I Just. Can’t.
I got home, set my coat down, and started methodically cooking dinner.
Heat the pan. Cook the chicken. Season, season, season. Plate it. Eat.
I felt like a machine. Then I looked at the statement we just received from our leasing office. “You have an overdue balance that must be addressed in 2 days.” Aaaaaaand I lost it. I didn’t want to deal with this. I didn’t want to fight over $47 that I’ve already paid.
I. Just. Can’t.
For the past few months, I’ve been working nonstop. I took 3 grueling summer classes while working part-time. And even though I cut back to 1 class for the fall semester, I doubled my work hours. My time off is always spent doing chores and feeling utterly scatterbrained. I feel like I never have any time to recharge or be in control.
But then it hit me. I need to change this. I need to make changes in my life to get back in control, manage my responsibilities, and actually use my time off to recharge. And not only do I need to do this, but I have the power to make it happen.
Taking control of your life isn’t as difficult as it needs to be. And you can start today.
If you feel overwhelmed with life and out of control, you’re not alone. We all feel like we are drowning now and again. But remember that this is now and again. Whatever troubles are worrying you, whatever stresses are pressuring you, they are all temporary. And even if there are looming stressors beyond your control, there are still many aspects of your life that you have the power to manage.
The key to managing life during times of high stress is to take control of the little things that you can manage. Once you have your surrounding environment stable and healthy habits in place, you’ll be fueled up and ready to tackle any challenge that life throws at you. When we are overwhelmed, we often neglect ourselves. But these are times we must be particularly careful to take care of ourselves well.Take on the stresses of life by taking care of YOU. #selfloveisntselfish Click To Tweet
Identify your priorities
Before you take any actionable steps to control your life, you have to start by evaluating your situation. What’s important to you? What do you want to accomplish? What does “taking control of your life” mean to you? Take time to write down some of these thoughts. It will give you the opportunity to clear your head and have a firm(er) grasp on the situation.
There’s no right or wrong answer and absolutely no judgment on what your priorities are. Just have an understanding of what your goals are for the immediate and long-term future. I highly recommend physically writing everything out. Writing it all down on a piece of paper will help you translate and organize your thoughts. The act of writing alone can be highly therapeutic.
One of the biggest things that can exacerbate my stress is procrastination. During times of high stress, I often toss undesirable tasks to the side. I think that I’ll just take care of the issue later and it’s a problem for future Melanie. But eventually, everything will start to pile up and deadlines loom closer than expected. Ultimately, I would be less stressed if I simply took care of the issue right then. I wouldn’t have it’s shadow following me everywhere and I could actually relax in my free time.
When you’re faced with something to do, try to complete the task as soon as possible. If it’s something small, do it immediately. You’ll thank yourself that you spent the extra 2 minutes to quickly take out the trash instead of ignoring it for as long as possible. If it’s a larger task, try to arrange the soonest time that you can address the issue. Make it an appointment for yourself that you must hold to. Because you’ll feel relieved and grateful that you just took care of it.
Space your tasks
Now, even though you need to address those issues quickly, don’t over stress yourself. If you have a list of things to complete in a given week, space one thing out every day or in some manageable way. Don’t feel the need to pile them on all at once just to get them over with.
Alternatively, if it’s easier for you to complete everything in a single morning, afternoon, or day, make sure to take care of all it then. You’ll have that much less to worry about later on in the week. Whichever way to approach your to-do list will highly depend on your schedule. But know your limits and pace yourself appropriately.
Eat well, exercise, and get plenty of sleep
It’s especially important to take care of your body when you’re stressed. The prescription is the usual. Be sure to eat well to fuel and nourish your body. Exercise to let out your frustration and stress. Drink plenty of water to hydrate yourself. And of course, get plenty of sleep to recharge. Nothing is worth sacrificing your body, your temple. Don’t think for a minute that your stressors are more important than nourishing food, invigorating exercise, or your sleep. And especially never think that you don’t deserve them! If you choose to indulge in junk food or an evening on the couch, make them a positive experience and not a shameful one. Identify unhealthy actions as temporary treats, not habits. But still aim to be your healthiest self, even when the going gets tough.
Maintain your routine
In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to let yourself and your needs take the backseat. But this is the time that you need to be especially particular about addressing your self-care. While taking caring of your body is important, it’s equally important to address your [other dimensions of self-care]. Bring yourself inner stability and inner peace by taking care of yourself. It will provide you with the strength you need, and have, to conquer your tasks.
If you’re going through a tough time, here’s a friendly reminder that everything will pass. Your stress, fear, and pain will fade. And you absolutely have the strength and ability to pull through. If these tips helped you, I once again recommend writing it out. Grab a pencil and paper and write out your game plan. How do you plan to take back control of your life? If you have any suggestions for others, please share in the comments below! We would love to hear your insight and wisdom!
If you need a bit of extra encouragement, be sure to follow me on Instagram and post with the hashtag #selfloveisntselfish. I want to offer my fullest to support to all of my beautiful readers!
I wish you the best of luck in all of your endeavors. Know that you have to strength to accomplish anything!