Today we welcome; Christina Maloney to the Living Our Priorities community as a guest writer! Christina mentors female entrepreneurs to fulfill their dreams joyfully. We asked Christina to inspire our readers to find a balance in everyday overwhelm. If you’ve been overwhelmed with life, this post is for you!
Ever get overwhelmed? With all you have to do as a wife, mother, active church and community member, it’s easy to feel like that line from the opening song in Lion King… “There’s more to do than can ever be done!” As a mom of 4 who homeschools and runs a blog and business, I have found a few specific things that help me overcome overwhelm and reclaim peaceful productivity.
I lay in bed trying to pray to start the day, but my brain kept drifting back into sleep. My husband had already left for work, and I could hear the kids bustling around in the living room. I pushed myself to get up…so tired already.
As my feet hit the floor, I started drafting my mental to-do list.
Cleaning, errands, thinking, planning, budgeting, parenting, community… there were so many things! I need coffee.
I stumbled in to the kitchen to get my coffee. The kids were already climbing into the refrigerator to get the milk for their cereal. I grabbed the half-n-half and turned around to fill my cup. Then, SPLAT! I heard a commotion, a tumble, and felt a cool slime hit the back of my ankles. What in the world??
I turned around, all the pinto beans that Pinterest had taught me to cook in my Crock Pot the day before were splattered across the floor…about a gallon of beans. My child had pulled the milk from the back of the fridge without moving the beans, so they came out too and the Tupperware lid just couldn’t withstand the impact as they hit the floor. Busted beans. Everywhere.
In moments like that, all you can do is cry, yell or laugh. I chose to laugh.
Choosing to laugh at the absurdity of some situations can help you see past your own frustration and calm yourself enough to find a solution. But what if you’re just too busy to laugh?
A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. 9 times out of 10 the majority of my overwhelm can be calmed by cleaning up one room in my home. I find if I spend 15 minutes on tidying up, I’m vastly more productive and able to achieve more in the rest of the day!
Pick one room where you will be spending the most time and do that. Or just start with the kitchen. Doesn’t a clean kitchen make you feel more together as a person?
This is one of the reasons I’m such an advocate of releasing excess items in your home. The more belongings you have, the harder it is to keep tidy. You don’t have to go full-on minimalist, but a little minimal-ish helps.
Write a list of all the things you feel like you have to do. The act of writing it all down will help you get it out of your head. With all those thoughts bumping around in there, it’s hard to know what’s the top priority.
Seeing it all there in black and white, you can see more clearly where you should start. Tackle the task you’re dreading first and the rest will fall into place easier.
One of the biggest sources of overwhelm is the constant stream of input into our brains. Whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, the radio, or your children’s voices, it seems almost impossible to find a moment of quiet. Do you listen to podcasts while you drive? Do you scroll on Facebook when you have a moment to wait somewhere? We are so hooked on the stream of sensory input that it feels like a deprivation to just sit and wait quietly.
That’s exactly what you need to do when you are overwhelmed.
Your instinct is to hustle and move and try to do more in less time, but the fastest path to calm and clarity is to sit still and listen to your inner voice. Even better…God’s voice.
Get quiet and pray for even a moment.
He is called the Prince of Peace for good reason. Sit in silence with Him and allow His calming presence to restore your soul.
Reflect on what is truly important. When life is done and you meet Him, will the things you’re worried about now matter?
Get outside! Have you ever taken a fussy baby outside and seen how they suddenly are able to calm down? There’s something about the change of scenery that shakes you out of your overwhelmed state and re-engages the vibrant parts of your soul.
You’re reminded of how small you are; in a good way. You’re connected with God’s creation and therefore, Him.
If you can’t take a walk, maybe you can just go to the mailbox. Sometimes I step outside and just stand on the porch for a moment and breathe.
There’s an energy in water, isn’t there? Did you ever wonder why so much of the world is made of water? Without it, life cannot survive. The power and beauty and life-giving nature of water must remind us, on a soul level, of our Creator. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, get a drink of water. Drink a great big glass of it!
Get in touch with water: Take a shower, take a bath, go water your plants outside… I can’t explain it; but I can just about guarantee that you’ll feel better with some water around.
Often, when I’m discouraged or overwhelmed, I need a bit of clarity and inspiration. There are a few online coaches I can listen to; and immediately feel motivated and in control. Their presence and advice, is both calming and encouraging. After I’ve cleared my head and no longer feel like I’m in whirlpool of swirling ideas, I can listen to them and get ready to go.
Maybe you’ve got a real life friend who encourages you this way! If so, then count your blessings; gratitude is another quick path out of overwhelm! If not, the world is a vast and easily connected place; find a group or mentor that you love and connect.
André and Timberley are a great set of encouraging mentors to connect with! If you’re a female entrepreneur who wants to overcome overwhelm, I’d love to have you join my group The Joy Gathering for encouraging tips on managing it all with grace and gumption.
But it doesn’t have to get you down.
Next time you feel like the world is spinning and you just want to go back to bed, take a deep breath and give one or all of these tips a try. I’ve been overwhelmed more times than I can count. So know that you’re not alone; and you can manage this.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” ~ Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
Guest Post Written By, Christina Maloney
Christina Maloney, is a business coach and mentor for female entrepreneurs who want to grow a joyful and abundant business aligned with their personality and goals. She is a mom of 4, loves coffee and Trivial Pursuit and is the blogger behind Gathering Joy. christinamaloney.com gathering-joy.com
~ André and Timberley Gray
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