There are days I think I should have been born in a time when life was much simpler. Life is so very busy for our generation and I’m just not always sure I’m cut out to get it all done. Of course, some days I feel that way because I’m, oh, so very tired. 🙂 Others I just long for a time when life was much simpler.
Although, if I’m to be completely honest with myself, part of the reason my life is so busy is that I have a teenager and a pre-teen that keep things hopping around this house, a family to take care of, plus my business and several areas where I volunteer. So, regardless of simpler times or not, my life would still be busy and I wouldn’t trade my kids and husband for anything!
All of that is my long way to say that I’m easily overwhelmed! That’s when longing for that simpler life comes into play. If I don’t stay on top of things, it all starts to crumble… at least in my own mind!
I’ve worked hard over the last few years to find a way to make it all work in a way that keeps me rested and feeling good about it all instead of overwhelmed. I’ve identified several things that really work for me. And, as long as I stick with these, it all gets done and I feel good about it!
I thought you might benefit from these tips as much as I have, so I’m sharing and hope that something in this list will help you get rid of that awful feeling of being overwhelmed!
1. Keep a To-Do List – If I don’t write things down, they don’t always get done. Plus, with all that stuff cluttering up space in my brain, I’m far from calm. If I write it down, it’s all in one place, I can let it go to free up some of that cluttered space in my head, and only deal with it as I work through my list. I focus on what needs to be done in the next 24-48 hours only. I work hard not to think about what does not fall within that time frame.
You can keep your list on paper, an app on your smartphone, in a Word document on your computer… whatever works best for you. I, personally, prefer to write it down on paper. I find the act of physically writing it all done on paper to be a part of getting rid of that feeling of being overwhelmed. However, my favorite part is crossing that item off the list. Marking a line through that item is such a satisfying and rewarding feeling for me. Find the method that works best for you and get that list started.
2. Just Say ‘No’ – Say ‘No’ to anything that does not fit easily into your schedule or that doesn’t speak to your heart. For example, imagine you have been asked to serve on the PTA. I would first ask myself if I can easily fit monthly meetings and helping with school events into my schedule. Then I would ask myself if PTA is an organization that I feel strongly about and feel that I have something to offer to my child’s school through volunteering with this organization. Based on the answers to each question I would then decide if this is a YES or a NO. The majority of the time, any feeling that isn’t a definite YES or NO becomes a NO.
I do realize there are times when, regardless of how you feel, the answer needs to be YES. I truly believe these do not occur often. When they do happen it usually has to do with helping someone that is struggling and or where I would only be helping out on a temporary basis.
3. Stay Positive – Do your best to always stay positive. Don’t let a busy season in your life get you down. I find that if I can keep a positive attitude, then I get things done faster and better. A negative attitude just brings me down and I usually don’t put my best foot forward. Even when circumstances are unusually grim, a positive “attitude of gratitude” can go a long way!
4. Quiet Time/Rest – Always take time to be quiet and rest! This step alone can be such a game changer for me. Even in those moments when I feel so overwhelmed that I am convinced there is no way out, taking time to be quiet can change so much of that feeling. Some days it just takes 5-10 minutes of quite time to rest my body and my mind. Others, maybe a bit more. 😉
Our bodies aren’t made to constantly be on-the-go and our minds needs to have time that is quiet without a million things running around in there all at once. We’re at our healthiest and more at peace when we take time to be quiet.
5. Ask for Help – I must admit this is one that is most difficult for me. I have a million and one excuses for not asking others for help. But, the truth is that our friends, spouse, family, are always willing to help wherever they can. Sometimes a simple text to a friend saying “Could you pick my daughter up from school today? I’ll get yours tomorrow” can go a long way to give you an extra 10-15 minutes to get something marked off that list. Your child will find it fun to ride home with a friend and you’ve got a few extra minutes so you can breath easier.
All of these things have made such a difference for me. What about you? How do you get rid of that awful feeling of being overwhelmed?