Has your life ever become so busy/chaotic/overwhelming that you just wanted to crawl into bed, pull a blanket over your head and never come out?
I’m totally there!
July suddenly became the month of everything happening.
I arrived home from a long trip, and quickly realized I needed to get out of vacation mode…quickly. In the same week, my boyfriend and I started the process of moving in together (which is so exciting, but also a lot of work), I started teaching two more fitness classes (bringing my class load up to five a week) and I started taking online classes. On top of that, I recently returned from a blogger conference and I have a long to-do list to begin growing my blog, Sweet Success.
This is life outside of my full-time job!
Looking at this mound of things to do made me feel completely overwhelmed and over-committed.
As I felt my right eye begin twitching and the lump in my stomach began to feel heavier, I realized I needed to take a step back. Some stress can be a good thing, but too much can effect us emotionally and physically (ie. twitching eye).
I began to make self-care a priority just like I do when my life isn’t hectic.
Here are my tips for staying sane when life is crazy.
1. Don’t look at the big picture. When you begin analyzing your mile-long to do list or thinking about how busy your upcoming schedule is, you will feel overwhelmed. Although I have a lot going on in my life right now, I’m taking it one step at a time. Each day, I make a list of the things I can accomplish that will help me get to my end goals or help me prepare for commitments I’ve made. At the end of the day when I’ve crossed everything off my list, I feel satisfied and I don’t feel as stressed about my hectic life.
2. Make healthy eating a priority. While we were moving, my boyfriend and I survived on Jimmy John’s sandwiches and other restaurant food. The first room that I unpacked was the kitchen so that I could get right back to healthy eating. The rest of my house is still in boxes, but I can cook! Nourishing my body gives me the energy to complete all those tasks I have each day. Eating well also helps me sleep better and think more clearly. If you’re living off of fast food because your life is busy, you will feel sluggish, you won’t have the positive attitude needed to accomplish your goals and your mind won’t be sharp. Plan ahead by making a bunch of breakfast burritos you can keep in the freezer. Throw something in the crockpot before you leave for the day so your dinner will be ready when you get home. Make the time to eat well.
3. Get enough sleep. Although I’ve been tempted to stay up late unpacking boxes, I’ve made sleep a priority. I won’t have the energy to teach fitness classes, the clarity to work on my blog or the concentration to take my online classes if I’m tired. If you stay up late working on a project, you’ll just be cranky and exhausted the next day. Get some sleep and work on that project in the morning with more energy and focus.
4. Meditate. You may be thinking, ‘My life is crazy busy, I don’t have time to meditate!’ But I promise, just a few minutes of meditation will help you be more focused and clear headed and will make you a happier person. I prefer doing guided meditations. I have a few YouTube channels that I go to for meditations, and I do them in a quiet room at home or even in my office when I feel overwhelmed. Try this 4-minute meditation for worry and anxiety.
5. Come up with a positive mantra. Have a phrase that you can say to yourself when you feel stressed, anxious or worried. Say it over and over again until the stress begins to melt away. My go-to mantra is, “I am calm. I am capable.” I used this mantra when I was driving in crazy traffic in Atlanta, GA through a downpour. But I also use it on a daily basis when I start to feel anxious about everything I have on my plate.
6. Have a positive attitude. I truly believe that negative thoughts manifest negativity in your life. When you tell yourself you can’t do something, chances are you won’t be able to do it. But if you are your best cheerleader, you are more likely to accomplish your goals.
7. Practice gratitude. When life is hectic, it’s easy to look at everything that’s going wrong and everything that seems hard, and think about everything that you don’t have. Every day before you go to bed, write down five things you are grateful for. Read the list again in the morning when you wake up to help start your day with a positive outlook.
8. Workout. Although I’m teaching five fitness classes a week, doing my own workouts helps me feel energized and gives me time by myself to reflect. I especially love running or doing yoga when I feel stressed. Exercise releases endorphins, feel-good brain chemicals, that can help ease anxiety. I’ll even do yoga among my stacks of boxes to gain a little sanity!
9. Go outside. This may sound a bit cheesy, but I believe that being outside can be healing. There have been times when I’ve been sitting at my desk at work and I begin to think about all of the things I need to do outside of work, and I become anxious. When that happens, I go on walks. Feeling the sun on my skin, listening to the wind in the trees and being surrounded by the colors of nature calms me down. Taking walks can also help you clear your mind and it can help you brainstorm ideas. I always come up with great ideas during my walks!
10. Have fun. My boyfriend and I were in the middle of packing when some friends asked us to go out for dinner and drinks. We dropped what we were doing to join them. Getting away from the chaos of moving, laughing and having a good time was a total de-stressor. Don’t make fun less of a priority when you’re busy. Laughter will help ease your tension, and may even help you forget about some of your stresses!
What do you do to help ease your stress when life gets crazy? I want to know! Tweet me @saragiboney.
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