So, you’ve been stuck at home for a while. For the first week having to “stay home” was novel, maybe a bit relaxing and casual, and you had some extra time on your hands to “get things done around the house” kind of projects.
That was the first week…
And as we transition into more than a month, if you are like many people, staying home is making you close to crazy. That five o’clock glass of wine may not come fast enough, only to wake up tomorrow with the uncertainty of when this new normal will end.
Even though you are temporarily restricted to working from your home, waking up to a never-ending to-do list can be overwhelming.
If you combine your everyday list of to-do’s, like obligations with kids, home-schooling, meal planning/preparation and loads of laundry, it can make you feel worn out before the day even begins! So, what can you do right this very minute to change this from lock down to rock on?
Life Coach Sandy Newman offers great insights into helping us change our thinking and our behavior when dealing with chronic overwhelm.
Here are some tips on creating your day with a dash of joy and a little fun factor:
• Don’t overbook you! Driven to production and not necessarily profitability, you may find yourself with the same expectations you have been accustomed to doing without the extra responsibilities of being at home. When you overbook yourself and schedule your day with “to-do’s” you trigger feelings of powerlessness, despair, and just plain feeling overwhelmed.
• Get in the present moment. When you think about it, not having to suit up and drive to work gives you a window of time you normally are “doing” and not in “being”. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, be there with your full attention. Commit to the moment with your entire focus. Don't think about what else you could be doing at the same time or what you just did or are going to do next. Trying to be in two places at one time is impossible... So, stop trying! When you are in the present, you actually create the next moment and anyone who is engaging with you can then feel the real connection and energy of the real you, not the digiphrenic version of a little part of you.
• Don't scatter your energy. Your time and your focus are your most precious commodities. Don't waste them by worrying, which pays no dividends, or trying to be perfect, which, of course, is impossible. Wherever you put your sunshine (your focus) that's where the flowers grow.
• Lists are okay! They give you the opportunity to “get it out of your head” so you don’t forget. Make a list of everything you want to do, but then prioritize by asking this question: “Is this urgent or is this important?" Next, rate each item by priority. Take care of high priority items first, and know that some items on your list may never get done. When you really look at your list, there most likely is an opportunity to delegate activities to others--or more often than not, it doesn’t need to be done at all. If either is true, take them off your list and forget them. Having incomplete tasks hanging over your head leads to feelings of overwhelm…. let them go.
And here’s the biggie:
• Respect your own time. Don't let other people intrude on time you have allocated for your life, home, work, and projects. Politely explain that you are booked for that time and offer alternate times or dates that suit YOUR schedule. Remember, they are pushing THEIR agenda, and don't really care about yours! Too often we just say YES when we should say NO to avoid not appearing helpful, nice or accommodating. Set boundaries that respect your priorities and put yourself first before someone hijacks your time for their benefit.
Add the Fun Factor:
Okay, so girl’s night out is on hold, dinners out are paused, so what can you do to still reach out and stay connected? Although sharing physical energy is not possible, learn to navigate the advancement of virtual connection. Virtual connection offers visual and auditory experience and it is fun, cheap and easy to do. Platforms like Zoom.us, GoToMeeting, MS Teams and Streamyard, and FaceTime are a few options. Getting together for virtual coffee breaks, short exercise work outs, or just to “see “someone is an alternative to the real thing.
Gratitude is the key:
Look around and find what’s GOOD! You have food, shelter, clothing, fresh air, good drinking water, and so much more! There’s still plenty of “good” so focus on what you have now and that will drive a healthier attitude, creativity and manifestation of good things.
And the Wrap:
It’s really up to you. YOU create your own OVERWHELM when you over-estimate the time and energy factor of getting through a day, a life and a truly global lockdown. No matter what, your “normal” schedule has abruptly shifted, and it will take some time to transition. When you feel yourself in overwhelm, locked up or smack downed, focus on the positive side of this time and find the silver lining…it’s there!