I’m an over thinker. I always have been. I can’t really help it, but over the years I have learned how to manage it (somewhat). If I were a wine I’d be thought forward with notes of anxiety and self doubt. As I get older, I have learned to step back from myself and regroup more often. The other thing that has been most helpful is adjusting my mindset.
I don’t jump with both feet into any new practice or trend. I’m more of an observe from the sidelines and dip a toe in kind of person. I think a little of this and a little of that works best for me. When it comes to mindfulness, I think you can break things down to the point of just plain ridiculous, but my threshold may be different than yours. The middle ground is where I can be reached and I think it is where most of us live.
As a teen, time was something that I was able to eek every last drop out of. It was plentiful no matter how full my schedule was and how many extras I added on. My moto then was that there are 24 hours in a day and that’s a lot of hours to work with.
I am a lot older, slower, and more tired these days. I don’t have the same energy I did and I still have the will to eek out as much as possible from my days. The difference now, is that my to do list is much longer and is filled with many little boring Sisyphean tasks (such as picking up the myriad of things left around house). In order to feel that same zest for my 24 hours in the day I need to carve out time to relax and do nothing as well as time to go out and do things no matter how exhausted I feel in the moment. Now my life involves a lot more of picking myself up by my bootstraps and giving myself a swift kick in the tush.
One simple shift in mindset is looking at time and days and taking control over them. If I need to stop because I feel that I am about to burn out then four things cross my mind:
1. I need to stop now and take the time to recharge. Pushing through every time doesn’t work anymore.
2. I need to change something so I don’t feel this close to burnout as often.
3. Who else in this household is experiencing what I am and how can I help them?
4. What can be adjusted in the way we are spending our time?
If I have an hour assigned to just relax and do nothing and I turn on the tv it goes by way too fast. I know that and yet I’ll still turn on the tv. When I change my mindset I’ll give myself 30 minutes for the tv and then take 30 minutes to read or knit or embroider or go for a walk because I know that my recharge will be so much better. If I don’t have 30 minutes I’ll be okay with 10 or 5 and eek the most out of that.
If the family is running on empty, I get takeout, skip after school activities, or have the kids take a mental health day from school. Just one day can be enough to reset a little.
If we are stuck home doing chores and bickering every weekend, I schedule something for the family or just my husband and I. That little disruption of routine is just enough to add pep back into our steps. Every weekend is ideal. Once a month is more realistic and you can make it a priority and it doesn’t have to cost anything.
Sunday Starts the Week
My week starts on Sunday. I have the week wrap up on Saturday so that Sunday is a fresh start to the week and it isn’t Monday. It’s a mindset shift. The week ending on Saturday means I try to get my groceries done, have the kids finish most of their laundry, do any must do chores all on Saturday. The scramble happens on Saturday to allow Sunday to be slow. The reality is that there is always some work to be done Sunday but its just a little overflow. Sunday begins the week with a day to relax and also get ready for the week ahead. Ideally it is a little more relaxed. We even often come home a say early from trips so that Sunday is a buffer so we can hit the ground strolling instead of running right after a break.
How do you organize your time? What are your challenges? What are your successes?