Are you feeling overwhelmed with life? Is stress a normal part of your day? Are you mentally and physically exhausted? You’re not alone because I’ve been there too, and I want to share 3 simple solutions that have helped me reduce overwhelm, exhaustion and stress.
You’ve been running your kids all over the place for the past few weeks and feel like a taxi driver. Instead of making a semi-healthy dinner for your family you’ve hit the drive-thru for a burger and fries the past four nights because you just don’t have time to get to the grocery store let alone meal plan. You know you need to make time to spend with the Lord but even 15 minutes by yourself would take a miracle. And if someone asks you to do one more thing you feel like you’re going to scream. When bedtime comes you hit the pillow exhausted only to wake up and repeat the same cycle the next morning.
Does this vicious cycle sound familiar? It’s the cycle of being overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed to the max.
Living life this way not only feels horrible but hopeless too. And that, my friend, is why I want to share 3 simple solutions to help you if overwhelm, stress and exhaustion are knocking at your door.
1. Set yourself up for success.
I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about setting children up for success, why not apply that same principle to yourself. Why not set yourself up for success too?
While there are a ton of areas in your life where you can set yourself up for success, I want to share two that have helped me.
To-do list – If the thought of even talking about your to-do list is stressful then it’s definitely an area that needs to change.
When you overload your plate and put too many things on your to-do list you’re essentially draining yourself dry and setting yourself up for failure.
I used to do this very thing. I’d put a gajillion things on my list (hoping to get them all done and knowing I wouldn’t). At the end of the day when I didn’t get them all done I’d feel like a failure. It was exhausting!
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself as you create your to-do list. (I find it best to create my to-do list before the week starts so that I can see what needs to be done for the week.)
Are there any tasks I can eliminate?
Can someone else help me with this?
Can this be moved to another day?
Can I say “no” to this altogether (weekly/monthly commitments that don’t give you joy)?
Give yourself realistic expectations, eliminate the things that aren’t necessary, and ask for help. When you start doing these you’ll set yourself up for success and actually be able to accomplish everything on your list. (And take it from me, it feels really good to get everything accomplished that you set out to do!)
Meals – If you’ve been hanging out around here for very long you know that easy meals are my go-to. I’m not the kind of girl who loves to spend hours in the kitchen crafting the perfect dinner for my family. (And it’s a good thing because I don’t even have that kind of extra time.)
If you’re a mom of a newborn or little ones, please don’t try to make huge, elaborate meals. All you need to do is put simple, easy meals on the table that get your family fed.
Now, if fun, fancy meals are your thing, add them back in when your child gets older. But right now just make something easy for your family.
Here’s what I recommend. Make a list of 10-20 meals that your family loves and rotate between these meals. When I started doing this I definitely felt like I was setting myself up for success because when it came time to menu plan I always got stuck. Now I just choose a few of our favorite recipes from my pre-made list and my meal plan is done!
2. Give yourself margin
Oh goodness, friend, having margin in your life is huge!
Not exactly sure what margin is? Take a look at your day, do you have any white space on your calendar? Do you have any extra time to just sit and “be” for 5-10 minutes?
If your project takes longer than expected or something unplanned comes up that has to be dealt with right then are you going to go into panic mode?
When you have margin in your life you’re giving yourself breathing room. If you don’t have margin in your life you’re heading down the road toward burnout.
Much like you did with cleaning up your to-do list, figure out how you can add white space into your life. You’ll be much healthier when you do.
3. Give yourself grace
I’ll go ahead and admit that this one is the hardest for me because giving myself grace does not come easy to me.
But here’s what I’m learning about giving myself grace…
As hard as I try not to, I’m going to let people down.
I’m going to fail, but I must pick myself back up and either try again or move on.
I can’t be everything to everyone. (This one was a game changer for me.)
There was one point and time in my life when I thought I could be everything to everyone but that’s just not the case anymore. I am not the Savior of the world. He is the only one who can be everything to everyone so I don’t even have to try. Now that is a freeing thought, my friend.
Whether it’s in your schedule, with your friends and family or throughout your day, learn to give yourself grace.
Which area stands out to you the most and resonates with your heart? Do you need to start setting yourself up for success, giving yourself grace, or giving yourself margin? As you start working on yourself the stress, overwhelm and exhaustion will slowly start to fall away.