Do you ever have those days when you feel overwhelmed?
I notice that this happens to me in cycles where I feel that I have too much on my plate and feel unable to keep up. Other times I feel completely energized and ready to take the world by storm.
One of these times of overwhelm was awhile back, when we received a phone call from my daughter’s school: “Your daughter has passed out and had a seizure”.
This was right in the midst of one of those weeks where I already felt that I had too much on my plate and was struggling to keep up.
I had been travelling a lot for work, which had impacted my regular routine, had many full-day meetings upon my return. I was leaving earlier and coming home later than usual, even skipping the gym, which is usually a staple in my life.
As it turns out, my daughter had her seizure on the same day that my son had a last minute, super important, appointment in genetics. So my husband and I raced to the ER, via car and ambulance respectively, and the weight of everything there was to do grew.
What can we do in these moments when we’re feeling unbalanced?
In these unpredictable moments, when we already have a lot on our plate and more still gets piled on, my focus often goes to the lack of time I feel that I am experiencing. I catch myself focusing on worry about how I will ever get things done when I was already feeling tight for time.
However, time is entirely under our control. We cannot control the passing of time, but it is within our control to decide how we perceive time. When I feel overwhelmed, it is because I am choosing to focus on time from a scarcity perspective. By paying close attention to what we devote our time to, and even where our conceptualization about time comes from, we can change our relationship with time.
When we haven’t accomplished as much as we anticipated accomplishing in a certain time period, it is important that we remind ourselves that our value as a person is not related to what tasks we complete within a certain period of time.
If you find yourself in a phase when life is feeling a little out of balance, ask yourself, what do I need to do to say yes to myself first to regain balance in my life?
Once you have identified what these things are, give yourself permission to do them regularly. For example, this may be deciding to go to bed early even if the dishes aren’t done and the house is a mess. It might be getting a babysitter and going out for an evening with your partner or friends. It might be saying no to a coffee date with a friend. Saying yes to yourself first helps to build a strong foundation which will allow you to tackle all of the various challenges and stresses that we all inevitably face.
How did I choose to say yes to me first?
Our hectic week and hospital visit happened to fall the same week as my son’s birthday party. As a way of choosing to say yes to myself first, I ended up simplifying party preparations, buying a store bought cake instead of the homemade one I had planned, and went to bed early instead of fussing over party details. Choosing to say yes to myself first left me with the energy that I needed to enjoy the party and to not feel resentful. And I promise you, my son would take a happy mommy and a store-bought cake over a homemade cake and a cranky mommy any day.
I encourage you, no matter what is going on in your life, keep this question in your mind: Am I saying yes to myself first? Or am I saying yes to someone else first because I’m trying to please them and, consequently, am sacrificing my own needs? In the long term, if we are always choosing someone else first, we will struggle with true happiness.
Give yourself permission to do the things that you need to do to say yes to yourself first.
What things have you done or put in place this week to say yes to yourself first? Share in the comments so that we can all learn strategies from one another.
If you are passionate about focusing on your own well-being…
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