There was a time when I felt most days like I did not have a moment to myself or any down time. I was tired ALL. THE. TIME. This was stressful and mentally exhausting and looking back - totally preventable.
Now, I still have days where they get away from me - I bounce from one thing to the next and look at the clock and realize it's time to cook dinner and it feels like nothing was accomplished. A feeling I do not like at all. It always left me feeling a bit frazzled and unsatisfied. I thrive on keeping busy and checking things off my to do list. I LOVE getting in bed at night knowing I got most of what I wanted done on my list.
I love lists. My therapist tried getting me off lists and quickly realized I needed the lists to feel normal and stable. Without them I don't feel in control. What I have learned is it is OK to have things sit on the list. The list is not going anywhere and will still be sitting on my desk in the morning. A little fairy will not come and take it away in the middle of the night and leave me a note in return telling me a I am a complete failure!! LOL
My point here? I am always "busy." Life is busy. 2 kids doing virtual school and activities, 3 dogs, full time career, and a side business..... and I would not have it any other way. I had to work to shift my mind set. A "to do list" is healthy for me but not when I am obsessing about that list and not enjoying my day in process!
I know - easier said than done. AND I know, I don't have toddlers and elementary age children anymore. I am not a single Mom, I have a husband that helps. I am not working 4 jobs to make ends meet. I sympathize with all of that, so very much. But's everyone's "busy" is relative. Everyone's "struggles" are different. One is not worse or more important than the other. It's personal to each of us. I wouldn't extend my burden to someone else but I sure as hell would help someone who asked.
So here is what I started doing. Disclaimer: as I always note in my blogs... I am a work in progress:
Did I mention I keep lists? The more the merrier! I love me some lists! I see them as a way to de-clutter my overworking brain.
I focus on a few things I REALLY want to get done in my job and in the home. I stopped trying to crush the whole list in a day. I mean, come on, who can do that? Or if you can - is it worth feeling completely maxed out and exhausted at the end of the day?
I wake up everyday knowing, anything can happen. A monkey will most always throw a wrench in my plans. It's ok. Laugh and move on. Or cry depending on the wrench.
I MAKE time for me. A little yoga. A walk with a dog or a friend.
I MAKE time for a what I call a "me" project. Something I am doing for just me. NOT for someone else. You have no idea how satisfying that is when you start doing it. We Mama Bears tend to always be doing for others and not ourselves.
I try and find the joy in everything I am doing. This is never 100% of the time. I can keep it real. Some days suck. They just do. Particularly now in this very volatile and uncertain time we are living.
I ask for help. This is the most simple but also the hardest. Am I right?
Putting this in to practice does not happen overnight and I have relatively independent 11 and 13 year olds.... a husband that is helpful (with direction, lol). It is hands down a mental exercise for me. I am so easily drawn to checking something off the list vs. doing something for me or even relaxing. But the more I do it, the better I feel mentally and physically. This results is a happier me and the sense of accomplishment I get is still beyond rewarding.
I dare you to start finding some peace in your day and your "me" time or projects. ASK for help. Find the joy or sense of accomplishment, whatever makes you tick. and don't judge others on their version of "busy." Maybe offer to help?
I am super proud of some of my recent projects. It makes me both smile and laugh as I never considered myself crafty at all!! I have grown to love decorating and switching things up in the house as well. Very rewarding when you see your "idea" come to life.
Chunky Blanket! My daughter and I each did one. Fun and love using it. This is a repeat for me.
I had my bedroom re-painted and I redecorated and re-purposed so much of what I had in the home. This was my daughters mirror which she did not have room for anymore. It used to be green! Some antique white chalk paint...... Love. Looks beautiful in my room.
Re-purposing frames. I have so many old frames laying around that are dated or beat up. Another chalk paint miracle!
Next up. Paint by number which I hope to succeed at so I can hang in my bedroom. I was obsessed with paint by number as kid. Who knew they made them for adults? Another score for Amazon and under $10.