In the beginning of this year, my life was the most hectic it has ever been in recent memory. My sister got sick seemingly out of nowhere and needed to be hospitalized for practically a month. In the midst of that, I was moving out of my place and still had work, church and other commitments that demanded my attention.
But that’s life, right?
We all have periods of our lives where everything is happening at once and we don’t know how we’re going to get through it all, let alone with our sanity intact. But looking back on that period of my life, I noticed there were 5 things that I did that really helped me keep it together. The next time life seems out of control for you, try some of these tips and the load you’re carrying will seem a little lighter.
- Put Yourself First- When our lives get crazy, the last thing we’re thinking about is taking care of ourselves, but it should be the first. On an airplane, the flight attendant tells us to put our oxygen mask on first before assisting others. That’s because if we’re not taken care of, we’re no good to others. Self-care consists of getting enough sleep, making the time to eat right and exercise and do what we know we need to do to be able to perform at a high level day in and out. Every day for the entire time of her stay, I would visit my sister in the hospital and it was incredibly taxing and draining. Nevertheless, I made sure to commit to my morning routine because I knew that without it, I wouldn’t have the energy to be positive and upbeat for her.
- Declutter Your Environment- Our outer world is often a reflection of our inner world. It is so easy to let our offices, homes and cars get filled with clutter and chaos when we’re stressed because we’re too tired to deal with it, but it really only adds to our stress. It truly makes you feel better to come home to a house that’s clean, do work in an office that’s neat and tidy or get in a car that’s been washed and detailed. Cleaning is personally therapeutic for me, but if it’s not your cup of tea, I highly recommend using point #3 to get it done.
- Delegate to Others- Here’s a little secret, there are no awards given to those that take on everything themselves. Allow other people to help make your life easier. Enlist friends and family to help shoulder some of the load or hire help if you’re able to do so. You’re not by yourself, even if it may feel like it sometimes.
- Just Say No- We’re stressed because we’ve said yes to too many things that we really don’t want to do, but feel we don’t have a good enough excuse to say no. Please understand this, no is a complete sentence. A good way to combat over-commitment is to only say yes to the things that excite you. If you don’t get excited at the thought of going to that networking event, or meeting with that person, say no. It really is that simple.
- Maintain a To-Do List- A lot of times we have a lot going on and store it all in our head. Then we can’t sleep because we’re constantly going over everything we need to accomplish the next day. Instead of creating more stress on yourself trying to remember everything you have to do, do a brain dump and put it in a to-do list. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and ease when you begin to cross things off the list.
What other strategies do you incorporate when life gets crazy? Let me know in the comments below.