3 Simple Steps to Take When You Feel Overwhelmed
Well hello there! Remember me? You may have noticed I haven't been here lately. Since January 2, life has been a little crazy. I took on some freelance copywriting work, have built a few websites for clients, written a couple of coaching curriculums and well, I'm a little tired.
Juggling all these things has made me want to rip my hair out! Well not exactly - it's thinning as I get older. But you get my drift, don't you? Between juggling my freelance work, new clients, and coaching - which I love, I've been a little frazzled.
And to be honest, the things I love have been the first to go like blogging here and my Friday Fun Videos on the One Foot Facebook Page. I've been working 6-7 days a week and know I have some tough decisions ahead of me.
Which brings me to you. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a lot plates spinning and is starting to drop some of them? Maybe for you it's keeping up with carpools and kids sports schedules and homework each week. For others of us, we love our job, but it sometimes just consumes us. Maybe today, you're taking care of aging parents while taking care of your own family at the same time.
Whatever it is, life can be overwhelming. The good news is that we don't have to be victims to our schedules. We get to choose how we show up. We get to choose what we give priority to. We get to choose to "just say no" because our cup is overflowing and running onto the floor and we don't have any paper towels.
As I'm thinking about my own life, I know what needs to be done. But I haven't done it yet. I've been ignoring the things I need to address. But when you and I take it one step at a time. We can get things done. We can lift our head above water. We can learn to love our life and make time for some breathing room. So are you ready for some quick tips?
1. Identify and Live Your Priorities
We just finished up my Purposeful Steps coaching curriculum here at One Foot and one of the big things we did was identify your priorities. You know, your spouse (if you have one), your kids, your work/passion, your faith, etc. So stop reading and think about that right now. At the end of your days, what do you want to say was a priority in your life?
Now take a look at your schedule. In what ways are you living out your priorities? What comes first in your day? Getting stuff done or spending quality time with your family? When you realize you're working too much or even thinking about work too much, how do you intentionally carve our down time in your life? Are you spending time on what refuels and refreshes you?
The first step is always getting right with our priorities. Make a plan. Live your priorities. Love your life.
2. Stop Explaining Your No's
I've said this before - I'll say it again. Every yes is a no to something else. Now, I need to confess I am way better at saying this than doing it (shoutout to Mrs. Pastor for calling me out on this recently). But you and I, if you're anything like me, you tend to say yes before you've thought it through. You want to help. You want to work on that project. You want to volunteer. But sometimes, we need to evaluate if this is our best yes.
But it doesn't stop there? Because I am compelled to come up with a worthy reason for saying no. How about you? No, I can't - just isn't enough. So we explain. And we paint a picture of 10 things happening at that very moment. And most days, that may be true. But we need permission to say no without an explanation. I know I want it to be okay to say no because I need some down time and sanity. I know I want the confidence to say no because I'm human and can't do everything. At least - not today.
I give you permission to say no without explaining...
3. Fall In Love With Your Planner
I've become a planner evangelist. Now I don't like lists so I'm a little befuddled by this. But I invested in one of those high quality planners this year from Inkwell Press. And here's what I love. My planner makes me choose to slow down. Each month, there are tools before the calendar section to help me set goals and focus on areas I want to work on. I also have some spaces to track habits like not eating gluten, spending time with God, or exercising.
Here's what you shouldn't do with your planner. Mindless filling your planner up with dates and things to do. Saying yes before you've checked in on those areas you want to work on. Instead, slow down once a month, once a week, or even once a day to rest and evaluate. Use your planner to live your priorities. And choose to let go of perfect - and embrace who you actually are.
The reality is that God never created us to be on the run 24/7. Our hearts were not made for busyness but for periods of rest and refreshing. If you do nothing else in this season where all your plates are spinning, take an afternoon or an hour and do one thing that you love and that refreshes your soul. And to be honest, our soul is refreshed in Him.
I'd love to hear back from you! What is one thing that helps you de-stress in an overwhelmed life? Comment here or on our Facebook page.