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Planning Ahead Reduces Stress

By Patty Gardner

Planning ahead reduces stress and I’m not talking about the calendar/planner kind of planning ahead (although that is definitely important). I’m talking about the physical part of planning ahead – the practical part.

Here’s an example. My grandkids (Ivy is 2-1/2 and Calvin is 13 months) come over every Tuesday afternoon at lunchtime. Once they get here, it’s hard to get anything done, including fixing their lunch and setting up beds for naps. When they first started coming over, I did all that stuff after they got here and it was STRESSFUL. Now I do it

all before they get here, including:

  • Set up the pack and play for Calvin (Ivy’s is already set-up upstairs);
  • Get out the changing pad, diapers and wipes;
  • Get out the toys;
  • Make their lunch;
  • Fill their cups with juice.

diapers edit

pack and play edit

When they get here, everything’s ready and it makes things a lot less stressful. To get you started, here are a few other practical things you might be able to do to plan ahead and reduce your stress:

  • Make your lunch the night before.
  • Lay out your clothes the night before.
  • Before library books are due, gather them up, put them in a bag and leave them on the driver’s seat of your car. It’s helpful if you return the books before their due date so you can choose a time that’s convenient for you instead of having to make a special trip.
  • If you’re having a party, do everything you can during the week before the party.
  • Cook ahead and freeze meals or parts of meals (like taco meat, or shredded chicken).
  • Make sure your keys, purse, wallet, etc. are ready to go for the next day.

Being prepared eliminates stress, keeps you from being late and keeps you from having to hurry. Sometimes it can even save you money! So figure out what you can do ahead of time to make tomorrow easier.

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