Last week someone asked me how I was doing and my response was, "Things are going really great!! But this week has been so packed and I'm tired. I just need to get through till Friday." I felt happy as I responded. But then I realized that this has been what I've been saying to people for a few weeks in a row now.
The thing is, I honestly do feel like things are going really well. But every week, I tell myself that next week things are going to let up (schedule-wise, demand-wise, energy-wise). Inevitably, once I get to the next week, I'm repeating the same thing to myself: "Just gotta make it through this week!"
I thought I had permanently left behind that feeling of being in a rat race, of constantly running from meeting to meeting, commitment to commitment. And for a while I had. I felt much more balanced. But, of course, nothing is forever. Things are always changing. So we have to keep adapting too.
This is one of those times when I need to recalibrate. If you feel that way too, here are 3 things to try to better sustain yourself over the long run:
- Schedule yourself a REAL BREAK. If you've been working full-speed since January, you need a vacation! I myself was reminded of this when a few people mentioned that they were taking vacations at the end of February or early March. "Oh yeah," I thought, "It probably is time for a vacation..." So put something on the books for yourself ASAP if you haven't already. I always recommend longer vacations rather than a long weekend or 2.
- If you truly cannot schedule a vacation soon, or if you need something to sustain yourself in the meantime, you may need to strengthen your boundaries. Those of you who know me by now can probably predict what I'm about to say. You need to Say No more. For some of us, it's simply a matter of reinforcing our boundaries, but for others, we need to readjust them to better protect our time and energy. For others of us still, we need to define the boundaries in the first place! Whichever it is, use this worksheet to help you!
- In the meantime and for always, start or continue your Gratitude practices. My favorite Gratitude practice to recommend to busy clients is: Before bed, write down 3 things from your day that you are grateful for (you don't have to even use full sentences!). Here's a worksheet to help you with that. And another version of this that I recently heard of is from Gretchen Rubin's podcast, Happier: Keep a running list (on paper or electronically) of all of your favorite things.
That's it! Try 1, 2, or all 3 of these tips to regain some control over your time, energy, and sanity in an otherwise busy time.
Now please excuse me as I go work on these myself...! :)
Until next time – hang in there!