It’s so hard to know what to do when you feel overwhelmed by life! These simple things have helped me keep my sanity in seasons of busyness when I felt stressed and overwhelmed. And they can help you stop feeling overwhelmed too!
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Our life has been wildly full the last couple of months. And while in many senses I thrive on having lots to do, I also don’t enjoy being busy to the point of feeling frazzled and totally stressed out.
Because when I become too busy, I start losing that sense of peace and joy that is key to helping me live life well. And then I start feeling irritable, edgy and grumpy, which obviously makes it hard to be a good wife and mom!
I’m still learning how to not get totally overwhelmed during the busy seasons of life, but I’ve gradually learned a few things that have definitely helped me stay calmer even when life is wildly busy!
6 Tips to Keep Your Sanity When You Feel Overwhelmed
1. Realize You Can’t Do It All
No one can do it all. No one. We sometimes like to think we can and it’s easy to look at others and think that they are. But trust me: it’s simply not true!
Getting this basic truth settled deep down in your soul is so key to staying sane during busy seasons of life. But it’s also important to not just say it but to live it out as well.
Stop and take a look at all the things you do and are responsible for. Are there some household chores that another family member could start doing? Tasks that you could eliminate? Other friends or family that you could give you a hand with a few things? See what you can do to help free yourself up a bit!
2. Know Your Priorities
I used to feel like I should go to every event that I was invited to and say yes to any request that was asked of me. But doing that pretty much guarantees that you’re going to live feeling continually stressed out– at least if you are in a busy season of life.
Once I took some time to figure out what my priorities currently are, it really freed me up to have a better idea of what I should focus on doing.
It doesn’t always totally solve the dilemma of what I should do, but it has helped immensely.
Need help figuring out what your priorities should be? Here are several great resources!
3. Figure Out What Makes You Feel Successful
What are the top two things that make you feel like you had a successful day if they get accomplished? What absolutely drives you nuts if it doesn’t get done?
Make those things a priority every day. That way, if you feel like you did nothing else, you’ll still be able to feel some measure of success!
For instance, I like to do my laundry throughout the week. So, getting at least one load of laundry done each day is a relatively easy way to make me feel like I accomplished something!
I have also discovered that the simple task of making my bed brings me a lot of satisfaction because it immediately makes our bedroom look more neat and tidy.
4. Learn to Say No
This is often a hard one, but learning to say no to requests that you simply don’t have the time or energy to do is a must.
And remember what I said about priorities? Well, knowing what yours are makes saying no a lot easier!
There’s a good chance that some people won’t understand why you need to say no or cut things from your schedule. That’s okay!
Prepare yourself for their questions and be gracious when answering them. At the same time, you’re going to probably need to accept the fact that you’ll likely frequently be misunderstood.
For myself, it helps if I can remember that while I’m responsible to care for those around me and engage in their lives, I’m ultimately more responsible to care for the needs of my own family. So, if I’m saying no to a request because it means that I’ll be able to be a happier, more engaged mom and wife, then it helps me be okay with any criticism that I receive.
I feel like I should clarify that I’m not advocating that you never sacrifice or never give of yourself in ways that stretch you and make you feel uncomfortable. Because there are plenty of times when that is good and necessary! (Things like taking a meal to someone who experienced a tragedy, babysitting last minute for a friend who discovers she has a doctor’s appointment she totally forgot about, etc.)
Rather, I’m talking about times when you find yourself continually saying yes to things out of guilt or because you feel like you should do them, even though you know it’s going to make you feel stressed in unhealthy ways.
5. Be Okay with Imperfection
Simply letting things go a bit can be so freeing! My husband sometimes jokes with me that the world isn’t going to end if a certain thing doesn’t get done. And that is so true!
Life will go on, and sometimes we need to intentionally relax about things in order to keep from being overwhelmed and stressed.
As a bit of a perfectionist, learning to be okay with imperfection hasn’t been easy for me. I’m someone who loves having a clean house and I immediately feel more restful when things are cleaned up. But I’m slowly discovering that it’s okay if my house doesn’t get cleaned thoroughly every week.
A quick round with the duster and vacuum will still make things feel less dirty on those weeks that I simply don’t have time to do a better job.
And as much as I hate waking up to dirty dishes in the sink, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s more important to spend quality time with my family or get a decent night’s sleep instead of getting that pile of dishes washed up. Because, really, life truly will go on.
Turning to God always has a calming effect on me. And the neat thing about praying is that you can do it anytime, anywhere!