I left my car running after parking it down the street. Not on purpose. My life felt harried, and on that particular day, even more so. After realizing what I had done, I knew I needed to figure out how to get off the crazy train.
Right after I finished work that spring morning, I hurriedly left the house to run some errands. I had a huge list of things to do and places to go before returning to the house to check on the concrete work, and then pick my daughter up from school. Just after I came home to drop off some groceries and talk with the contractor, the cement truck arrived. I needed to move my car out of its way. I flew out the door knowing I didn’t have much time to get some frozen food stored away before having to leave again to collect my daughter.
I started the engine, backed my car out of the driveway and parked it down the street out of the way of the construction vehicles. I hopped out and ran back to my house to finish unloading the groceries. Once done, I glanced at my watch and knew school was letting out for the day. I grabbed my keys and my purse then ran down the street to my car. I got into the car and heard a continual beeping noise. I could not figure what was beeping and why. I sat there for a second trying to figure it out and saw a warning light flashing indicating keys weren’t detected. Oh my gosh! I realized when I had moved the car down the street I had never turned the ignition off!
I couldn’t believe that I was so distracted that I didn’t remember to push the ignition button off. I rushed around so I wouldn’t be late to get my daughter, but when I came back home, I knew something had to be done.
My whole life felt like a mad dash, like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland who said, “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” Can you relate? Do you feel like you live on the crazy train? Are you rushing from here to there and always in a hurry? Maybe you feel like your work/life balance is off kilter.
What can you do to create stability?
Here are three tips to help you get off the crazy train:
1. Establish rhythms and rituals that work for you.
2. Learn when to say no.
3. Schedule time for relaxation.
Rhythms and rituals are put in place to help reduce your decision-making. When you are not having to constantly make decisions, your brain doesn’t feel so overloaded. Some ideas are to plan out meals for the week or month, repeat the same recipes, pick certain days for laundry and housecleaning, institute a morning routine, schedule regular date and/or family nights, and have an evening bath time routine. Some families create rituals where they have Sunday family suppers, Friday night movies with popcorn, or evening walks. Routines will help you feel less overwhelmed.
Learn when to say no. Sometimes you have to say no to good things in order to say yes to better things. There isn’t time to: be on every committee, join every book club, help with all the church ministries, teach Sunday school, help weekly in your child’s classroom, drive all the neighborhood kids to soccer practice, sign up for the meal trains, visit the elderly at the convalescent home, participate in a citywide clean-up, take on an extra work assignment, and take care of your family. I know because I have tried.
Schedule time for relaxation. It is important to make room in your calendar for some time that isn’t work-related. The work I am referring to can be your job, home responsibilities, or school work. Allow yourself time to enjoy an extra cup of tea, a walk with your husband, a movie, taking a drive, listen to music, or whatever it is you find relaxes you. It could be as fancy as scheduling a massage or as simple as 30 minutes a week to allow for reading. Our bodies were created for work and for rest, and finding that balance is important.
I hope these three tips will encourage you to get off the crazy train, slow down, and find some peace in your life.
P.S. scroll back up to the top to receive a beautiful printable, “Five Tips to try for When You are Feeling Frazzled.” Sign up for the newsletter and you’ll receive it shortly in your inbox! It is a perfect thing to have on those crazy days!