7 Strategies to Cull Overwhelm!
We've all been there. Roll out of bed with a list of tons of things to do. Farm/Ranch, kids, and hubby responsibilities, laundry, housework, community, etc. There are so many things we need to get done and the more we dwell on those things, the more overwhelmed we become.
Even though overwhelm feels like its a daily part of our Ag lifestyle, how we deal with it can be as a conqueror or a person conquered. Instead of succumbing to overwhelm and the onslaught of things to do, lets put on an attitude of a conqueror and moving forward in victory as we cull overwhelm!
How do you do that?
Well, here are 7 strategies to help cull the overwhelm!
#1 Look to the Bible for Encouragement.
There are so many passages that can help you deal with overwhelm. For example…
(If you'd like the visual reminder of one of these verses, please feel free save the picture to your iPhone! Just tap on the picture, when it comes up in its own page, you can tap again and it should give you the option to "save photo"!)
#2. Reading it is not enough, you have to live it out!
As Christians we know that our responsibility is nor just to act like Christians but to live it out daily. Going to church, calling ourselves Christians, and reading the Bible is it enough. We are called to live it out with every fiber of our being. We are human and we will make mistakes, but that's where grace comes in. God gives us grace upon grace John 1:16 states. There is always more grace. You don't use it up at some point down the road after you've needed "too much". It is always there just beyond our full understanding of its expanse. So live it out. Memorize it. Dwell on it throughout your day.
#3. Share your struggles with a friend.
As we all know the agricultural lifestyle can be somewhat isolating and lonely at times. Many of us work closely with our families, but pass like "ships in the night" as long hours and different responsibilities pull us from here to there. So, ask your husband to take a moment, and share with him how you're feeling. Join a community like this one, and connect with women who "get it" but who also have the maturity, sincerity and empathy to be able to hear you out, support and encourage you.
#4. Dump it all out on paper.
Grab a piece of paper, your favorite pen and get messy with your life in words. Write down your frustrations. Write down your goals. Write down your blessings. Write down that random thought that comes that makes you want to roll your eyes.
Now stop, go get a drink of water, make some coffee or tea, put on an appropriate movie if you need to for your kids, and come back to the scribbled ugly mess that just came out of your brain.
Take a new color, maybe your second favorite and begin circling the most important things. Do you see something else that applies to what you just circled? Draw a line from that very important item to the other jumbled thought that applies. Keep going, past the distraction and the desire to avoid the mess. Do you see, all the connections? Is it starting to make a little bit more sense?
#5. Take the "next best step"!
Maybe the next best step is putting down your pen, going into the living room, sitting down with your babies and finishing that movie that you started for them. Maybe the next best step is simply holding up the piece of paper where the mess of your brain, the overwhelm and the struggle lies and giving it to your Creator. The One, who already sees and knows it all, and still loves us despite the mess.
Maybe the next best step is to take a second paper and write down in order of importance those "very important things" that you circled. Ask your self these questions:
Which one am I going to tackle first?
Are some of those things ones that I need to address consistently in my daily life? If so, take a white board marker and write it down on the mirror of your bathroom or on the window in front of your kitchen sink.
Are some of these more like "to do list" items? For those items, take out your planner! You do have a planner right? Please tell me you have a planner! LOL. (If you have not taken the leap and decided on a planner, you can find a thorough comparison of 5 different planners here!) Are you putting that planner somewhere it will get used, dirty and looked at? Make sure you're doing that too! OK, least I get a little bit too demanding and put more on your to do list, let's get back to the subject at hand.
What is reasonable for me to tackle today? It's OK to have goals and "to do" lists, but when they're completely overwhelming and too much, they just bring us back to the cycle of overwhelm and we tend to burn our candle at both ends.
What can I start, in faith and pencil, writing into my planner? Don't just consider today or tomorrow. Spread things out across time. If you're not ready to commit it to a specific date then write them down a little sticky notes and put the sticky notes on each day so you can move them around if you need to. If you need some more planner ideas, check out this training called "How to handle overwhelm by utilizing a planner" created specifically from a woman in ag's point of view.
#6. Don't forget implement these strategies daily.
It's so easy to work our way out from under overwhelm and then forget to continue implementing the strategies that help us out! Redo these steps as necessary, maybe even daily, across time. Review your brain dump paper each day if you need to.
#7. Now! Go live in the fullness and grace of God!
We are conquerors! Don't live with the personal view that you're the overwhelmed, run down, scattered and distracted woman. No! You are a warrior! You are a conqueror! You are a resilient, chosen, beautiful, woman of God. Now live like it! You can do it. I know it. Let's live it together!
Which of these strategies will benefit you the most?
Comment below! I love to hear your thoughts!