What Can You Do When Feeling Broken & Stressed
Most people I talk to, whether it’s in the practice or social event, feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and like they will never catch up. Does this sound like you too?
I am no different than you, even though there are times that it looks like everything is going perfect in my life. Maybe you have seen the social media posts or what I like to call the high lights or cliff notes of the awesome experiences but no one will post photos of themselves feeling stressed and broken.
You see, today we are all faced with finding enough time in the day and are looking for short cuts, strategies, cheat sheets, whatever you want to call them, to get more done in a day. Whether it’s being more productive, impactful, to receive accolades, or recognition, we all feel the need for validation and the worthiness of our cause.
That has been ME almost all of my life and I can vividly remember how that started in middle school. Yikes!
However, that comes at a high cost for most people. As you are reading this and you find yourself constantly feeling overwhelmed, waking up with heart palpitations, feeling over worked and like you are on an emotional roller coaster ride, then maybe something has to change.
The last few years have been some of the best and worse times of my life. I have felt stressed out, have had sleepless nights, felt like the world was against me, and not having the balance of faith, family, and work that everyone wants. Within the last few weeks, however, something snapped within my soul and I threw my arms up in the air and said, “I surrender it all, I don’t want to keep fighting an uphill battle. I am done!” I guess you could say it was a state of brokenness knowing that my life did not have the balance I preach about and sometimes feel like a fraud. I had these conversations with several of my close friends and mentors and they responded, “Welcome to my world!”
So how do we get more done when we have our schedules maxed out?!
Our minds and bodies work better when we focus on one thing at a time and when we are rested. So opening up our schedule with self-care time and detaching from everything and everyone for a period of time can be life changing! Whether it’s 30 minutes a day, 2 hours a week, a 24 hour period every week or 2 weeks every 3 or 4 months. Schedule it daily, weekly, and monthly.
Do you know what the key is to getting this done?
PLAN! It’s something we need to schedule otherwise it will not get done.
REST – Plan your rest time of doing absolutely nothing!!! It could be sitting on the grass for 5-10 minutes without a phone and just breathing, or swinging on a swing like a child or taking a nap. Do something that doesn’t’ require you to think or strategize. Do this daily!!!
NATURE – Take the time to go outside. There is something beautiful about connecting with God’s garden on a daily basis. In the winter, it can be difficult but if you even step outdoors for 5-10 minutes, it can be exhilarating. In the blazing hot summer, take a walk in the morning or evenings. Take the extra time on your days off to spend 1-3 hours out doors in nature. Nature doesn’t try, it just is and a reminder that it’s okay to just be a HUMAN BEING.
TEAM WORK – Have an accountability partner, coach, or friend that will keep you accountable. Taking care of YOU, does require the help of others. You already know what your life has been like when you neglect your body, mind, spirit, and the promises you have made to yourself.
BOUNDARIES – You cannot say YES to everyone or everything that shows up in your life. Set boundaries, timers, auto-reply, messages, put your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb while you focus on your current tasks. If you have something in your schedule, set a timer for it, then stop and move on. If you have a self-care activity on your schedule and someone asks you to do something, just say NO. You don’t have to explain why. If that is too much, simply say, “I have a prior commitment. “ When you say YES to them you are saying NO to you and subconsciously saying, "I don’t matter" and will neglect your own needs at the expense of your own health.
Need additional self-care or rest ideas:
Epsom salt baths
Spending time at the beach or lake
Long non-competitive bike rides
Start with something you can implement daily for 5-10 minutes and work your way into doing something that is not work related and will nourish and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul at least one day a week and gradually increase it to 2 days a week. Growing up, most people had at least 24 hours of rest or a Sabbath day. It’s time to bring that back, don't you think?