When you first start realizing you need to simplify your life it’s usually when you’ve reached your breaking point and you just can’t think about or handle one more thing. You’ve reached (and probably surpassed) your own limit.
How do you know you’re close to reaching your limit?
- you are physically, mentally, or emotionally tired (sometimes all three)
- you avoid being around people
- you don’t feel like doing things you normally enjoy
- you don’t think you can make even the most simple decisions
- the idea of being in a quiet room all by yourself sounds like a vacation
It sometimes can feel selfish to tell others that we just need time to ourselves to do whatever we need to do to calm our bodies and minds, but you have to remember the saying “You Can’t Pour from an Empty Pitcher”. You can’t help others if you’re so worn out that you aren’t even getting the basic things done for yourself or your immediate family.
Sometimes I fall into the trap of feeling like I constantly have to be productive, that idle time is a waste of time. I love my lists and my trackers and get damn near giddy checking stuff off. So I trick myself into taking time for myself by writing those things on my lists as well. When I feel the overwhelm creeping in, I schedule quiet time or reading time or take a bath and just sit in the hot water doing nothing time.
On Saturdays, I build in a reward to every one of my lists. I stay productive by not allowing myself the reward UNTIL the other things on the list are done, but I always enjoy the reward and feel good about earning it.
As you start to become more aware of what your limits (mentally, physically, and emotionally) are you will also work towards wanting to stay away from that edge. You will crave the calm that comes with not reaching your limits on a regular basis. That comes from taking time to just rest and recharge.
At one point, when podcasts became super popular, I thought I could do so much more than I was really capable of and I started seriously thinking about jumping on board. I’m sooooooooooo glad I talked myself out of it. There are plenty of podcasters in this world who are doing a fantabulous job and if I want to be on a podcast then I’ll just be on one of theirs. I know my limits and that would be way beyond them.
Give yourself the “Gift of NO!” by starting to say “no” to the things you don’t really have to or need to or even want to do (for yourself and others). You don’t have to accept every “great” idea that comes into your head. There are things that you just can’t do and that’s okay.
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