As I sit down tonight, I look around me and a mix of emotions start to take over. On one hand, I’m so excited to sit and journal. This is one of my happy places . . . to let my thoughts spill all over lined paper using the color ink of my liking. Tonight, I chose the color “purple”; it’s so pretty on my pages 🙂 Anyway . . .
Here I am beaming with excitement to have a moment to enter my happy place I take a looksee at what is around me. The cluttered nook, the ironing board and iron that’s not in its rightful place, the mound of seminary books (plus the new ones that invaded my space today), the “pile – o – shoes” that’s lurking by the door, the basket of towels reminding me of all the laundry needing done . . . all of these things started to rob me of my excitement, joy, and sense of relaxation knowing that I can sit down and journal. Instantly, I became annoyed and frustrated. Just as those negative emotions started to consume me, I fought back! I realized that deep down I’m starting to feel overwhelmed.
At that moment, I created an atmosphere of what turned to be more like a messy “Starbucks” in my living room. I sat with my pen and journal, while the smooth melodies of Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and John Coltrane play in the background. I sipped coffee from one of my favorite “small” coffee mugs lined with my favorite creamy, caramel sauce. With every sip of this bold, hot, caramel macchiato, “carmely” tasting coffee, I felt myself becoming more relaxed. During this moment, my feeling of overwhelmingness subsided.
I then began to think about the 5 things I try to do to fight feeling overwhelmed. Then I decided to share them with you, so here you go:
- Find a “happy place” and allow yourself to get outside of yourself – This requires being intentional. What activity can you do that will allow you to relax and let your thoughts flow? For me it’s a calming atmosphere where I can journal. Maybe for some it’s working out, cooking, knitting, coloring, going for a drive, walking, or maybe just sitting still. Whatever it is, find it and get outside of yourself. Be intentional about taking some “me” time.
- Ask yourself: What’s most important at this time? – When you are outside of yourself you can take an inventory of self. Evaluate what are the most important things in this day/in this moment, that need to be done right away. Allow yourself to rank and prioritize your tasks.
- Take a deep breath and EXCUSE yourself! – Listen, what I am learning is that I am one person. I cannot do everything and be everywhere at the same time. So I have to excuse myself from time to time. I am not Superwoman. You are not Superwoman. SUPERWOMAN does not exist! You are not going to get everything done and please everyone all the time. Guess what?? It’s okay! Quit putting unnecessary expectations on yourself to be all and do all. This kind of pressure produces anxiety, doubt, fear . . . all ingredients to make for an everlasting sense of feeling overwhelmed.
- Stop operating in your own power – Ask God how He wants you to manage your day. This should probably be #1. Often times when we are feeling overwhelmed, we are taking on way more than we should or could handle. At least this is the case for me. Ask God: What does He wants you to take on? Does what you’re doing/managing align to God’s will for your life? Is this a God appointed task or “busy work”? Have you asked Him permission before taking on that task? Is this something He wants you to focus on right now? Often times we can easily get caught up in the busyness of our day-to-day, and become these “yes” people to every good, “bright” idea. Because we didn’t seek God first in making that decision, we become wore out from the busyness. And if He indeed called you to everything that’s on your plate, are you allowing Him to help you with everything. How much time are you spending with Him? God is always with you, but sometimes we tend to push Him out. Invite God into your day! Let His power give you the ability to handle all that you need to do. His strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
- Lastly, Think Positive – Change your attitude about your assignments for the day. If you were able to accomplish 2 out of 5 things on your list of “to do’s”, then job well done! Pat yourself on the back, and know that tomorrow is a new day. Take it one day at a time. Start and end your day with positivity!
Lord, thank you for your immeasurable amount of grace you extend to us daily. Help us to not adapt the personality of Superwoman, but instead tap into your “Super” power. Please forgive us for times we have not invited you into our day or sought your approval on tasks. Help us when we feel overwhelmed; and remind us through you all things are possible. Lord help us to be women who organize our lives and our tasks based off of your will for our lives. We love you, we honor you, we give you all the glory and praise. In Jesus name, Amen.
Remember this: Though you are imperfect, you are loved by a perfect God.