If you’re feeling busy at the moment, you’re not the only one. We are all juggling work and life and family and social commitments and it can be hard to prioritise when trying to maintain a work-life balance. If you’re feeling tired, drained or just in need of a break, then it’s time to recognise that and make a few subtle changes that allow you to restore your energy and find a little inner balance. Once you manage this, then you will feel more in control of other areas of your life. Promise.
Here are 10 tips to help you to get back to you.
It’s time to prioritise you. Let’s do this.
Feeling busy is not a badge of honour to wear with pride. It doesn’t feel good. And frankly, it’s likely either poor time management or a lack of prioritisation. (Sounds harsh, but stick with us… we’re on your side here.) When we have too much on, then we need to learn to accept what we can do and what we can’t do. We also need to ask for help. So, let’s drop the word “busy” and replace it with “overwhelm”. Now it’s something that needs to be dealt with, right? Ok. So here we go. Next. What can we remove from our lists? What can be pushed to later? What needs to be done now? If anything new comes in, we can say no. If an opportunity passes you by because it isn’t right for you in the moment, chances are that it will come back round if it is truly meant for you. Trust that.
Yes, you’ve got a list of things you need to do piling up in your head, but have you also got a quick list of 3 things that you are grateful for? Take a second to do that and you will slowly start to have a more positive attitude when it comes to how much you feel is on your plate right now. We’re grateful for the sun shining, being on a beautiful little island and most of all, we’re grateful for every single one of you reading this. See? It’s easy once you start!
Adding things to your day can feel like a crazy thing to do, but hear us out. If you want to catch up on your favorite tv show, do it in the bath or in the spare room away from everyone else in the house. If you have a book you want to finish, go to bed earlier so you have time to read it. Need to pop to the shops to run a few errands? Take a solo cafe break. No judgement here on what constitutes self-care for you. If it feels like self-care, it probably is.
We’re tying this into the first point of feeling busy. Are you acting busy? Are you trying to do a million things at once to get them off your list? Let’s focus on one thing at a time. Let’s walk a little slower to that appointment and enjoy the sunshine. Maybe pop your headphones in. Let’s pop some music on whilst cleaning up the kitchen and have a little boogie as we empty the dishwasher. Or go the opposite way. If you feel distracted, remove the noise around you. You can do anything mindfully. Just do one thing at a time focusing only on that thing until your list is complete. You will feel and act calmer as you go on.
When we feel busy, we tend to grab food and it tends to be convenience and it tends to be hand-held and beige. Which is great - until it’s every meal. Take a second to be sure that you are eating the rainbow. Choose snacks that won’t make you feel tired in a couple of hours’ time. Make time to sit and eat meals properly with people - or alone with your thoughts. And drink water. A lot of it. (We’re sticking that on a post-it note on our laptops!)
Get outside. We’ve written a whole post about this in the past - and it was winter then, so it’s even easier to get outside. Nature is healing. Nature is calming. We all know this. Nature is also energising. So catch up with friends with a beach picnic instead of a restaurant for once. Go for a walk before your coffee break. Maybe hit the cliff paths instead of the treadmill. Or just take your coffee outside in the morning before you start your day. Savour those ten minutes of calm before the day begins.
It can be tempting to cancel meeting up with friends or a dinner out after a long day, but you’ll often find that these things can give you energy, more so than heading home for a night on the couch or to catch up on chores. Don’t get us wrong. You need no excuse to cancel. And a good friend will always understand. But as humans we need that social time to connect and unwind, so think twice before you cancel social engagements over the other things on your to do list.
When we’re busy, we may not have time for a 90 minute gym session, but we do have time to walk to the shops instead of driving. We can do a quick 15minute yoga video when we get in from work. We can even have an impromptu dance party in the kitchen (100% List-approved by the way). Moving your body gets the stagnant energy moving and releases all of those happy endorphins you hear about. So if you’ve got a choice between popping out for a run or dealing with a little life admin, we’re going to recommend the former. The filing can wait.
Are you going through the motions sometimes? Do you find that you do tasks that you do every week that you don’t enjoy or don’t work for you. Maybe they actually even annoy, anger and cause you to feel resentful. This is the time to think about letting those things go. We often feel obligated to do things and help people, but the right thing for everyone is sometimes to make a firm decision. Side note: This also goes for certain people in your life. Do with that what you will.
Let’s normalise prioritising rest, shall we? When small children don’t nap, they get cranky and difficult. When olympic athletes don’t rest, they overtrain and cannot perform when it counts. Let’s learn something from that. The laundry can wait if you want to pop to yoga. You don’t need to have every second of your day scheduled to feel accomplished. Got nothing planned this evening? Excellent. Grab a glass of wine and watch that Netflix doc everyone has been going on about.