Finding Your Strong in Doing Less
Sometimes being strong means letting things go…..
Society often tells us that the more we can accomplish over the course of a day (or our lives) the stronger we are. Doing more is seen as powerful.
I challenge you to take time today (or over the next several days) to fully examine what you have on your plate right now. Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed and like you just don’t have enough time in your day? Use the following 5 tips to help you find strength in doing less.
1) Prioritize! Sit down and draw a picture of a glass. Then fill your glass with “stones” that represent only the very most important things in your life. My stones are Family/Home (biggest at 35% of my time), Earth Girl Wellness (second at 30% of my time), Friends (third at 20% of my time), and volunteering (fourth at 10% of my time). Now these percentages can change slightly from day to day. Vacation time finds me spending 100% of my time on family! A sick friend may make a week of 30% time for friends. The idea is to check on these “stones” as new opportunities arise and see if they fit into maintaining the balance in your jar. Too many “yeses” to volunteer may end of chronically taking too much time from your house.
2) Friends! Friendship should provide a source of support. Friends should help each other out. Friendship should be a two way street. Friends that constantly bring drama, negative energy or continually make demands of your time need to be distanced. If you generally feel drained after a lunch out or a phone conversation with a particular friend, maybe a little distance might help you realize which friends are truly friends. This may sound harsh…but we all make different connections with different people. Sometimes energies just don’t mesh. Keeping healthy relationships with friends helps keep you strong for the “stones” in your jar!
3) Family. Are you a mom that does everything for everyone in your family? Cook, clean, laundry, grocery shop, etc, etc, etc?! Delegate! Let your kids make their own lunches and snacks. Teach your teenagers to do their own laundry. (I suspect you may not want them coming home every weekend from college for you to do it for them!) Have your husband do the dishes if you cook. This not only helps you through out your day but creates responsible and respectful children and husbands! Allowing your family to help you out will allow you time to pursue a few pleasures of your own!
4) Technology! Technology surrounds us every minute of every day! Not always good! Facebook can pummel us with negative opinions and Pinterest can leave us feeling drained as we are constantly bombarded with things other women seem to do better than us. Television is full of chaotic images…not just drama but chaotic meaning that we are constantly being pinged with different camera views. Too much for our brain to handle regularly. Turn off your technology at night and leave it off until morning. Phones often come with a cool “bedtime” alarm that goes off when it is time for bed. Set your bedtime alarm and head to bed for some quiet, low-light time before drifting to sleep. Keeping your phone turned off and turning on a “do not disturb” setting can keep you sane for a few hours. Don’t worry…you can set up your bed time alarm and do not disturb setting with a second call option, so if there is an emergency your family and/or friends can contact you by calling you immediately back.
5) Exercise! Yes! I said it! Too much exercise can drain time from your day! I highly encourage exercise but more importantly I encourage you to stay active and moving all day. We often set goals such as running marathons, working out for 2 hours each day or trying to fit in every form of exercise each week to cross train. Stop! You don’t need to spend so much time in such activities. Playing with kids, walking with friends, doing yard work with your husband all count as activity! This is a hard one for me to let go…it feels so good to run for an hour and then do yoga for an hour…but so does spending time with my four teenagers in laughter and conversation! If I spend too much time exercising, then other chores don’t get done and my time with family and friends decreases! Remember your stones! Keep them in check!
The above suggestions are simply guidelines to help your find your strong! I recommend them because letting some of these things go has created my strong and inner peace. I hope you find yours!
Find your strong!