Monday, September 23, 2013

Feeling Overwhelmed? Start With...

Mondays...who says you've got to love them?

Today I feel like burrowing deeper into my cozy Tempur-Pedic under my heavy comforter until...well, until some other time when there is less to do. When my to-do list is shorter and less daunting. When cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, errands and schooling have magically completed themselves.

Yeah, that's never going to happen. Sigh...

I think Mondays are the most challenging day of the week for me, as well as for a whole lot of other people. We are bummed because the weekend is over with, and responsibility has once again come calling. The upcoming week feels like a mountain to be scaled.

I have learned that when I am feeling overwhelmed the key is to let go of my big picture thinking, and instead focus on small steps. Any one of these things, all of them, or any combination get me going, and give me a good start on scaling my mountain.

If I am overwhelmed I...

-Make a list. I write down what I need to do for the day, and sometimes for the week. If it is written down, then I won't forget it. Sometimes the list looks longer than I hoped. Sometimes it is shorter. Regardless, it is somewhat freeing to write it down. It makes it more manageable and concrete. Less to worry about because it is written down.

Also, on my list I will often mark what HAS to be done, and what can get a pass if needed. I will sometimes even number the tasks in the order they should be done to best use my time and such.

-Pray. I ask for peace and multiplied time and efforts. I ask for clear thoughts. I ask for wisdom to know what must be done and what can be let go. I ask God to order my day.

-Do one or two small, quick tasks. My 2 favorites are starting a load of laundry and making the bed. By making the bed, I am less likely to climb back into it. And by starting the laundry, work can be happening while I am getting my thoughts organized. Not only that, but I have actually accomplished something that needs to happen. Small victories.

-Read my Bible. I take a few minutes to feed my soul and let God speak to me. His words in random passages often are exactly what I need to hear that day.

-Exercise-run, ride bike, walk, swim. Even and especially when I feel like I don't have time to exercise, I make time. The flowing endorphins are so worth the effort. I find that I can think over my issues and all that sweat and sunshine helps clear and order my thoughts. Plus, I have had another small victory. Jumping out of bed and going to exercise is a small victory that puts me on a good path for the day.

-Shower. I know that it is hip to stay in yoga pants indefinitely, but I have found that my mood often matches what I am wearing. Yoga pants aren't terribly inspiring. They make you want to sit around in slippers sipping cocoa all day. But by showering and shaving, arranging my coif and putting on make up, I feel ready for my day. By getting dressed, I am saying that what I do is important and is worth getting dressed for.

How do you face down your overwhelming day/week and just get started?