Spreading Too Thin

As a working mother and wife, I often spread myself too thin.  Between helping with homework, getting involved in too many things, working full time, and trying to make everyone happy, sometimes, I drive myself crazy.  When I get that way I have to step back and think about things and pick some things that I can drop.

I often work with people around stress management, and focus on a couple things initially as they work to manage stress and lower their stress level.  First task is generally to slay your own dragons, but the next is to make a list of things that you are managing.  When you  make the list, make sure you sit down and think of everything, from laundry and making dinner to homework and sleep.  Don’t forget to make time for sleep.  It helps make all other things more possible.  When you make your list, you will see a pattern of things that you can’t take off, things you can delegate, and things you can stop, at least until you are able to lower your stress for a time and reorganize.

Now that you have a list, start working on things that you can either let go or delegate.  Your kids can help more around the house to give you some time after dinner by doing the dishes.  Have your spouse help with cooking.  On the weekends, have everyone take time to clean if the house needs attention.  Schedule time for homework and other tasks, like writing posts on the internet.  If you are working in the community, decide if you need to step back for a time, while lowering your stress.  You can always return later if you feel comfortable.  If you are over extended at work, try to complete projects and not take on others as until things calm down.  You have to consider consequences of alterations at work, including stopping a second job if you need the income to survive.  If you have a partner, talk with them about how you are feeling, and let them help you make changes.  If can help improve the relationship, and your communication.

After making changes, it’s important to evaluate and to see if the changes are helping you feel less stressed.  What changes are helping?  Are any of the changes making things worse?  Are you sleeping at night, and getting enough rest?  As you think about the changes, you might find that some things are better, but some things still need work.  You might also find that some things are better, but can be even better with more changes and progress.  Getting everyone to pitch in around the house is helpful, and going back to other was isn’t an option.

Feeling stressed is the American way, I think, but it doesn’t have to be.  Managing time, finances, and resources well can make stress easier to manage.  I don’t believe it will ever be a thing of the past, but living as stress free a life as you can is best for your heath and well being.  It helps with better sleep, communication, and relationships.  It certainly helps when you are trying to be happy for life.