Living here in Boulder, I know the stresses families go through to just be able to sustain living here by the mountains, let alone enjoy all this beautiful place has to offer. I know what it feels like to wonder where all the hours of the day are going, and below I’m going to include my 5 tips to help keep you sane and OVERCOME that overwhelmed feeling.
Growing up in a big family, I’ve seen a lot of moms that are struggling balancing work and personal life. Feel like there’s not enough time in the day for you to complete all the to-dos that are lined up? You have to take two of the kids to their sports practices, one to their voice lesson, you still have to make dinner, not to mention you’re still working during the day too? And when are you going to squeeze in a workout for yourself?
If this sounds all too familiar, know that after reading these next few steps you are going to be able to sign a breath of relief. While these tips are not going to allow you to increase the amount of hours there are in a day, they are going to provide you with tips that help you make time your friend.
The following 5 steps will list easy ways you can plan and schedule your day so you can allocate the precious amount of time you do have to feeling less overwhelmed and living in the moment versus playing catch up.
1. Plan out your time for the week:
Sure this sounds inherently like it would take more work since you’re taking more time out of the week to consciously think of how you want to spend your time, but it actually decreases the amount of time used up, in the long run. Deciding what errands need to be completed and when you can do them during your already scheduled routine events helps relieve the pressure from your conscious that you have a list of things to do and you can’t seem to find the time to do them. If you find the time at the beginning of the week, it makes it easier to place events and errands where they fit in the schedule and it gives you the bonus feeling of relief that you know what to expect throughout the week versus taking the ‘day by day’ approach and handling the situations in an emergency mindset versus the prepped and prepared mindset.
Once you schedule out how the week looks (preferably this is done on Sunday before your week starts so you’re on top of it from the get-go), make sure you use 5-10 mins each night to go over what the next day’s adventures look like to refresh you on your plans.
Think about it – when you go grocery shopping and you’ve spent a little extra time beforehand making a list, how much faster does that trip go? (As long as you don’t go shopping when you’re hungry, in which case you may actually spend more time being distracted by all the delicious looking foods.)
Spending a specific amount of time carved out to plan the rest of the week saves massive amount of time throughout the rest of the week. And make sure you give yourself a set amount of time you’re willing to spend on planning – if you have a specific amount of time you’ve allotted to plan you will be more focused and effective with your time – so that tips goes along with the planning aspect of the week, as well as what you plan to spend your time on during the week.
If the kids need help with homework, talk with them before about how you will plan to tackle it – say you will shave out 10 mins for their math worksheet, 20 mins for their science project, and when they’re done they can play till dinner. The time doesn’t have to be strictly adhered to, obviously if they finish sooner, that’s fantastic! And if they need a little extra time on one, that’s okay too; but having that time amount planned out helps them to see homework doesn’t have to be a drawn out battle that lasts till bedtime, and adding that the sooner and more efficiently they finish, the more they can play – positive reinforcements are the best for children.
2. Journaling, or using a planner:
This goes back to the first step in scheduling out your day, but this covers more of the back end – When you have an accomplishment or task completed – check it off! Do a celebration dance! Research shows those that take the small amount of time to acknowledge the little wins throughout their day creates more positive and overall happy feelings. These happy feelings are equal to the positive feeling of gaining a reward; therefore, making you want to achieve another one – aka check another item off the list. #momentum
3. Prep for the week:
Meal preps are a killer ( whoneedsacape.com/2012/11/crockpot-freezer-cooking/ ) for active moms on the go. And crockpot recipes allow you to make a great meal in hardly any time – these meal preps allow for healthy and delicious meals to be prepared, while at the same time, a busy mom to make the most of her time. The link above is how to make 40 meals in 4 hours – that’s over 1 month’s meals in only 4 hours! Yes please!
4. Make sure you spend time on YOURSELF!
Again, this sounds a bit backwards – how are you supposed to find MORE time to do things – you don’t want to add things to do, you need to find things to take away to make your life less hectic, right? But if you don’t carve out a certain amount of time for yourself you will only continue in this spiral – feeling out of control of your own life, and not having enough hours in the day to do it all. Luckily, once you implement the top 3 mentioned action steps, you’ll have plenty of extra time to do something for yourself, and this added ‘me-time’ allows you to refresh yourself, which in turn allows you to be doubly effective. Doubtful? Click here to see the research! (www.apa.org/helpcenter/exercise-stress.aspx)
5. Enlist help
Make sure the family’s on the same page – Let them know you’re planning on taking on this new challenge to delegate your time more efficiently, and you need their help to do it! They’ll appreciate you’re including them on something so important to you, and the kids will be honored that you see them as a necessary component to making sure it’s a success. Everyone loves to feel needed, and when kids receive so much from the parents, they’ll love to be able to give something in return – it’s a win-win-win for everyone involved! And in the spirit of getting everyone on board with this team effort – don’t be afraid to delegate! Chores build character, and allow for the child to be a more robust adult once they grow up – if they never have to clean up after themselves as children, that habit will be missing once they’re an adult. They may grumble a bit about having to do work, but if you remind them what their efforts help – the family cause to help you become less overwhelmed so that everyone, including you, can enjoy more valuable and active family time – they can get behind that cause!
If even one of these tips resonated with you, feel free to share this info with someone you think may benefit from hearing this! And please shoot me an email letting me know what you plan to change THIS week to begin your process of decluttering your life, as well as the positive changes you’ll implement so that you can have more de-stressed family time planned.
If you’re looking for more great ideas, or are interested in joining a fun community, you’re welcome to join us at our Sip and Stretch event we host every 1st Thursday and 3rd Saturday of the month. Learn how to de-stress through an introductory yoga class, all skill levels are welcome, we just ask that you bring a yoga mat if you have one! Find out more about our monthly classes here https://www.meetup.com/Sip-and-Stretch or join our facebook group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/274683866390550/
Yours in health,
Dr. Sarah MacArthur
The Specific Chiropractic Centers- Boulder