I absolutely love the fall. It’s the perfect weather to finally enjoy the outdoors without overheating, freezing or sneezing. As much as I love the winter, Ottawa is just so damn cold! So fall is sneaking in as possibly my new favorite season. These next few months will be filled with beauty, the changing of the leaves and the fresh crisp air. We also have a a lot going on in our family this fall, so as the days are getting shorter, my to do list is getting longer.
These last few weeks have been a major struggle for me. The looming date of daycare is moving closer and closer and I am really feeling the stress of it all. The second half of the coaching course I am taking has started up again twice a week, and at the same time my partner has been working longer days at a site further away and picking up weekend shifts on top of that. My two year old quit naps months ago and I am squeezing in coaching hours where I can. We also have only a few weeks to design the interior of our entire new home, as well as budget for that. Its been a big adjustment and I am even more exhausted at the end of the day when I have no breaks until bedtime. I can only begin to imagine the struggles single moms have and I commend you! Managing my time has gotten a lot harder and I am still playing catch up with a lot of things. This blog took the biggest hit as I figured out how to find the time again to write.
Balance is always a moving target, with children especially. Life changes, children grow and their routine changes and we need to adapt our habits and routines to be able to live a fulfilled life and still get everything done that just needs to get done. Like most people I want it all. Lots of quality time with my kids, alone time with my partner, a perfectly cleaned home, delicious home-made meals, time with my friends, alone time, lots of self care, time for yoga classes, personal development, career development. I want to read all the books, listen to all the podcasts and watch all the shows, see lots concerts and travel the world. I want to visit my family in Nova Scotia way more often, and go on trips together. I want to build a successful business and inspire other women with similar goals and values as me to live their lives full of purpose.
In this new phase I’ve had less time, less sleep and some big added stresses of life, but all the things still need to get done. So how do you have it all, how do you still do ALL THE THINGS? Well, I don’t. At least not all at once. As I am writing this right now my living room is a mess, its full of toys everywhere. I am using this block of time I have to write this blog since its important to me in this moment and the mess isn’t. The toys will get cleaned up, and brought out again and cleaned and brought out again a hundred times a day. One thing I do, is set one priority a day outside of the regular routine and if I get it done early I can add another.
If you’re feeling the pressure of working through a new routine and big changes like me, here some more tips for what I have been doing to manage it all without losing my mind.
Keep a physical calendar on your wall or desk
I find it so much easier to not only organize everything you need to do, but also have it visible as a reminder. I also write the most important events in a bolder color so they stand out. There are lots of apps that let you share your calendar with your family so if you’re more into that then sure, but for our family the classic wall calendar suits us best.
When you are going through stressful or difficult times gratitude is more important than ever. Being grateful for the positive parts of your life allows you to shift away from the parts that are causing unnecessary stress. I have been practicing gratitude with a nightly meditation and I also just heard an awesome idea listening to Tamara Levitts meditation that I will be starting today. She mentioned using gratitude signals. For example, every time you hear a plane over head take a moment to think of something you are grateful for. You can use anything that stands out to you, stopping at a red light, seeing a bird fly by, hearing a phone ring, whatever works for you.
Most days I can not fit everything in that I need to fit, but I can fit it all in a week. So I stretch out my priorities over a week doing what I need to do each day but allowing it to be ok to take a little more time to complete other things. This blog for example, I let go of the expectation I had on myself to write new content every second day and feel good about writing without the pressure I put on myself for no reason.
Not everything has to be done by YOU. Accept help, ask for help, hire help. This is a HUGE struggle for me, anyone close to me knows I don’t like asking for help one bit. But I know that’s silly and just in my head. So its time to let go of that limiting belief that I need to do it all. There’s no award for doing it all alone.
Another task I consider under this category is online grocery shopping. I place the order and someone else does the shopping for me. This is a huge time saver. I get the majority of our groceries online as well as all our household items.
Take a reset
If you’re feeling overwhelmed in the middle of the day or the middle of a task take a few intentional deep breaths. If that’s not quite enough, take a couple minutes and put on your favorite song, or 15 minutes to meditate if that’s an option for you. Getting outside is also big help and get moving. Take a walk and breath in the fresh air. You also want to schedule in a reset, make sure you’re still making time for something that allows you to step out of the chaos you’re feeling so you can step back and take charge. Yoga, the gym, face masks, hikes, a brisk shower, a call to a friend. Whatever it is that will leave you feel recharged and ready.
Go easy on yourself
Make sure you’re clear on what your priorities are and fill your cup with those. Everything else, allow yourself the time and trust that you will get there. Focus on what is most important to you, and be flexible when giving yourself time constraints on things that are not really time sensitive. I promise you that laundry will still be in the dryer when you wake up tomorrow, and that’s OK.
To follow along with my upcoming posts, workshops and special events, be sure to sign up for my mailing list.