The hustle and bustle of school has begun. Activities and sports are in full swing. There’s always somewhere for you to be and something for you to do. That being said, we can quickly become over-scheduled and over-committed.
Whether you are overwhelmed with the kids going back to school or just need to feel less stressed, there are actions you can take to make your life easier and more efficient.
Below are five things that you can do to feel less frazzled and more in control.
1. Create a morning routine. It’s important to have a morning routine because it sets the tone for the rest of your day.
First of all, set your intention for the day with a grateful heart. As you peel your body out of bed, say “Thank You” as each foot hits the ground. Thank God/the universe for another day. One way to set your intention is through meditation and/or prayer. This will help you feel centered and connected, which will help you focus on your thoughts.
When you take the time to quiet your mind instead of letting thoughts swirl around in your head, you become more present in the moment and will be able to think more clearly.
Including exercise in your morning routine will help you relieve stress and elevate your mood. Research shows we are more likely to stick with exercising if we do it in the morning. By rising early and getting your body moving early on, you’re not drained from activities and decisions you’ve made throughout the day. It increases your energy levels and gets you ready for a productive day.
2. Pre-plan. Plan as much of your day as you can so your “to do” list doesn’t snowball. When we break tasks into chunks, this lessens our stress and makes doing the tasks more do-able. I recommend getting a planner that has time slots so that you can have a clear picture of when you need to be where and what needs to get done.
Anything you can plan ahead, do it. Set out your clothes the night before. Plan what you are going to eat for breakfast. Put things in the car the night before. Pack the kid’s lunches. Have a plan in place is sure to set you up for success.
3. Meal planning. We all know the importance of eating healthy, yet many times we don’t pay attention to what we are feeding ourselves. One of the best things we can do is fuel our bodies with foods rich in nutrients and vitamins to give us energy throughout the day.
One of the best ways to do this is by planning our meals. This helps us make healthy food choices, stops us from grabbing food on the go and lessens our stress. Meal planning can be cooking your meals on the weekend and having them ready to go or it can be writing what you will be eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and getting food and ingredients ahead of time so you have everything ready to go.
It helps to look at your calendar and identify which nights are the busiest so you can choose less time consuming meals on those nights.
Another tip is to get the family involved. Got picky eaters? Having them plan a meal will lead to less whining and complaining about what they’re eating. If their suggestion is chicken fingers, go with it.
You might just need to ask, “What fruit or veggie would you like to eat with it?”
Ask for help. Many times, women especially, feel like we need to do everything but there is no shame in asking for a helping hand. Could you ask someone to brown the meat for tacos? Could you ask your kids to peel the carrots? No one can read your mind. Start asking for help and being specific.
4. Three S’s. We can feel overwhelmed with our to do list because it’s never-ending. As soon as we cross off one thing, another thing is added. It’s time to look at your list with new eyes.
Stop, Simplify, Smile is a system that helps prioritize and create clarity of what needs to get accomplished. First, make your list. Write it down on paper. Writing it down takes it from swirling around in your head to what actually needs to get done.
Next, look at each item and see if you can stop doing it, how you could simplify it or what you could do that would make it more enjoyable and put a smile on your face.
For example, if I need to clean the house, I could look at it three ways. I could stop doing it and hire a cleaning service. I could clean one room each day to simplify it. I could play my favorite playlist or listen to an audible book to make it more enjoyable.
As you go through each item, this will help you chunk things down so they are less overwhelming.
5. Don’t forget self-care. We are so busy taking care of everyone and everything around us that we often forget to take care of ourselves. I have clients that tell me they feel selfish taking time for themselves.
The real truth is, when we take care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of those around us. Self-care lessens stress, clears your mind, makes you more calm and relaxed, elevates your good vibes, improves your problem-solving skills and helps your metabolism and digestion to work properly.
The bottom line is taking care of yourself is NOT optional. Pay attention to what you need. Do you need to wrap yourself in a soft blanket and sip coffee to feel comfort? Do you need to empower your brain by reading a good book, listening to an inspiring podcast, or signing up for a class? Do you need entertainment from a movie or a concert? Do you need a massage or pedicure to feel pampered? Do you need some fun, like dancing in your kitchen, a weekend getaway, or a bike ride?
Keep in mind that what sounds fun to you may not be fun for others. You get to choose what feels like love to you. Regardless of what your self-care looks like, remember to love yourself and know that you are worth it.
Changing habits and stepping out of what you have always done can be difficult. It can be downright painful at times. Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I couldn’t agree more.
If you want different results, you’re going to have to think differently and act differently. By incorporating these tips and tricks into your daily routine, you’ll be able to breathe deeper, your shoulders will lower and you’ll start to feel more balance in your life.
You got this!
For more information, visit amywagenknecht.com.