When I use to look at my day, week, month, year sometimes I would struggle to see where I was going to find the time to fit it all in? There where weeks when I went through time famine because I was so busy doing stuff that I just didn’t have time to focus on my self.
It became so easy to be busy, rushing around from one thing to another and harder to get to know myself let alone love myself. Of course it was easy to congratulate myself on everything I had completed by patting myself on the back with everything I had accomplished and all the things I could do!
But this staying busy, filling up my time, trying to add extra time to the day, allowed me to feel safe, protected like a blanket! Because if I just stopped for even a second I became vulnerable and I would have the time to truly look at my life with out the rose tinted glasses and I was scared of what I might see.
I found this action of cramming my schedule full of busyness everyday was like a drug, I was addicted too. This time famine drug made me feel like I was worth something, that I was achieving so much in my life and that I was not only meeting my expectations but meeting everyone else’s expectations of me. But on the flip side of the coin of being overly busy and over stretching myself with stuff that I could not realistically achieve in one day. Meant my mind and body was consistently working on high alert and running on a high level of adrenaline. Living on this high, at some point you have to come down from and for me it was when I got 5 minutes or half an hour with nothing to do. I would start to feel uncomfortable and feel guilty that I was not busy doing something. This discomfort and guilt that I was feeling, is in some ways the same as the withdrawal a drug addict goes through when they are waiting for their next fix.
To stop this cycle of being busy and then feeling guilty when I took 5 minutes out for myself, I had to learn and acknowledge the top 5 mistakes I was making;
Mistake #1 Feeling completely overwhelmed with my out of control to do list – I realised its ok if I have not ticked off everything on my to do list by the time I went to bed. By coming to that conclusion I decided the best way I could get all the important things done on my list was by putting a number next to each thing to indicate the importance. So 1 meant I had to get that done today and 10 meant it was not as important and tomorrow would be ok to complete this. I also started focusing on one task at a time on my list rather than trying to do 2 or 3 things at the same time. This way I managed to complete the task fully and was 100% percent happy with the effort I had but in or the outcome. Once I got use to doing this I then started a bullet journal (I will talk about my experience with bullet journals another day) to help me keep even further track of what was important to do each day, rather than trying to complete everything.
Mistake #2 Not creating a plan / goal for my life and setting up a realistic schedule – Instead of just moving along with the tide of life and doing what ever came my way, I came to the realisation this floating through life was not getting me any where. I had to set goals of what I wanted to achieve and these goals had to have a time limit to them. This was really hard to begin with because my goal setting started off just about my children or my family but in doing this I was still avoiding my personal goals. Once I finally got the hang of setting personal goals, with time limits, I could them schedule mini goals into my diary each week, to help me reach the bigger goal. A bit like taking tiny foot steps up a hill but each step you take leads you straight to the top.
Mistake #3 Not having a morning ritual while the house is asleep – I have always been an early riser but I was wasting this time in the morning when everyone else is asleep, the house is quiet and I am on my own. I use to check my emails, clean the house and catch up on social media. So I decided this was actually the perfect time for me to do things that would benefit my mental and physical health and help me grow as a person. So now I get up, make a coffee, go sit in the garden and read a book, while listening to the birds singing. Afterwards I come in and do half an hour yoga, finishing off with some meditation. If I have time, I then journal or just go and sit in the garden to read some more. Since doing this my day starts off on the right foot. I am less stressed trying to get everyone up and out the door, I feel like I have more energy and I am ready for what ever the day has in stored for me.
Mistake #4 Forgetting to practise self-care and recharging my batteries – I don’t mean I forgot to have go for a pamper day with the girls, as I have never been a pamper day sort of person. But I never took a whole day out of the week to do something just for me. I was spending so much time sorting everyone else out, making sure my children did everything they wanted to do and making sure my husbands dreams and life goals where reached. That I forgot totally about me, after all if I don’t look after myself then how can I give the people I love 100%. So I gave my self one day each week (my day is monday as it fitted in with work and family life well) to go and have a weekly massage, meet up with friends or go and have a wonder across my favourite beach. It really does not matter what I do, as long as I am doing something for me and at the same time I recharge my batteries.
Mistake #5 Not setting family time as just family time – We have always had Sundays as our family day, where we would all go out as a family or stay at home enjoying each others company. But nearly every time the conversations between my husband and I would drift into either conversations about his or mine business. We would also be checking our emails and checking our work social media pages. So although this day was set aside as a family day, it ended up being about our jobs too. This not only disrupted the time we where spending with our children but also disrupting the time we where spending as a couple. Family is important to both of us, so after lots of conversations we put into place a non work (no work conversations), non social media or internet rule. This enabled our marriage to grow as we are now spending quality time with each other as well as enabling us to fully connect with our children 100%.