Day in and day out I work from the time I rise until the time I go back to bed. Granted, I’m definitely one who knows I need to get some rest in so I will make time for a little reading, or perhaps writing, and other activities that help me feel rested. But even that can feel like work. Meaning, “I have to hurry up and get this done, so I can fit this in before the kids wake up from naps…” I’ve mentioned many times on this blog alone how much I love my daily life. I love the work I need to do to keep things going, it isn’t a huge chore for me, but it is still easy to get burned out. So why do I feel so depleted some days?
Most of the time when I feel depleted it is because I became unorganized in someway, shape, or form. For me specifically, it is usually a mental organization problem. I’m talking about my plan for each week, or day. I used to be real good at coming up with meals and activities for the week. I even have a list of chores I need to do everyday. Lately, usually after traveling back home to visit family, I haven’t been doing these mental check-ins on Sunday evenings.
Here is what I typically try to do on Sundays:
1. Make a meal plan for the week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) while simultaneously creating a grocery list.
2. Take a look at the weather and decide what activities I will try to get the kids involved in on each day of the week (trip to the zoo or park, making playdough, play boardgames, washing toys outside, etc.)
3. Go through my cleaning list and disperse the cleaning as needed.
4. Plan for my extra curricular activities (my blog, my business, my sanity, my peace and quiet).
The second way I’m helping myself burn out is by not allowing any sort of grace into my life. A fellow mom, Sarah, once told me, you have to give yourself grace. By giving yourself grace you can be okay when things don’t work out the way you planned, or on those days when it all just hits the fan. Giving yourself grace when it comes to forgetting to make dinner on time (before the two year old goes through her witching hour), or when you forgot to pick up the one necessary item needed for having friends over when you went to the grocery store for the third time that day, or even when you leave the house in a complete disarray because YOU just need a new scenery or a coffee with a good friend.
However, there is a major flip side to this. You also can’t feel obligated with giving grace. For me, if I have a messy house and I’ve already did something for myself on Tuesday and now its Friday, I need to power through and get my job done so I’m not stuck doing it over the weekend. Sometimes the best form of self help is not sneaking away to the spa, but putting in the work so I can enjoy the days ahead. So when giving yourself grace, look at the big picture: your to-do list, your schedule, your home, your family, etc. Then make an educated decision on what needs your attention and what can wait.
The third and final way, this one is HUGE for me, is my attitude. Sometimes I just need an attitude adjustment. When I had just two kiddos, I became so stressed out. I felt so out of control and really started to go into a mild form of depression, maybe it was postpartum depression, I’m really not sure, but it sucked the life out of me. Becoming pregnant with our third baby was quite a shock, and then fear took over my mind. During that time, I decided to stop listening to the MANY people (family and friends I hold very dear) who were telling me I couldn’t do it. There were people in my life (those of which I had no desire kicking out of my life like most outsiders will tell you to do) who didn’t fully support me. If I called to vent, I needed a cheerleader telling me I’d get through it. Instead I had people saying, I don’t know how you do it? or Its just too hard for anyone to do. Changing my attitude into me realizing I could do anything, with a little time and effort, helped me block those negative words.
Changing my attitude into I can do this, with a little grace, helped tame the wild horses tromping around in my head. Those negative thoughts about yourself can be the most depleting. You can kick out the people who are toxic, but sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you can’t because it is you. Change your attitude, by being calm, being organized, and giving yourself grace, and then ultimately you’ll stop feeling so depleted.