Did you know that 92 percent of working moms and 89 percent of stay-at-home moms feel overwhelmed by job, home, and parenting responsibilities? And, in some ways, this sensation of overload isn’t unique to moms. Let’s face it, no matter how you define it, women bear the majority of the duties in our jobs, homes, and relationships. And, as a result of these duties, we are overwhelmed with life and completely stressed out.
The antidote? The CALM strategy. With the 4 simple steps of the calm strategy, you can immediately sort out and conquer the feeling that there is too much on your plate.
Trust me. I used to live completely overwhelmed, daily. I had a super successful career, two tiny boys to care for at home, oh and I was attempting the greatest love story ever told with my husband. What’s worse was attempting it all left me truly failing at most of it. I was stressed out!
My overwhelm created so much stress in my mind and my body, that eventually it contributed to making me really sick. At that point, I knew that if I couldn’t harness my overwhelm, I would never really be able to show up for my people. Literally and figuratively.
Now, I took some really drastic steps in my own life to stop being overwhelmed. And while you don’t need to go that far, I can guarantee you that the calm strategy if embraced and practiced as set forth here will immediately conquer your feeling of being overwhelmed with life and calm your everyday.
So, let’s get to it.
4 Steps to CALM your Everyday
#1 CLEAR YOUR MIND
By making a list and then deleting one thing. Write down all the things that are overwhelming you. Overwhelm typically comes from having too much too do. So put onto paper everything you can think of that you are trying to accomplish.
Typically, I take part of a Sunday evening after my kids are in bed to write down everything on my plate for the week. Then, I carefully figure out at least one thing I can delete from the list. Once you get really good at clearing your mind, you may opt to delete at least one thing each day! If your week is too daunting, try clearing your mind each night night before bed. Conquering your overwhelm in even smaller pieces may be easier at first. And, you even may find you sleep better!
Read also: 14 Ways to Make Yourself Feel Happier
Associate all the things on your list into groups. Organize your list into major topic categories. For instance, all of the things on my list easily fall into these groups: kids, marriage, work, home, exercise, meals. Yes, meals gets its own category at my place! Your list may look like this, and it may not. But when you look through your list, you will be amazed at how easy it is to chunk your to dos by association.
#3 LINE THEM UP
One of the best ways to CALM your everyday is by first working on the things that make you happy! Yes, happy! That’s what life is all about. All of these things are on your to do list, so why not start with those things that give you greatest joy.
For me, I start with kids, marriage and work to dos, followed by exercise, home and meals! Choose and prioritize by group to make your life most enjoyable. Perhaps, this exercise will even bring you some clarity on what does not make you happy these days.
Now, those things that are grouped towards the bottom of your happiness realm – the ones that give you total heartburn and drain you just thinking about doing them, ask yourself if you can somehow outsource them? Outsourcing could be local. For instance, will your partner do them? If not, can you hire someone to do them?
Laundry is at the bottom of my home list. My husband knew this and a couple of years ago he offered to take it off my list and put it on his, because he knew it was one thing I could outsource to him that was a source of my overwhelm. Occasionally, when he is overwhelmed, I take it back over. But, for the part, laundry is a great example of something I gave over to someone else that dramatically gave me time to focus on other tasks that bring me greater happiness and calm my overwhelm everyday. Victory!
The final step and the greatest remedy we have to cure ourselves of overwhelm and calm our everyday is action! Once you start doing, the feeling of being overwhelmed by life will subside. So, just start.
I guarantee you will fail. It is OKAY! Keep moving forward.
And – now this is important – as you start, focus only on the task at hand. Do not worry about the other stuff that is not getting done while you are actively doing something else on your organized list. Instead, turn off the world and foucs. Yep, turn off those Facebook, Instagram and Twitter notifications. Put your phone away. Ignore the rest of the world. Lock yourself in a room if you must.
Personally, I have turned off all of my email notifications and I only check it once or twice a day. This strategy not only keeps me focused on whatever I am doing, but is truly calming because I am not interrupted every minute with a note from Pottery Barn.
Read also: 13 Destructive Habits That Cause Anxiety
It’s not about avoiding all types of intense emotions when it comes to cultivating tranquilly. In reality, if we take the time to breathe, connect, and care for ourselves, some of the bad feelings we’ve been avoiding may surface. But now is the moment to practice self-compassion; it’s fine to be sad. Resilience does not imply that we will always be joyful, but it does imply that we have the energy, mentality, and social support to help us weather the storm.
With the calm strategy, You now have 4 simple and easy steps that can conquer your overwhelm immediately and leave you feeling freer, less stressed and ready to take on the world. But most importantly, I have found, these are the steps you should take to live calmly each day so that you keep showing up for your people by doing what you love.