Busy & Perfect
Being busy seems to be the way of life for most of us Americans. We seem to think that if we don't do everything we are asked to do every single time that we are asked to do something or our kids aren't in multiple sports or extra curricular activities that we are missing out or we are somehow failing. Others of us get caught up in having a perfectly clean house, making sure we always look perfect or we are always doing something that we think is necessary to maintain a perfect image to others.
But what is this costing us?
For awhile I had been busy trying to control so many things, while I had backed off of trying to control some other things (thankfully). I wanted to control the way others act and think, the way my house looks to an extent (as best as you can with 2 little kids and 3 dogs), when and how my business grows and so much more. I noticed I had a stress knot and a sick feeling in my stomach EVERY SINGLE DAY from being too busy and trying to control so many things in my life. Too much stress and anxiousness can cause illness in our bodies, heart problems, roller coaster emotions, displaced anger, burnout, overwhelmed minds, exhaustion and more. To become aware of what is happening in our bodies and minds and then be able to start to change is so important. When I became aware of what was happening and why I was feeling this way I started to shift things.
One important thing to know and understand is that we don't ALWAYS have to be doing something. Maybe you think you're relaxing because you're just at home not going anywhere, but while everyone else is playing games, watching a movie or tv show, lounging around and truly relaxing you are running laps around the house doing everything you can find that you think needs to be done. There are going to be days where you want to just get things done and that is OK of course, but every single night and day should not be this way. If it is hard for you to stop doing things, try setting a timer for yourself for relaxation and just being still for 10 - 30 minutes at first or whatever works for you. Do your best to calm your mind and breathe and just be still.
What should you do when you are stressed from being too busy and trying to be perfect?
Stop trying to be perfect in everything you do. Pick one or two things that are very important to you to do well at and cut yourself slack everywhere else.
Stop trying to multi-task all of the time. You are never present in one place or activity if you are doing this constantly.
Stop trying to be everything for everyone. You cannot do it all.
Ask for help when you need help. Responsibilites should be shared between your family and not all fall on you.
Have your kids start doing age-appropriate chores around the house so you have less to do, if they aren't already doing this.
Drop things that are not important (multiple committments to multiple sports or activities at one time, etc). There is nothing wrong with having your kids choose one extra-curricular activity at a time or you choosing one regular activity at a time.
Say NO sometimes when you don't really want to do something or when you already have a lot going on. Adding more to your plate will only make you feel more stressed out.
Prioritize. Figure out what your non-negotiables are, what is important and what can be put on the back burner when there isn't enough time. Some examples: Instead of vacuuming every other day, vacuum twice per week. Let your kids choose their clothes they want to wear the night before school instead of you picking out their clothes and then fighting with them in the morning. Choose a few school activities to go to instead of going to every single one. Don't be 'On' for your business or job 24 hours per day.
Set time aside to put your phone and computer in another room and be with your family.
Take at least a few minutes for yourself each day and work up to more. For some people that means listening to their favorite songs in the car and singing as loud as they can, for others it means time in prayer, meditation, just being still and breathing, taking a relaxing bath, etc. If you have kids ask for help or take turns with your spouse so you each get some time to yourself and some quiet time.
Get outside in nature more and just take in the beauty of our world.
If you have a job, take all of your vacation time and your breaks. The business will survive without you in most cases.
If you have the money to pay someone to do something that causes you a lot of stress and anxiety, do it!
I started implementing many of these things, releasing control of the how all of the time and you know what? That stress knot and sick feeling is gone the last several days. I believe the anxiousness and stress from trying to control so many things was causing that in my body and releasing the control, taking more time for myself, spending less time doing and less time trying to control everything has made a huge difference in my mind and body. The more I release control, spend some time relaxing and just being instead of grasping and trying to control everything, the easier things I need come to me in my life and business. Consistency is key in many areas, but so is self care. We were not made to run ourselves into the ground. We were made to thrive.
"The very act of grasping for the feather creates the wind current that pushes it away"
What will you release control over today? I would love to hear from you in the comments.