Last week I told you about how I'd been feeling overwhelmed, run-down, and tantrum-prone.
I asked you - and my Facebook community - how they handle projects and what they do to take care of themselves to help avoid nasty overwhelm.
It seemed many people were experiencing similar feelings and had also been getting sick after lots of stress. Could it be the change in the seasons? That we push ourselves hard in the new year after having holidays, then we find we have little left to give? I don't have the answer, but I did think it was interesting that many people in my circle were feeling overwhelmed, too.
Several friends offered lots of advice and every bit of it was useful, validating, and soothing.
Some of the wisdom that others passed on to me:
- Prioritize your to-do list (Lisa Rivas)
- Finish one project before taking on another (Lisa Rivas)
- Learning to say no to things and letting a few items off your to-do list go when you can (Taproot Studio)
- Create daily rituals for self-care, even if it's just having a cup of tea on the porch (August Wren)
- Slow down and try to find the right balance for your own life (Suzanne McRae)
- Start the day centering yourself on your intentions while trying to remember that you're working towards goals for two reasons: immediate output and for 'big picture' reasons (which are the reasons, the purpose behind your work). (Alma Art)
- Spend some time on Pinterest for inspiration (Wayward Spirit Rubber Stamps)
- Create a visual goal map (Tammie Bennett)
Taking on the advice of such wise women, I decided to let things go and just do the best I could with how I was feeling.
Recovering from being sick, I rested. I watched a lot of Downtown Abbey and Grey's Anatomy. Sometimes I even watched dvds on my laptop while lying in bed. It was great.
By the end of the week, I was feeling much better and was ready to organize my projects into more detail. I found lots of cute, free, daily and weekly schedules and printed some off.
I decided to organize my week days according to projects. Some of the work I'm doing does need to happen simuletaneously, so I've split up the days of the week to focus on specific projects.
Thursdays have been my creative, free day where I don't schedule meetings and I spend time alone. This hasn't always worked out and there have been plenty of times I've used my Thursdays to work on my projects instead of letting them be. I want to be more protective of this day.
My intention is to only do creative things on Thursdays that don't have any bearing on big to-do project lists. It's just for me. To paint. Or do creative writing. No blogging. No course work. No meetings. Just whatever I feel I need to do to take care of myself that day. Last Thursday, I did exactly that. I painted. I wrote. And I felt very happy.
I hope this helps some of you if you've been feeling overwhelmed, too.