desatnik
World without Fish

7 Steps to Clearing out the Clutter
The Veganist, Kathy Freston
Back to School: Make it the best year yet!

July 24th Show: Drinks, Dogs and Dresses
Pet Adoption tips from Harold Dates and the Cincinnati SPCA
July 10th, 2011 Show: Confidence, Love & Vegetables

July 3, 2011 Show Details: Danger, Daring, Defining- and Dinner!
June 26th show details: cooking, caring -and looking cute at the beach
Summertime Safety Tips

Eating Clean with Tosca Reno
Handy Seafood Wallet Card
Molly Morgan's Skinny Girl Rules

This is not the story you think it is: A season of unlikely happiness
April 3, 2011 Show Details
More of this, less of that

Cut food consumption by 20% with small plates
Feed Your Face
Boost your Metabolism

The Art of Happiness
Super Foods for Super Skin
Tips from the happiest cultures in the world

Stress reducer: press the clear button
Sleep tips from Dr. Michael Roizen
Food Mood Connection

Tips for feeding kids
Romance Rehab
Food Label 101: Nutrition Facts

Take a Happiness Quiz
Take this personality quiz to discover your dieting style
The Hard Times Happiness Revival

Take time for yourself- get a little spinach and sleep!
An easy way to lose 10 pounds this year
Best juices to start your day

10 Tips for a healthier you
Soy Savvy
30 days to a happier life

How (and why!) to get Great Sleep
The Power of Meditation
10 Tips for Enjoying a Snow Day

Best Bedtime Snacks
How to Think Better
Flat Abs Diet

30 Things Every Woman Should Have by 30
Wills, Living Wills & Health Care Power of Attorney
365 Thank Yous

Bob Greene
View AllMost RecentHolidays & Celebrations

December 14, 2014 Show Plans: Have your cookie and eat it, too!
December 7, 2014 Show Plans: It's beginning to look a lot like...
November 23, 2014 on Amy's Table at 8 on Q102: It's all about Comfort Food today

November 16, 2014 on Amy's Table: Thanksgiving Tips and Tricks
November 9, 2014 Show Plans: Belly up to the Bar for Beer & Bourbon!
EAT. DRINK. BE FANCY. GET WEIRD.

Ask the Expert: Put some WOW in your Holiday Window Boxes
October 19, 2014 Show Plans: It's a SPOOKtacular Show Today
October 5, 2014 Show Plans: FALLing for Cincinnati

THE RIVER GRILL BEFORE THE BIG CHILL Oct 10th & 11th Sawyer Point
31 Bootiful Days of October
September 14, 2014 Show Plans: Zinzinnati BEER!

August 31, 2014 Show Details: Cincinnati FOOD+WINE CLASSIC Sept 12-13, 2014 Washington Park
June 29, 2014 Show Details: Happiness & Celebrations
June 15, 2014 Show Details: Hip Hip Hurray for Dad's!

JOSH CARES Hosts 2nd Annual Food Truck Festival June 18, 2014 Fountain Square
May 25, 2014 Show Details: It's an All-American Heroes Picnic
Show Details May 11, 2014: Just for Mom's

Show Details May 4, 2014: History, Heritage and Tradition
Whiskey-soaked history with Dane Huckelbridge
April 13, 2014 Show Details: What's for [Easter] Dinner?

Dinner, Art & Wine for Canines
February 9, 2014 Show Details: LOVE is in the Air
February 2, 2014 Show Details: Love Affair with Food

December 15, 2013 Show Details: It’s all about the HO-HO-HOliday’s!
December 8, 2013 Show Details: From my Hearth to your Home - Gifts from the Kitchen
December 1, 2013 Show Details: JOY...give it, get it, share it!

THE UNFORGETTABLE PHOTOGRAPH: 228 Ideas, Tips, and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life
November 24, 2013 Show Details: A Cornucopia of Holiday Tips and Trends
Holiday Fashion tips and trends - Thanksgiving through New Years Eve

How to create a Winter Wonderland Window Box with Bret Schneider
Holiday Decorating with Karen Sacksteder from Sacksteader Interiors
Dr. Mendelsohn - How to look great for the Holiday’s in less than an hour

November 17, 2013 Show Details: Book Club - A FUN Gal's Night-In!
November 10, 2013 Show Details: It’s a Thankful time of year - Thank you to our Veterans
October 27, 2013 Show Details: It's a SPOOKTACULAR Show on Amy's Table!

Must be the Season of the Witch
October 6, 2013 Show Details: Chocolate, Chocolate and MORE Chocolate!
July 28, 2013 Show Details: Willpower & Food or Willpower vs Food?

July 21, 2013 Show Details: Creating Memories...Food, Family and Fun!
July 14, 2013 Show Details: Vacation & Staycation Fun!
June 30, 2013 Show Details: Red, White and Berry Celebration!

June 16, 2013 Show Details: Hip Hip Hurray for Dads!
June 9, 2013 Show Details: A Sunshiny Stress-Free Summer
June 2, 2013 Show Details: Graduation Shui & Shindigs

May 26, 2013 Show Details: Kicking-Off Summer!
How to be Cool at the Pool from Amy Scalia of Cincy Chic
Show Details May 19, 2013: Glam Gal's at the Grill!

May 12, 2013 Show Details: Just for Mom's!
May 5, 2013 Show Details: It's a Cinco de Mayo celebration today on Amy's Table!
April 28, 2013 Show Details:Put a little SPRING in your Style!

April 7, 2013 Show Details: April Showers Bring...
March 31, 2013 Show Details: Good-Bye March, Hello April!
March 24, 2013 Show Details: Put a SPRING in your step!

March 17, 2013 Show Details: Lots-o-Luck
March 10, 2013 Show Details: Unconventional, Unexpected, Fun & Healthy!
February 10, 2013 Show Details: Love is in the Air

February 3, 2013 Show Details: Super Powers and Super Grains
Cupcakes & Cocktails February 8, 2013 7pm-10:30pm
January 20, 2013 Show Details: Sliders, Soup, Sweets and more!

How to Make Truly Scrumptious Candy in Your Own Kitchen
Cheers to 2013!
Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!

December 16, 2012 Show Details: MMM, it smells like the Holiday's!
December 9, 2012 Show Details: All that Glitters
December 2, 2012 Show Details: 'Tis the Season

November 25, 2012 Show Details: A Cornucopia of Holiday Tips & Trends
WOW Windowboxes: A Winter Wonderland
November 18, 2012 Show Details: A Healthy & Happy Thanksgiving!

November 11, 2012 Show Details: It's a THANKFUL time of year - Thank you to our Veterans
Top 6 Ways to look great for the Holidays in less than 1 hour
GIANT SPIDERS by local artist Caroline Willen

The Legend of Indian Corn
October 14, 2012 Show Details: Amy’s Table Explores Happiness
9th Annual Taste of the World Wine & Beer Festival November 10, 2012 Newport Aquarium

October 7, 2012 Show Details: Amy’s Table Embraces & Empowers Women
Pumpkin Topiary
September 23, 2012 Show Details: Howdy Y'All! It's an All American week on Amy's Table

September 16, 2012 Details: Bonjour mes amis! It’s tres French this Week on Amy’s Table
Fall Fashion Tips & Trends with Nancy Brinker of Saks Fifth Avenue
September 9, 2012 Show details: Konnichiwa ! It's everything Asian this Week on Amy's Table

Palace Restaurant Chef Jose Salazar dished on Gourmet Sensation
August 26, 2012 show details: Back to school, back to your yard and window boxes for WOW curb appeal
August 12, 2012 Show details: Making cheese, popsicles- and money!

August 5, 2012 Show details: Sun, Fun, Style and Raising Kids
Entertaining tips from Cheryl Najafi
July 29, 2012 Show details: Crafts, Parties, Supper Clubs and Happiness,

A Perfect Event with Debi Lilly
July 8, 2012 show details: Quickies, Flips and GF Treats
July 1, 2012 show details: Road trips, Marrakesh style, Spirited Cooking- and Cookies

July 24, 2012 show details: Get charisma, cook with soul, read a great book and be a Green Bride!
Green Bride Guide with Kate Harrison
June 17 Show Details: Fabulous Fathers and Fiery Grills

June 10th show details: Parties, Pure food, Purposeful Kids and Perfect Bathing Suits
May 27th show details: Detox, Declutter, Delight
May 20th show details: Skinny chefs, better junk food, more money- and your psychic abilities

May 13th show details: Cooking Mom, Baking Mom, Busy Mom, Mom likes you Best
Make Mom's Day with a beautiful breakfast tray
Fresh ideas for Centerpieces

March 25, 2012 show details: Finger Food, Flowers, Asian Splendor and Personal Safety
February 19, 2012 show details: Getting real, light, glam and inspired
February 12, 2012 Show Details: Love, Money, Friendship....and Dessert!

February 5, 2012 Show details: Happiness, Heart, Hops and Hues
How to: Sweet Valentine's Day Table Ideas
Gift ideas: Audrey Bullar's Book Suggestions

6 Top Tips To Navigate Holiday Eating
5 Ways to Overcome the Crazy Busy Syndrome
December 11, 2011 Show Details: Bread, Brownies and Beer

Project Sweater Wreath
Five ways to add Holiday Glam to your look
Holiday Tipping Guide

How to wrap a great looking gift
December 4, 2011 Show Details: Great gifts from the Kitchen
10 Toasts to Ring in the New Year

The Organized Life: Holiday Organizing Tips
Christmas Tree Tips from Denny McKeowen
November 20, 2011: Dragons, Man Myths....and Mom Demons

November 13th, 2011: Soup, Joy, Wine - and Wings!
2011 Greater Cincinnati Tour of Kitchens: South Shore
November 6, 2011 Show Details: Life, Love and Ice Cream

October 30, 2011 Show: Spooky, Spirited.....Inspired!
P. Allen Smith's Autumn Inspiration
October 9, 2011 Show: Spooky, Seasonal, Savvy and Sweet

A Haunted House Tour of the Dent School House with Bud Stross
Hang around with Spooky Spiders
October 2, 2011 Show: Savvy Strategies for a well-run home and family

Ghostly Glow
Sparkly Spiders
September 11, 2011 Show: Beauty, Bounty and Boy R Dee

Mid-summer updates: 5 things to perk up your yard
Throw a Back to School Bash
June 19th Show Details: It's all about Dad

June 5th Show: Strawberries, Salmon, Salads, Steaks and Soup in a Teapot
Road Trip Tips
May 29th Show: Kicking off Summer

My Old Kentucky Home
Party with purpose- and peek at the princess
How to set a table

Picnic Ideas
Pot o' Gold
Pumpkin Pedestal

Lace Pumpkins
Top 10 Love Songs of All Time
Ethan Becker chats about Joy of Cooking

Panty Cookies
The Naked Pint with The Beer Chicks
Painted Pumpkins

Super Bowl Party Tips
Sweet Easter flowers
Must have: A footed bowl

A good egg
Felt fortune cookies
Holiday Tipping Guide

Itty Bitty Toys with Susan Anderson
What to say to your Valentine
Bar Basics with Jay Dickerson

The Ten-Minute Tutu
An Autumn Window Box
10 Tips for Enjoying a Snow Day

Easy ideas for Vases
Green Holiday Tips
Dress up a window

Effortless Gift Giving
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