7 Things to Do When Life Gets Overwhelming

There are ebbs and flows in everyone’s life. The past few months have been categorized for me in one word: Overwhelming. Not always in a bad way, but overwhelming just the same. Sometimes I deal with things in a positive way, and sometimes I run around like my hair is on fire. Here are 7 of my best tips for when life gets overwhelming:

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1.) Learn how to say no: I discuss this at length in my book, but learning to say no to every opportunity, social engagement, and freelance job has helped me to feel less overwhelmed. It is simply impossible to be all things to all people, and being stretched thin does not make me a good wife, mother, or productive member of society. I would rather have a few things on my plate and do them WELL as opposed to too many that don’t get done right. One of the biggest decisions I had to make when Emma Kate was born was to step back from a management role at work that I enjoyed. It sucked but I knew there was no way I could do the extra work to the best of my ability while caring for a newborn.

2.) Prioritize: Sometimes we just need a little reminder of the things that are really important to us. If family is important to you like it is to me, then you may need to rethink some of your extra circulars so you can spend more time with them. If you really want to be able to workout more, then going to bed an hour earlier and cutting off the TV may work for you. Sacrifices may need to be made, but if it’s for something you really care about then it is totally worth it!

3.) Pray/devotion/quiet time: This is the most important one for me. When I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, it is probably because I am not starting my day with quiet time and prayer. It just starts my day off right and gets me in the right mindset as I face problems and anxieties. Does this mean every day goes perfectly? Absolutely not, but I am more likely to respond more correctly when I have started my day with quiet time.

4.) Ask for help: I need to look in the mirror and say this one. I can sometimes struggle with not asking people for help. I know everyone is busy and has their own problems to deal with, so I don’t like dumping on other people or asking them to help me. Sometimes though, its necessary to get back to a good place, and I know my friends really don’t mind, and the issue is with me!

5.) Cut out the time suck: Social media is a wonderful thing, but for me it can also be a big time suck. What starts out as getting online to write a sponsored post for work, turns into scrolling through feeds for ten minutes. That’s ten minutes I could be doing so many other things, and I sometimes do this multiple times a day! I don’t know what your personal time suck is (talking on the phone? TV? video games?) and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it at all, but sometimes I know I can tend to go overboard and end up wasting precious and valuable time.

6.) Time blocking/Buy a planner: I am a very visual person, so if I have a million things to do just floating around in my head, I am bound to forget one of them and when one ball drops, several others seem to drop in quick succession! Writing things out in a planner and even going so far as to time block my day hour by house, or in thirty minute increments can help me to stay focused and on task when my mind starts to panic at all I have to do.

Related: 5 Steps to reaching your goals

7.) Release control: Oh so hard my friends. Sometimes, crappy things happen that I have no control over. I get my feelings hurt. Something happens at work that upsets me. I get sick. I have a bad night’s sleep. All of these things can be a recipe for disaster if we try to control them and spend our time worrying about things we can’t change. It has served me well in the past to take  step back and remind myself that I am not in control of everything, and that’s a good thing! I often need to stop worrying and just let it be. Let go of the tight grip I have on situations. It’s not going to change anything except to stress me out and overwhelm me.

So inhale. Exhale. Think about which of these things may help you the next time life gets overwhelming and see if it helps. I hope so!

QOTD: Have you tried any of these tactics? Did they work for you?

Thirty and Flirty and Thriving

One of my favorite chick flicks has got to be 13 Going On 30. Growing up, I often felt the same way as young Jenna Rink. Being a 13 year old was like, SO totally hard, and if I cold JUST turn 16 and get my license, I would have FREEDOM. I would be all grown up and running the roads and doing whatever I wanted to do.

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When I turned 16 and got my first car, I was very happy. But the grueling demands of being a high schooler got to me, you know, boys, and grades, and basketball practice, it was all so JUVENILE, right? If I could JUST graduate high school and go to college, out on my own, I would be happy. I would be FREE, and I could do whatever I wanted.

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Soon enough, I went to college, and writing papers at 2 am was TOUGH STUFF. Going to a 9:00 class, seriously? Ug. my life is over. I was dating this guy and if we could JUST graduate college, get married and have our OWN house, adult jobs and the like, things would be GREAT. To be a grown up would be AMAZING, right? No one telling me what to do, where to go, or to pick my clothes up off the floor. Like Jenna Rink, I too wanted to be thirty and flirty and thriving. It seemed like a good age. Young enough to not be ancient like my parents, but old enough to be well established and “going somewhere” of course.

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Well my friends, today I turn 30. At 12:51 pm to be exact, I will leave my 20’s behind and head into the big 3-0. Looking back on how badly I wanted to leave each stage of my life gives me a good chuckle. What I wouldn’t give to be zooming around town in my green VW bug, or playing basketball in the big game on Friday night, or hanging out in the dorms with my friends in college until way too late even though I had an early class. Time moves so quickly, and it’s funny how badly we all want to move onto the next thing, because surely it will be bigger and better than the stage we are in.

These past few months as I prepared to turn thirty, I thought several times about how much of my life I have wished away. I realized I can choose to think of life in two ways: I can either say “oh MY GOSH, I’m THIRTY! UG!” or I can say “I am ONLY thirty, I have so much potential, and so much more to give, let’s not waste any time living in the present RIGHT NOW!”

I no longer want to be like Jenna Rink, wishing away life. I want to ENJOY my 30’s, enjoy my family, and enjoy this stage of my life. There will never be a “perfect time” in my life…God tells us we will face many trials…so I am going to stop trying to wait for the next big thing. I have an amazing family, a home, friends, a loving church, and my health. I am so grateful for my life, and it’s time to LIVE. Each day. The hard days. The days I want to get back in bed. The days where I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all a gift that can be taken at any moment, and I am thankful to have celebrated 30 birthdays thus far.

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So, yes, today I turn THIRTY. Thirty, and flirty, and thriving. I have a feeling the best is yet to come, but even if it’s not, I have a good thing going RIGHT NOW.

Cheers to thirty.

Plans.

Something I have really been struggling with lately is planning. I can’t help it. It’s part of who I am, what I do for a living, and what I enjoy. However, this character trait of mine can easily become a negative thing in m life if I let it get too far ahead.

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What do I mean? I mean sometimes in life we can plan and plan and plan, and when something doesn’t go exactly the way we had it envisioned in our heads, we get all bent out of shape. Well my friends, this has happened to me more times than I can count. Hear me. I’m not saying you should sit around and wait for things to happen and never get anything done, of course not. However, sometimes I feel like I push so much to get on to the next thing or part of life, that I get ahead of God, and the plans HE has for my life.

It’s so easy for me to have goals, wants, and dreams in my head. But in my life, practically nothing I “dreamed about” happening happened EXACTLY like I pictured it. The funny thing about it is a lot of the things that DID end up happening are way BETTER than I had planned them out myself. Shouldn’t that tell us something? God’s plans are SO much bigger and better than our little pea brains can even comprehend.

So then we say ok…”then why won’t God just TELL me His plans, so I will know what I am supposed to do.” Oh boy, I ask this one all the time. But the truth is, I am *gulp* glad I don’t know everything, because I would probably have run away screaming. If I knew I was going to move from a town I loved, if I knew my husband and I would have to deal with family betrayal and pain, and if I knew about 100 other things we have struggled with I would have been hiding under a table with my eyes closed hoping it was all a bad dream.

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Friends, sometimes God DOESN’T reveal everything to us to protect us. He knows just how much we can handle in that moment, and wants to lead us step by step to the next thing when we are ready to handle it. Sometimes it is so frustrating, but I hope to be able to look back one day and see things happened just the way they were supposed to in just the right time they were supposed to.

I am  glad it’s not up to me to plan every little detail of my life, because I would fail miserably. Sometimes we need to remember to not jump ahead, sit back and relax, and watch things unfold in the proper time. I know it will be worth it!

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

QOTD: Are you a planner like me? Do you ever get frustrated when things don’t go according as planned or don’t happen as quickly as you would like?

…and then life gets in the way.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to work and could just workout whenever we want? One of my biggest struggles is making time to run. By nature, I am a morning runner. I have more energy, I get it over with and just perform better. fact.
Also fact, I leave for work at 6:30. so if I were to get up and run I would have to get up at 4:15 or so…and that would not be fun. I so wish soemtimes I had a job with a lunch break, or a job where I didn’t have to be in until 9, so I could get up at a reasonable hour and run.
But, unfortunately, I am not so lucky. Maybe someday! So, back to my problem. When I run in the afternoons I am lucky to get in 3 miles. I ahve to get home to let the dogs out, I also coach basketball so some nights I can’t make it to the gym at all, etc. etc. So what do you do? I am just SO TIRED by the time I leave work it’s hard to wlak to the car let alone get to the gym. Oh, I also forgot to mention, me going to sleep at 8 so I can get up at 4 is not an option. my husband gets home from work at 8:30 so I would never get to see him, the dogs freak out when he comes home and would wake me up anyway etc. SO WHAT DO I DO?!? thoughts?
What do you do?

Oh, by the way, the whole reason i wrote this is because I went to the gym yesterday and only had time for 2 miles before I had to get back to the school to coach…then i got home late so i went to bed late so I am exhausted today so no run. (not to mention I have 3 errands to run) Why can’t we all just RUN?!? (sometimes I want to run away haha)
sometimes when I am leaving for work and see the women out at 6:30-6:45 running I want to push them down…no just kidding, but I am super jealous!