Small Steps

Sep 23, 2020

It is so easy to be feeling overwhelmed these days. Nothing is as it was, everything is changing quickly, and the added stress of those changes adds more difficulty to every facet of our lives. That added stress makes it harder to stay productive too. When you look at your to-do list and it is a mile long, it’s hard to know where to even start. Most people do one of two things when they reach a place of overwhelm, they either shut-down, or they go into overdrive. When you shut down, you’ll find that it is all of a sudden “normal” to spend 6 hours of your day on social media. Or maybe snoozing your alarm so much you end up showing up late for work. Or maybe it’s binging your favorite old show. On the other hand, when you go into overdrive you find yourself taking on more and more tasks. Maybe you need to go to the post office to mail out a bill today, but when you sit to write the check and grab a pen, you decide to organize the junk drawer. After that’s done, you finally write the check and balance the checkbook. And it occurs to you that you need to decide how much money you’re spending on groceries a month, so you begin to review your spending habits. By the time you’re done with that you realize hours have gone by, and that bill is still not dropped off at the post-office and you haven’t done one other thing on your list today. You have gotten things done, but nothing that was as pressing as getting your bills paid, getting that laundry done before your big meeting, or any other task that was on your list today, for a reason. Most people pick a side when they are overwhelmed, can you think back in your life and know which one you are? I am an overdrive person 98% of the time. When I catch myself adding more and more to my list or starting in on a task that is not prevalent to my goals for the day I have to stop and question why I feel the need to get it done. Usually, then I realize that there is something else weighing on my mind that makes me feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water. The goal is to recognize that moment and course correct. We dive deeper into managing your time here, but today let’s manage your overwhelm.

Once you’ve noticed that you are in over your head or feeling like you just can’t keep up there is one big thing you must do. STOP. Stop saying yes. Stop looking at life one year, six months, or six weeks from now... Stop and figure out your priorities for today. Is that bill due tomorrow? Then it must get paid today. Are your kids out of clean underwear? Then you must do a load of laundry today. Is the fridge empty? Then you must go grocery shopping today. Is your hair looking a little greasy? Then you must wash it today. Do you have to organize the cupboards? No. Do you have to start Christmas shopping in August? No. Decide in the morning what things have to get done, and what things can wait. Then you take ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME. When you schedule your day, break it down to tiny steps. Start kids’ laundry. Write checks for bills. Make a grocery list. Laundry to the dryer. Drop off bills. Go to the store. Put away groceries. Fold laundry. Put away laundry.

By breaking down these tasks you’re able to stay focused and let go of some of the overwhelming feelings of the “million things I have to do.” Climbing a mountain is done one step at a time too. It is okay to climb the mountains of your life that way. Did you know that most people plan TWO MONTHS for climbing Everest? There are multiple camps along the way where they stop to rest and acclimate before continuing on their journey. But every day there is a goal. To this point, to across this challenge, to here before the next storm comes in, etc. Whatever your challenges are today, take a minute to break it down to small tasks, and celebrate your small successes. Small steps bring you to big wins. Be gracious with yourself along the way, schedule time to rest, schedule self-care, and schedule in family time. You will make it, you will survive these challenges, one step at a time.

Love and light friend!


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