We’ve all seen (and mostly probably shared) that meme where it lists the 110 things we’re trying to do all at once and struggling to stay on top of. Excel at work, have an actual social life that involves face to face meetings and not the one off whatssapp message, keep the house clean, eat healthy meals, go to the gym – to name a few. I shared the struggle on my instagram story last week, and the general consensus was that we’re all in the same boat.
So how do we all stop feeling overwhelmed with things we need to do and actually live more mindfully?
I don’t have the answers, everyones reasons for feeling overwhelmed and how they find balance will be different. You all know I’m a firm believer in positive thinking, but being realistic needs to come into play too. As the line between work and pleasure thins, I think the balance needs to be prioritised more than ever. I know I definitely need to factor in more down time without feeling guilty that I’ve still got the ‘important’ things left to do.
Earlier this year I was chatting to someone (my therapist) about this. She asked me how many times I have actually thought about all of the things I manage to get done in a day… the answer was I don’t. I like to spend a lot of my day worrying about what I haven’t managed to get done.
Figure out what you actually want to do, then prioritise
What she taught me at the time was prioritising, distinguishing between what is essential and what brings me joy. It’s really to latch onto what’s considered the norm or what we see everyday (through social media etc) and want to mirror that in our own day to day lives. I feel bad if I can’t get to the gym 4 times a week, if the kitchen floor is dirty and I have to leave the house with it like that, if I go to bed without washing the pots. It’s all these things that lead me to that feeling of being overwhelmed and like I’ve lost the balance, but why have I put that unnecessary pressure on myself? Why do we all do this to ourselves?
Have self compassion
There will never be a time when I’m not busy (which I actually quite like), but in moments of feeling overwhelmed I’m going to start by thinking about everything I’ve already managed to get done that day. Give myself some credit, what a non British women thing to do. Granted, there’s a few practical things I’ve started doing that help take the pressure, but overall it’s about being self-compassionate and understanding that I’m a human and not a robot.
Spend less time on social media
I think about social media and the impacts on my own life a lot. As much as I love it and I’ve been able to do so much from it, I’ve definitely had to put boundaries in place for myself so I don’t get sucked into one hour stints of endless scrolling that I ultimately feel guilty for. I think more about the negative impacts and try to think about what I share online myself, which I hope is always a bit of positivity or honesty to help others and start conversations. For the past few months I’ve been using the time blocker on iPhone and that’s helped me massively, I’ve got this set at an hour a day during the week and I’ve been adamant I won’t go over it. I can’t tell you how much extra time this has given me and it’s a good reminder to not sit there and scroll as much.
Help myself by being organised
Never thought I would be one of those people with a white board in my kitchen, let alone recommending how game changing it is in a blog post (feel like I’m slowly turning into my mum…). It doesn’t look particularly fancy, but I bought a £3 white board from Tesco and it’s been so helpful to just map everything out and have a visual calendar/ to do list that I can keep referring to. I put down appointments, up and coming birthdays, weekend plans and I constantly know where I’m up to which in itself helps me feel like I’ve got my shit together just a bit more.
Honestly, lets all give ourselves some credit. Life is hectic, don’t beat yourself if you can’t reach every standard you’ve set for yourself and embrace everything you have managed to get done.