Have you ever heard of the Laurie Berkner Band? She’s all the rage with our toddler….we’ve listened to this DVD so many times I can’t keep count. And lately this little tune in the bonus features section has become my mantra.
Yep, I’m a big old mess. It happens to most of us at any given time in life, stress and chaos doesn’t discriminate against SAHM’s, WAHM’s, dad’s, women of any age, or those like me that work anywhere on any given Sunday! I hear comments all the time from friends and co-workers, “I don’t know how you do it all!” they say. I always respond, “I am doing a lot, but nothing really well.”
I find it ironic that I wrote an article on the subject for She Knows recently called 5 Ways to Find Balance in an Unbalanced World, when in reality our lives have been thrown completely and totally out of balance. So much so, that I’ve enlisted the help of a friend, blogger and life coach to help me weed through the murk and figure out a focus.
What’s happened since school started to cause this upheaval? I thought I’d have so much extra time to do my freelance work once our oldest started Kindergarten, but that hasn’t been the case. Pickup and drop off is taking way more time than I ever imagined, and I’ve lost my morning work time with the early start to the school day. I’ve also had some recurring health issues that haven’t been so pleasant. My body is attacking itself with a strange autoimmune antibody and the hormone treatments and their side effects are worse than the original symptoms. It’s taken a toll on me emotionally, physically, and it’s just plain exhausting to navigate on a daily basis.
So how do you hold it together when life feels like it’s spinning out of control? It’s not easy, and after lots of cleansing tears and good break from life this past weekend, I put things into perspective. Here’s what’s been effective in helping me to get back on track.
how to hold it together
Schedule Everything – I mean everything. From your kids soccer practice, to a night out with friends, appointments, errands, work commitments, workouts, nights just to chill with your husband, get it out of your brain and put it in writing. It helps you to be able to schedule effectively and learn if you can’t add something more. Which leads me to…
Just Say No – I’m not so good at this one, but I’m learning quickly! “Sure I’ll be room mom!” or “I’d love to run your social media and PR” are not as easy to juggle as I thought. It’s hard to let down people that we care about, but if you don’t put yourself first, everything starts to crumble.
Slow Down & Rest – Yep you read that correctly, time to stop and smell the roses, literally. Read a good book, nap when you can, watch a movie, recharge however and whenever life affords. Most of us are moving lightning fast and don’t ever schedule time to just be.
Limit Phone and Computer Time – This is such a hard one but so important, especially if you are a parent. It’s so easy to get lost in social media, work, blogging or other phone apps. But if you put your phone away and focus on yourself and your family, amazing peace will come. (Try it…I dare you!)
Ask for Help – This could be a nanny, a housekeeper, a friend to take your kids for a few hours, me time, or whatever it is…ask. One of my favorite quotes I tell people on a daily basis is, “you’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask for it.” Be your own advocate. A very good friend just gave me the book “Knowing Your Value” by Mika Brezezinski which is so on point for this time in my life.
Look Within – Whatever you believe in…God, fate, the universe, the light inside you, this is the time to look within. To ask the universe for what you need and to just breathe. For me it’s meditation during acupuncture, prayers before bed, and just deep breaths when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning. Ask and you shall receive. And if you like to read, two books that have been particularly important in my journey are “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay, and “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle.
One of the sayings I always return to when things get a little too overwhelming is,
And hopefully I can get that Laurie Berkner song out of my head…”I’m a mess…I’m a mess…I’m a really really really big mess!” It’s catchy huh?
I’m sorry things are so tough right now! Every transition causes upheaval and requires some time to get into a new routine, so anything extra, like health problems, only compound it. Your tips are great, just make sure that you take your own advice!! Let me know if you need anything!
Thanks, that’s true, transitions are difficult. Can’t wait to get into a routine!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Sorry to hear things have been such a mess lately (love the song BTW).
I go through phases of balance and imbalance. Your tips and strategies here are fabulous.
I recently approached this homeschool year with a plan, vision, and schedule in hand… WHAT, A, DIFFERENCE. My day is scheduled. I mean, really, tightly scheduled. However, I… we are getting some pretty amazing things done in the day. So far, this year has been fabulous!
Limiting phone and computer time is HUGE! There’s nothing like emails and red notifications to make you feel like you can’t keep on top of everything.
Thanks so much for sharing. Wishing you stability, calmness, and peace.
We got a mix cd with some Laurie Berkner songs. Love them!
I’m a mess too.
I thought I’d have loads of free time too, but it was the first full week with both kids in school or daycare and it’s been about appointments and laundry and cleaning up.. messes.
I like the tip about looking within. That seems to help me a lot. And to schedule everything! I need to do that daily.
I am so sorry life is a struggle right now. I am kind of feeling that way too and loved your list.
I need to do a better job of scheduling, but it seems like everyday my schedules just get blown up to bits no matter how hard I try.
Hugs and good wishes as we both try to keep it together!
Sarah @ Play 2 Learn with Sarah says
GREAT tips…and yes…don’t forget to take your own advice.
One thing I’ve been trying to focus on is the tip “Don’t let someone else’s agenda run your day.” So do what you need to do before you check your emails/social media. And schedule that time into the day too…only check emails/social media at certain times of the day…or after you write so many words.
Great advice…I will not turn on my phone until after my morning chores are done!
I suck in this department. I thought I would have way more time than I actually do these days. I just try to work smarter and faster – and I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I follow your scheduling suggestion to a “t”….everything in my life is completely scheduled! Everything! It is nice to have it down but Ive gotta pare it down a bit, somehow, because the immense amount of crap that gets pushed back, if say, someone is sick or traffic is bad, is too much for me to recover from.
I am so sorry to hear you are struggling, especially with health stuff….that’s the stuff you can’t control (AKA – the WORST). Praying you feel better soon and find your groove fast!
I suck too Jen…we’re all learning!
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says
I so needed to read this post. I have so many issues here. I have way too much on my plate and not enough hours in the day. And I am doing nothing as well as I’d like to be. Pinning this, because I need to read it over and over and over again!
Yes Michelle, I think we are all in the same boat! It’s soooo hard to say no, but I’m getting pretty good at it!
Great advice for keeping it all together!
I hope you are feeling 100% better very soon!
Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!