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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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

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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