My life, at the moment, is crazy. I’m not sure how it happened, but I am in the process of planning two fairly large events within a couple weeks of each other – and event planning is really NOT my thing. I feel like I’ve been spinning on a merry-go-round for months now.
It started back in February and it seems like very single month has something big in it – from a good friend’s large baby shower to speaking at a teen conference to planning a surprise birthday party to planning a graduation party.
And I’m so tired.
But I still have three weeks before I can cross the last event off my list and sigh with relief. I’d love to say I’m handling this well, but I’m not. It’s made me a bit panicky and, well, grumpy. It’s hard to relax and I had a small panic attack and started hyperventilating in my car last week when I started to realize everything that has to get done between now and June 4th (which is my oldest son’s graduation party).
That’s when I knew that I needed to stop and take a deep breath because even though my schedule is a bit crazy right now, that doesn’t mean I have to be.
Here are four things I did to keep the crazy of my schedule from becoming crazy myself.
- Get some perspective. While my son’s graduation party is important, all the details probably mean far more to me than they do to him. Besides requesting that we have fried chicken at the party, I don’t think Brock really cares much about anything else. In our crazy Pinterest-obsessed world, it’s easy to get caught up in all the shoulds and coulds, but that sort of misses the point. The point is to gather together to celebrate a milestone -not to have the best decorations or even the best food. If things aren’t perfect, nobody will probably even notice or care.
- Make a plan. I don’t know about you but when I have a lot on my plate, my brain can drive me crazy with all the stuff buzzing around up there. So, I did a brain dump and wrote down everything that I felt I needed to do on a piece of paper. Then, I looked at all that stuff and made a conscious decision to let go of the thing that didn’t really matter. Then I prioritized things – what things needed to happen first? After that, I tried to put the things I still needed to do in bite-sized chunks in the remaining weeks. By breaking things down into weekly, doable tasks, things don’t seem quite so overwhelming.
- Ask for help. I am planning a surprise birthday party that will be this week. I had several people offer to help, and I decided to take those people up on their offer. Sometimes, when I get really busy, it seems easier to just do it myself, but many hands make light work is a saying for a reason. If you have a lot on your plate and someone offers to help you, accept that help. It doesn’t make you weak or somehow less. Not to mention, you are giving those people the gift of being a blessing. It makes people feel good to help, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most people will be happy to lend a hand, and if they aren’t, they can always say no.
- Let some things go. If you are in a season where you are extremely busy (like I am), it’s okay to let a few things go. Maybe the house won’t look perfect. So what? Maybe you won’t be able to make all your dinners from scratch? That’s okay, too. Look at what you can let go in the short term until things calm down, so you can breathe a little. Don’t start anything new, either. For instance, at this moment in my life now isn’t really the time to start a new fiction project. That can wait until after the next few weeks are over.
- Take care of your physical self. When I am super stressed out, the first thing to go is exercise and eating well. the problem though, is then I feel worse and have way less energy. In fact, when your plate is piled high and you are stressed, it’s even MORE important to get enough rest, get some exercise and fuel your body well. You aren’t doing anyone any favors if you collapse from stress overload.
- Take care of your spiritual self. It might be tempting to hit the snooze and skip your prayer time, or to push Bible reading to later and later ends up never rolling around. But for me, the only way I can handle stress and lots of demands is if my spirit is filled up. And it needs to be filled up with God. In my own strength, I would get mean and snappy and whiny. I would lose sight of the big picture and small stresses would fill my field of vision. It’s only God that keeps me sane in the middle of crazy. When I skip my time with God, I find myself running on empty.
What things do you do when your life is in crazy mode? I’d love to hear about it!