When life gets busy and it feels like there is too much to do and not enough time, you get stressed, you feel overwhelmed, and you operate in ?survival mode,? feeling pressure from all directions.
The first thing to go is usually your sleep. You sleep less, hoping to get more done, or your sleep is restless. Then you compromise on your exercise. Next in line are your eating habits. Before you know it, you are sabotaging your health and well-being.
I can’t take anything off my plate because I love it all!
I asked one of my clients last week to prioritize everything she has on her plate and decide what to let go of. She said that although she has a lot on her plate, she loves it all and she doesn’t want to let go of anything. I remember years ago when my coach asked me to go through the same exercise: prioritizing my commitments and letting go of some things that I enjoyed but were simply too much to handle. I struggled with giving anything up until she asked me to think that I had only one year to live. Seeing my life this way, I could really prioritize and be okay removing some of the things I had on my plate.
Living a rich and active life is very fulfilling, but it is too easy to put on the ?superhero? mask and expect ourselves to do it all. Compromising our well-being can happen if we don’t maintain balance. So, you love it all but you know that it is too much. What can you do?
You really have choices.
In life there are many different choices. Here’s an example for 2 choices you have (and I’m sure that you can come up with more choices) when it comes to ending that overwhelmed feeling.
Take an inventory of everything you have on your plate. Prioritize it. Decide what you are willing to take off your plate, even when you love it all.
Continue to do it all but change your attitude to gratitude. When you focus on gratitude and appreciation, it will make you feel more at peace.
Let me elaborate on those two choices.
Take things off your plate even when you love it all.
Take a blank piece of paper and write down all your activities. Another fun way is to take a plate, write down your activities on sticky notes, and place them on the plate. You can read more about it in The Plates Game article. When you have your list of activities, rank each one of them on a scale of 1-10, 1 being ?not at all? and 10 being ?Oh ? yes!? while answering this question: how much do I ENJOY this activity. In other words, think how does it make me feel to be engaged in this activity? And then give it an honest rank. Take a look at the activities that received the lowest rank and ask yourself what you are ready to say NO to.
Even when you love all the things you do, it still might cost you your level of peace and your ability to be happy. When you don’t get enough hours of sleep, you can still start your day fully energized but later in the day the exhaustion will take over and you will be less focused, less productive, and less pleasant to be around! Taking things off your plate will allow you to take care of your basic needs and do things for YOU so you can be more focused, productive, and kind.
Change your attitude to gratitude.
I remember feeling so overwhelmed years ago that life became a list of responsibilities and obligations. It was not fun to live.
Am I less busy now? Not really. But I’ve learned to be grateful for what I have, and I practice gratitude daily. I start and add my day with gratitude and it helps me to keep things in proportion.
When the busy-ness of life takes over and your stress level rises, shifting from complaining to an attitude of gratitude and appreciation makes you feel less overwhelmed. You begin to see life as ?the glass half-full? and reach for things you love to do rather than an endless list of obligations.
Here are some affirmations to help you feel less overwhelmed:
When I say NO to others, I say YES to myself.
I am grateful for living a rich, full life.
I appreciate the variety of the things I do and the fullness of my life.
I choose to live life to the fullest.
What are you taking from this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments area.