Keeping busy with a long to-do list is normal for Moms today but December can push our holiday cheer into chaos and crazy. Even if our schedule isn’t filled, our brains are busy with voices shouting, “I should be doing more, I should be better, there’s something I’m missing,” or we put it onto others “He should be helping me more, their expectation are too high, this is too much!”
Although I agree society expects Moms to be responsible for too many things, I don’t believe “worshipping busy” is a helpful place to dwell. Feeling overwhelmed is not fun and just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean we should join in.
Overwhelm usually leads to one of two results:
– You run away from the yucky feeling. Thinking about all your to-do’s drains your energy, leaving you mentally and physically exhausted. You feel unmotivated and you find yourself spinning in activities that seem productive but really aren’t (TV, surfing the web, reading, or if you’re like me, really slow housework while complaining). Running away from a negative emotion keeps us stuck. We aren’t getting things done and we aren’t fully resting.
– You never stop working. Productivity is your middle name. You take pride in your accomplishments at the end of the day. But there’s a problem, humans aren’t meant to live with constant busy-ness. The little voice in your head that yearns for rest gets ignored. You judge others for their lack of drive while secretly yearning for a break. Physical illness or pain creeps in as your own personal life coach, trying to steer you towards a more balanced life.
Here are 5 ways to break free from overwhelm.
1. Pretend you are 90 years old and looking back on your life. What goals would you like to have accomplished? What will you regret? Use these answers to prioritize your list.
2. Learn to leave things un-done. It is impossible to do everything, let alone do it well. Pick a few things you really don’t care about and do a terrible job. Feed your kids cheetos for dinner. Take no photos this year. Drive your laundry to a dry cleaners. Eat off paper plates. Post a Christmas Card on Facebook and be done. Celebrate the freedom that comes with imperfection.
3. Pick 3 things. Trying to hold too many things in our brain leads to overwhelm. Choose 3 things you will be proud you accomplished at the end of the day and every time you hear yourself think, “I have so much to do!” remind yourself, “No, I have three things to do.” Notice how much calmer and focused you feel.
4. Take 5 minutes and fully engage your senses. Eat or drink something and notice the temperature of it. Pay attention to the texture, the complexity of taste, the smell, the feel of it. Let it consume your attention and you’ll notice how it quiets your mind.
5. Give yourself permission to REST. Fully indulge in a movie. Sit over the heater vent and tell your family you are going to ignore them while you read for an hour. Schedule a day to yourself and let the wind carry you wherever you want to go. Banish all the “shoulds” and allow yourself to be YOU without guilt and pressure.
If you want more help managing overwhelm, schedule a free, 45 min. initial call to see if coaching is right for you. If you live in the Walnut Creek area, join my Life Coaching Group this January where we’ll learn to make friends with time.Are there things you want to do with your life, but can’t figure out how to fit it in?
Do you have a hard time feeling motivated?
Are you too busy with too much to do?
Do you want to feel a sense of purpose and direction in your days?
Are you tired of feeling tired?
Click here to hold your spot in our Tuesday group 10am – 12pm starting January 7th. $20. suggested donation.