Avoiding overload and overwhelm

Here lately my phone has been giving me the message, ” You’re dangerously low on space.” Sometimes it feels like my brain gives me a similar messages, “You’re dangerously low on time, emotional energy, patience.” And when brain hits the full and overload stage, it gives me the Windows blue screen and I completely forget everything I have going on. When that happens, I end up with embarrassing conversation where I have to tell someone that I forgot about an event I was supposed to attend or I forgot a project I needed to do.

So how do we as moms avoid overload and overwhelm? No, running away and hiding is not an option. I’ve compiled a list of things to help avoid overwhelm. While this list is really more of a reminder to myself of what I should be doing, hopefully you will also help you.

1. Prayer and Bible reading – My experience has been that on the days that I don’t take a few minutes to read my Bible first thing of the day, my day doesn’t go as well. Prayer and Bible reading isn’t a magic formula that will magically make your day great. My day can go absolutely horrible. But reading my Bible and talking to God calms me. I’m not always calm and cool, but connecting with God first thing of the day helps.

I am one of those people who needs to talk things out to process them. Talking to God helps me to process what is bothering me.

2. Say no – Saying no is so hard. I hate to disappoint others. Sometimes though, I take on too much. Then I get overwhelmed and need to back out of things. Backing out of something is worse than saying no to begin with.

3. Use a calendar – I have one of these, but I often fail to consult it. I hate it when I find I have double booked myself. If I would consult my calendar more, I could avoid a bunch of frustration.

4. Schedule/plan your day – I know, this can be really hard to do. My plan constantly changes. Or, I completely fail to plan at all. I know for myself, I should only put three main things on my to-do list. Any more than that and I won’t get it done. Failing to not complete my list contributes to the overwhelmed (and failure) feeling. One of the things I need to become better at is scheduling my day out by times. I am in a transition in life where scheduling by the hour will be necessary if I want to succeed.

5. Don’t feel guilty for working or for playing with your children – I don’t know about you, but I can very easily live in the land of guilt. I don’t spend enough time with my children. I don’t get all my work done. As I am going through my parenting journey, I am realizing that both are necessary and I shouldn’t feel guilty for either. There is a time and place for both work and play.

6. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail – This is probably the hardest thing on this list. This is where we come back to prayer and Bible reading. If you fail, tell it to God.