Why It’s Essential for Overwhelmed Overthinkers to Give Themselves Grace
We all know someone like her — the woman who does it all. She has an amazing full-time career, a successful side hustle, several well-adjusted and active children, a great spouse, a beautiful home, she’s active in the community, and somehow she runs marathons on top of it all…
But maybe your life feels more like this:
You wake up every morning with your mind racing. All day feels like a marathon, but one you can never win… or even finish.
There are far too many times when the baby won’t stop crying *and* your older child acts up at school.
At your day job, the INSANE expectations and poor coworkers’ attitudes make you want to cry.
Your husband’s job takes him out of town regularly, so you’re doing it ALL for weeks on end.
You start a side hustle because it seems like everyone else is doing it and you need the money. But you just can’t get any traction, even though it feels like all you do is work.
Your house hasn’t been dusted in weeks.
You suddenly realize all of your clothes are wearing out at once and you have NO IDEA when you will have time to replace them. And if you could make time to shop, you wouldn’t even know what to buy.
Your husband says you haven’t paid attention to him in far too long. You know it’s true, but you just can’t seem to figure out how to relax enough that spending couple time with your husband doesn’t feel like one more task on your list.
You wish you could slow down, but there is just SO MUCH TO DO.
Overwhelmed overthinkers try to put so much effort into so many things. We often end up not paying attention to the very basics that could help us create a simpler life for ourselves — which means a more enjoyable life for our loved ones.
Our brains can only handle so much — and some of us fill up faster than others.
If you’re doing all you can right now to just get through one day at a time, I understand! Some seasons of life are like that. But let’s talk about some realities and what you can do to bring some calm and breathing room into your daily life.
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The Glory of the Hustle
Understand this: It’s okay that you will never be the woman running marathons with her children while holding meetings to direct a multi-million dollar business *at the same time.*
Get over it, let it go, and adopt the attitude that right now you are building the best life for YOU and YOUR FAMILY.
Even though we can admire the IDEA of “hustle” and what we think it could do for us, we need to cope with REALITY.
Understand Your Limitations
We all like to think we are Wonder Woman. But honey, if you are overwhelmed and/or an overthinker, you MUST realize that you can’t do it all… or even most of it.
You need to become extremely deliberate about what you choose to take on, and you have to change the things that aren’t adding true value to your life.
“But, Julie,” you’re saying, “I can’t do anything about my crappy job or the lack of household money or my child’s special behavioral needs or the fact that I simply don’t have enough time to do it all.”
I know it feels that way. And this is exactly why it’s so so soooooo important to simplify.
Right now you are building the best life for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. Nobody else. Click To Tweet
List It Out
Do this: find 10 minutes for yourself — go into the bathroom & lock the door if you have to.
Write down everything you “need” to do during the day. And I mean everything! This is your everyday list.
Now, write down everything you “want” to do — now, in the future, EVER. This is your priority list, the meaningful things you need to eventually make time for.
Think about what will bring you & your family the most benefit. It may not be financial. You may have to put the side hustle on the back burner and spend more time with your family. It’s not forever. You don’t have to let go of all of your dreams. But you DO have to wake up and realize THIS time is important, THESE moments add up to the memories you and your family will have years from now.
THESE moments add up to the memories you and your family will have years from now. Click To Tweet
Scale It Back
Try this: Show your everyday list to your husband. I guarantee he will look at it and point out several things you don’t NEED to do. (It might sound more like, “Why are you doing THAT?” But you know what I mean.) Trust me on this — men are fantastic at recognizing unessential tasks. Listen to him, and don’t do those things for a week. See how it goes.
6 Practical Ways to Reduce Overwhelm
1) Cut back or eliminate social media. Really. You will survive. You won’t be comparing yourself to the perfection posted by others. You won’t be drawn into drama. And you will have more time to do REAL things.
2) If you’re an introvert, say “no” to some social engagements. Don’t even make up an excuse. Practice and use the phrase, “Thank you for inviting me, but I won’t be able to make it.” And really practice using the broken record technique: When they won’t stop asking why, say, “I have a previous commitment.” That’s it. It doesn’t matter if the commitment is with a book and a glass of wine, it’s only your business.
3) Reduce the number of activities you allow your children to do at once. A good rule is one activity at a time. And it’s okay to take a break altogether if you want to concentrate on doing more things as a family.
4) Make simpler dinners. Sometimes it seems like with all of the gorgeous food we look at on television and the internet, a simple spaghetti dinner just isn’t enough. It is. Whatever your family’s dietary needs or preferences, there are simple recipes available. Use them, and don’t feel guilty. You should also have your children cook if they are old enough.
5) Worry only about cleaning your hot spots. That may be different for everyone. For example, in my house we have no little ones, we always wear shoes or socks, and we have pets that go outdoors frequently. Needless to say, my floors are rarely pristine. But I no longer have piles of paper and clutter, which is what really makes me crazy and used to make my house feel dirty.
6) Automate your money. Direct deposit and online bill pay are your friends. Don’t IGNORE your accounts, but automatic deposits and payments can really take a load off your mind.
Let It Rest
There will be days you feel more capable and want to tackle the world. You know, clean the whole house AND landscape the yard AND make a fabulous dinner AND take the kids out for the Best. Day. Ever. AND…. you get the picture.
THIS burst of energy is your breathing room
Instead of tackling everything, put your full effort into your highest priority task. I don’t care what it is. The breathing room is when you do something fulfilling.
I’ll let you in on something I’ve learned the hard way over the years: Relationships should always trump tasks. Enjoy your children, love your spouse, reconnect with yourself. Smile and forget about cleaning the house right now. Leave the side hustle off to the side for a day.
People over projects.
The Simple Importance of Self-Care
Here’s the thing: You MUST let some things go if you ever want to get off the hamster wheel. And you MUST learn to take care of yourself. You cannot effectively care for others when you are worn down to nothing.
If you’re in the “I’m so tired and didn’t know this whole LIFE thing would be so hard” category, you’re probably not spending enough time on self-care.
This doesn’t have to be an hour of self-pampering every day. It could be as simple as spending 15 minutes meditating, writing, reading, or whatever helps you feel calm. Taking a break from the daily hustle helps you become a more centered person, someone who could become brave enough to take action and pursue some of those dreams you’ve had for years…
If you have any questions, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org — I love getting to know my readers & will do everything I can to answer your question!
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