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“Love the life you live, live the life you love.” ~ Bob Marley
Life can be overwhelming for a lot of us.
Jobs, homes, kids, dogs, friendships, relationships—at times it may seem as if there is never an end to the things you have to do every day.
Sometimes I wake up and it feels like Groundhog Day. That exact feeling is why I have created the best morning routine that helps me hop out of bed and start my day. Granted, I am an extreme morning person (and yes, I am then dead tired by 8 p.m.), but you do not have to be a morning person to enjoy getting out of the bed in the morning.
A simple, but effective morning routine can change everything.
For a number of people these responsibilities aren’t only overwhelming, they are paralyzing, and instead of tackling their to-do list, they accomplish nothing at all.
If you are one of these people, don’t feel bad—you are not alone. Many people struggle with having too much on their to-do list.
Below are a few of my personal tips I use to manage my day-to-day life so that it doesn’t become overwhelming. Having raised two busy and active boys solely by myself, physically and financially, I had to learn quickly that there are things that need to get done and then there is everything else. I learned to manage my time (and theirs) in a way that did not overwhelm me.
Disclosure: Admittedly, I am a neat freak with a hatred of clutter and disorganization, so for me to not feel overwhelmed, there were things I had to handle that others may feel they could let go of. My point is, we are all different, and what overwhelms some of us might not overwhelm others. So be thoughtful of what makes you feel accomplished and what frustrates you, and then think about what you can let go of.
1. Create and implement a morning routine. I cannot stress enough the importance of a morning routine. How you start your day sets the stage for how your entire day will unfold. Baby steps are okay here…you can start with small changes until you get to your desired routine.
2. Only take on what you can handle. Say no once in a while; you don’t always need to be the one to volunteer. If your mind is saying no but your mouth is saying yes then it’s clear you are not comfortable saying no, even when you need to. Something to be conscious of: are you a people pleaser?
3. Set boundaries with people—you decide what works for you and what doesn’t. You are the director of your life.
4. Always make time for self-care. Self-care and self-love are the single most important things you can do for yourself in this lifetime. This is by far my favorite topic to talk about, write about, and coach people on. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s simply you putting yourself first so you are able to be there for others. Self-care means taking 15 minutes each morning to stretch, drink some coffee, wake up, and organize your thoughts. Self-care is taking a bath at the end of the day when all the dishes are done, kids are in bed, and lunches are made. Self-care is taking a walk in nature on Sunday morning to decompress from a long week.
5. Your marriage comes before your children—nurture that relationship.
6. Create and prioritize a task list. Then, let go of what is not critical and move those tasks to the next day.
7. Make time for enjoyment; find time to be silly. Once a week, make a date with your husband, kids, a friend, or just yourself and do something that is fun. Paint, go to a comedy club, host a dinner party, or play games—whatever brings out your playful side, do it.
8. Tackle what you need to and then move on. Do not get stuck on what you can’t get done, celebrate what you accomplished.
9. Make time for exercise. I could talk about exercise all day long. Exercise is a critical component to true and deep happiness and feeling good about yourself. There are many different avenues you can take with exercise. Go for a walk, hike, do yoga, stretch, take a class, whatever you enjoy, do it.
10. Plan and cook meals ahead of time. Something I struggled with was having enough time to prepare meals. So, I started cooking on weekends for the week, and in addition, I started preparing my breakfast the night before. I am grateful for overnight oats and smoothies!
11. Ask for help—lean on others for support.
12. Carpool (for school, sports, anything else).
13. Clean the kitchen at night so you wake up to a clean space.
14. Go to bed early, and then rise early so you can tackle the day refreshed and with a clear mind. Do not hit snooze!
15. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, get help—don’t go it alone.
16. Surround yourself with the things you love. It is a fact that when you are surrounded by beauty and the things you love, your mind settles.
17. Self-motivate by making your tasks fun. And, involve your children and create chores for them! It’s good for kids to feel invested at home.
18. Take a break from life at least once a week, and do something special for yourself. Go on a day trip, have a girls day, take your kids to the park and have a picnic, take a hike—whatever you choose, do something out of the norm and embrace it.
I hope you can identify with a few of these tips and embrace them. Even if you identify with only one of these tips (right now), one small change can still make such a difference.
If you feel this article would be helpful to someone you know who struggles with the everyday stress of life, pass it along and kindly share on your social media pages. My goal is to help people who struggle find solutions to make life a little easier.