It's been a while since I've written anything for my blog, which happens to be the topic of this article. Let's talk about overwhelm and over-extending yourself.
As I started to write this I typed "I'm sorry," then erased it 5 times. I've always been the apologetic type- I think it goes with my peace-keeper personality. But as I typed and erased and typed it again it occurred to me- I shouldn't be sorry, and that is exactly where I need to start with this article.
We're all being bombarded by expectations on a daily basis.
"What do I need to do to be a great mother?"
"What do I need to do/be/achieve to be a great (profession)?"
"What is socially acceptable?"
"Am I "enough"?"
"I owe this person."
"What would make them happy?"
"If I don't do this what will happen? What will they say or do?"
"I need X, Y or Z to be happy."
"Will I let them down?"
The list goes on and on (picture Star Wars style text floating into outer space)
I, too, have had a lot on my mind:
"I need to answer all of my emails and portal messages."
"What should I be doing as a business owner to "get my name out there?"
"Facebook live videos?"
"Weekly Q and As?"
"I'll make a Facebook group! Two!"
"They wrote a book? I can write a book!"
"Crap, I haven't blogged in forever."
"Events! I like events (but they're exhausting for an introvert)!"
"Jesus. Do I need to host a freaking online summit like that colleague?! :( "
"That person commented on my comment on my comment on Facebook- I need to respond!"
"Why can't I wake up early? Good, hard working, motivated people wake up early."
"I'd like to go on that trip for (insert conference or holiday here), but then that's (insert number) days away from my office without pay, and It'll take me a week to catch up on work when I get back."
"I should read more. All the best people read."
"I need to bring lunch to work every day."
"Oh, and if I don't work out at least once or twice a week I won't poop. Pencil that in."
"Is Jess getting enough of (insert nutrient here) in her diet? What is her microbiome like?"
"Why, yes! I've love to volunteer to run that committee! I'll find the time!" (spoiler: I did not)
"Shoot. I missed another call with my mentor. Anddddddddddd now he hates me. I'm sure of it."
"(Insert worrying about family members or friends or both)"
"Of course you can "tell me your story" about how that MLM product "changed your life" even though I'm not at all interested in the product or the "opportunity" (and you are fully aware of where I stand on MLMs, but still persist). You seem nice enough and I haven't the heart to tell you no."
"I need to be everything to everybody."
"Is this what adulthood is supposed to be like?"
I'm over being overwhelmed. I'm tired of saying "yes" when I really want to say "no." I'm tired of feeling like I'm not doing anything right, even though I'm doing a lot of things right. In the last few weeks, I've realized that I need to do some mental pruning. Here are the things that have helped me the most:
I deleted the Facebook app and I will NOT go on FB in the browser. A friend jokingly pointed out that I can still access FB from the browser of my phone, which I decided to not comment on. She doesn't know that I did that the last time I deleted the app, and that was enough to keep me hooked. It's like giving a crack addict a *slightly* more inconvenient hit every day. I have to go 100% cold turkey. Recently I've found balance by only allowing myself to go on FB on my PC.
Without the app, I am comparing myself to my colleagues WAY less, and I no longer feel bad that I'm not hosting on online summit 😂 It's true what they say- social media makes you compare your whole life to someone else's highlight reel. It's exhausting. Gradually, I'm becoming more and more okay with my place in the world as a result, and I keep reminding myself to "stay on my mat," as they say in yoga.
I "gifted" one of my FB groups to a colleague. In the words of Marie Kondo, that group didn't bring me joy.
I kept my gut health group, but decided that I just had to be real with everybody. I let everyone know that I am app-less and what they can expect from the group from here on out, so that's off the overwhelm list.
Without the FB app, I can't do FB live videos, so that's off the overwhelm list.
I had to say no to some things that I really wanted to do. Namely, leading a committee for a group I really love.
I'm starting to replace "sorry" with "thank you." As a chronic over-apologizer, it feels like I'm learning to speak a different language, but I'm getting better at it. Here's some reading about this practice (Link).
I'm starting to evaluate tasks using this useful framework: The Eisenhower Matrix (article). I even made a printable excel spreadsheet that I can use like a weekly calendar! (Link here).
So, dear readers, I'm not sorry that it's been a while, but I'm glad for the lesson. I'm going to see this as a lesson in being kind to myself and cutting myself some slack. I hope you join me in saying "I'm over you, overwhelm" and Marie Kondo the heck out of your overwhelm list.