I have 4 children. Under the age of 5. I run a business. And I attempt to fit in hobbies and personal time. I am exhausted just writing that. So running on empty is a feeling I am regrettably very familiar with. Last week I shared how 2014, while an incredible year, was one so full to the max I had hardly any breathing room. And I am determined to make changes to enjoy more balance and happiness this year.
But inevitably, there comes a time when despite your best efforts, the season of life you are in is super challenging. Right now, all 4 of my kids are sick (AGAIN). I will spare you the incredibly horrific details but tons of bodily fluids are involved. And of course they often pick the middle of the night to take shifts. This leaves a really tired mom during the day and a feeling of desperation so deep I could cry.
Today was one of those days for me, where I kind of felt like giving up on everything, where every single task felt insurmountable and where I felt like I could not survive the day. Have you felt like this before? Kids or no kids, I am sure I am not alone in this feeling.
If this is a familiar feeling to you too, here are some strategies on not only getting through the day, but filling your tank so you can indeed thrive, not just survive (to borrow from Crystal's book title).
1. CLEAN SOMETHING
This is such a simple task, but the reason why I think it's effective is because of the instant gratification that comes with one clean space. It's like you're one step closer to a cleaner house, which means order and sanity. And when you think about it, a messy room is really just 20 small "somethings" to clean. So do it. Clear off a counter, organize one drawer, purge one spot of your closet. You'll feel good, and it's instant, I promise.
2. DRINK SOMETHING
Preferably water. There are so many proven benefits of water- I am no nutritionist but lots of experts talk about it's efficacy. I now keep a pitcher of water with lemon slices in it on my counter- and basically force myself to drink the whole thing in a day. I still need a better strategy for drinking water on the go (it's probably as simple as reusable water bottles- I just don't have any?). If anyone has a great strategy for remembering to drink water while out and about please share.
3. MAKE A GOAL LIST
As part of Michael Hyatt's Best Year Ever Course I made a pretty epic goal list over the weekend. Like crazy epic, crazy good. And the exercise of getting the jumbled mess of thoughts in my head in an organized fashion was such an accomplishment. I felt an instant surge of confidence, and regardless of how daunting (great goals should be kind of scary!) the act of organizing the goals, writing them down with some semblance of a plan attached is an immediate mood lifter.
4. PUT ON SOME MAKE-UP
For my fellow moms out there that feel like you are in an endless cycle of diapers, spit up and mess, you know how good it feels when you put your face on. So do it. Put on a TV show for the littles, and take 15 minutes even if you have no where to go. As my friend Donna Bishop says, vanity can be a great motivator. So glam it up.
5. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE TO LOSE BY NOT DOING IT
This is a total mental shift strategy, one that again Michael Hyatt's course helped me to learn. As part of the goal setting exercise, he asked us to consider what is at stake, or what might you have to lose by not accomplishing your goal. This kind of thinking can be applied to the big stuff- for example- why blog 3 times a week? What's at stake if you DON'T blog 3 times a week- you won't be consistent, which means you won't build a loyal audience, which means you have less of a chance of sharing your message and helping people, etc. etc. This is also totally applicable for the small things- what is at stake if you DON'T empty the dishwasher, or put away the laundry right now? Your kids won't have clean cups to drink out of, you'll be scrambling for clean socks when you are in a rush later, etc. This simple shift in thinking helps keep me motivated and especially where laundry and the dishwasher are concerned, it helps me get mundane tasks done that feel insurmountable at times.
How do you "fuel up" when running on empty? Love to know in the comments below.