Do you feel like you're barely keeping your head above water? Are you constantly juggling the many demands of your personal and professional life? Do you feel like it's just becoming too much? Well, and although this won't be very comforting, you don't stand alone.
If your day is typically jam-packed and exhausting, you're struggling to keep up with the daily demands and pushing yourself to the max, it's time to reassess your priorities. Today we exist in a super connected world of technology, possess a "do more with less mentality", and "push yourself harder" expectation. The prolonged pressures of the constant demands on your daily life only intensify the stress you're feeling, and then an interesting thing happens... you start to feel crazy.
So, how can you find balance? Start by following these tips and you'll be at better odds of de-stressing yourself and staying sane!
1. Establish your priorities for the week. Know what you absolutely have to get done. When you get clear on what you really need to accomplish you won't allow other disruptions that can cause you to get sidetracked. Not having clear priorities is what causes people to get off track and then get stressed out when they don't meet their goals.
2. Organize your day. Do this the night before or early in the morning before your day gets started. Be prepared. Set a schedule. If you take the time to create your priorities for the week (Tip #1), you can now manage them on a daily basis. This is a great way to paint a picture of what you need to accomplish each day. It creates clarity, focus and direction so you're not working randomly. Get organized. Don't be the person saying, "I sure am exhausted this week, but what have I really accomplished."
3. Don't own things that are not yours to own. Control what you can. Remember the saying, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference". Life happens. And it's not always a "bowl of cherries". So don't take ownership of those things that you cannot control. It's unnecessary stress.
4. Develop a support system. This might seem obvious to many, but there are plenty of people out there who do not have a good support system in place. This is critical. Do you have someone, or a group of people, to go to when times are tough? When you're feeling you're about to blow a gasket, do you have a support system of trusted people who will listen and pick you up when times are challenging? Reach out to family members. Talk to a trusted friend or colleague. Many can empathize. And generally speaking, when you talk to someone in your support system about your frustrations, you end up feeling better in the long run. Get rid of the Negative Nellies and obtain more Supportive Sallies.
5. Get the family to help out. Ok, ladies. This one is mainly for you. The last time I checked my family is quite capable of managing themselves. Guess what? Yours can be too. Is it really that important that you do all of the cooking? Must you be involved in everything that is going on within the household? Are you still packing lunches and folding the laundry? Are you doing everything even though you have family members who have arms, legs, and a brain to figure it out themselves? Seriously. Stop being a control freak. They'll survive with grilled cheeses and soup for dinner. And kids can learn a great lesson in responsibility by packing their own lunches and folding their own laundry. Divvy up the demands of maintaining a household and stop doing everything. You are not Wonder Woman! She was left behind in the "70s.
6. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Incorporate a healthy diet, routine exercise, and get plenty of rest. Make sure you're eating a balanced meal and incorporating small snacks throughout the day. Ensure you're getting some regular physical activity even if it's a simple walk around your work building at lunchtime. And get your shuteye. Rest and rejuvenation are critical to successfully managing the demands on your daily personal and professional lives. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will lead to a more happy and stress-free life.
7. Take a vacation. Even if it's a mini-vacation or staycation, it's still a get away from the daily grind. It can be one of the best ways to not only relieve stress, but to actually increase your productivity and performance. Getting away for a bit is a good way to get your mind off your daily demands; to de-clutter and detox your mind and preserve your sanity. And if a vacation is not feasible, at least take some time off from work to decompress. Read a good book, sit out in the sunshine, enjoy a coffee at the nearest coffee shop. I promise...taking time away from your regular routine of daily demands will make you a little less crazy in the long run.
Yes. Life can be crazy. And no, it's not likely that that will change. But there are things you can do to manage the chaos in your life...to stay sane in your crazy busy world.
Check out our upcoming Professional Women's Leadership Retreat: "Let's Be Real, Ladies" with several guest speakers and topics directly related to managing the daily demands and busy lifestyles of professional women.
I'd love to hear how you manage your crazy busy world? What techniques or strategies do you practice in order to stay sane every day?