Most of us lead very busy lives. Home, work, and social obligations can often leave us feeling stretched and overwhelmed. That state can have us feeling energy depleted, tired, cranky and stressed. How can we manage all of this and still feel productive and happy?
I remember a time, not too long ago, when we were in the midst of a major real estate development project that had us in a 3 hour round trip commute in traffic about 3-4 days per week. This was when gas prices were $5.00 per gallon and we were driving a 12 year old, gas guzzling SUV in the summer with the air-conditioner running. We also had our day jobs and investors to keep up to date and paid. Then, we had to fire our contractors and finish the work ourselves. So, what did we do? We adopted a dog. Crazy, right? But, was it really?
Anyone who knows me, knows I’m obsessed with my dog, Lexi. She has single handedly kept me sane during the most trying times in my life. Now, I’m not saying we should all go out an adopt a dog (well yes, but no). Everyone’s de-stress, self-care outlet is different. Find what’s yours and make time for it in your life. For me, at that time, I needed something I couldn’t escape. Rolling around on the floor for a mid-day belly rub got me off the computer. An early morning and mid-day walk in the sunshine (California living), that I normally would not have done, gave me the clear head space I needed to get through this time of my life.
Recently, Peter and I decided, over dinner one night, to take a full week vacation to Cabo. Even though we travel a lot, it’s rarely a true vacation. Usually some business, family or personal development training make up most of our travel plans. This time we wanted to just chill and recharge for the next round of craziness. Even though we were super busy, we were able to recharge, re-focus and hit the ground running after taking the time to re-connect with each other and our dreams and goals.
Staying focused while in this fast paced world keeps the overwhelm at bay. Morning rituals, setting daily intentions, small attainable action steps and goals all support staying on task when overwhelm seems imminent. Divide your tasks into smaller action steps with “due by” dates and before you know it, they are completed without much overwhelm.
Nightly brain dumps have proven to support me in a restful sleep when my brain is spinning with all there is to accomplish each day. It’s not quite a to do list, but when written down, you won’t forget what you need to do and stressing about what you forgot adds to the overwhelm and stress. And, believe me, that problem of walking into a room and forgetting why I did happens more and more these day. A phone notepad or recorder or whatever your choice of record keeping alleviates the stress of trying to remember what you forgot.
So, how do you create more hours in a day to get to everything and self-care? Delegate to leverage your time and resources! This is very hard for us controllers. We think we are the only ones that can do it and do it right. WRONG! This is an area you also get to challenge your scarcity conversations as well. Yeah! Two birds you know. ASK for support! Hire a part-time assistant from the local college or high school. How about a retired person who would love to do something in their spare time as needed? Do you have children that are able to help? There are so many options to challenge your excuses. This is an area that I struggled with for a long time. Controlling and scarcity. Still do. But when I started delegating and felt the stress literally leave the weight of my shoulders, I got over myself and continued to delegate. It’s hard work being superwoman and the best gift I could give myself was leverage. I’m still shocked how I no longer feel overwhelmed the majority of the time. I’m not gonna lie, it still hits, but I regain my focus and intention and get through it a lot faster now.
You get to create a path that has you enjoying an healthy, balanced life as opposed to a stress out, overwhelmed one. You only have once chance at this life of yours and you deserve to make it a great one!
YOLO! You Only Live Once! Live a life you LOVE!