I recently discovered the SHE Podcast by Jordan Lee Dooley, after listening to her interview on the Refined Collective. Some of her recent episodes really resonated with me, and felt the message could be shared with you all. As we enter the holiday season, and usually the busiest time of the year, we’re faced with the question of how to balance it all. Her episode “Overwhelmed vs Over-committed” was what I needed this week, and need to apply this holiday season.
Tis the season of family time, holiday parties, and gift giving; while this is suppose to be the merriest time of the year, most of us end the season feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. We’ve spent the past two months juggling our everyday life with the demands of the holiday, and we feel emotionally spent. No wonder January can seem so gloomy to most of us. What if this season we prioritize what is important to us as individuals? We preach self care on a daily basis, but tend to forget about it as we enter November and December. What if we form a strategy that allows us to take care of ourselves and better ourselves this season?
Jordan helps her listeners form a plan when trying to juggle too much in our life: prioritize three areas you want to focus on for the season. And maybe we can break it down even further, prioritize three areas each week. Narrow it down to things you know you can commit your time and energy to, whether that is work, family time, health, party planning, etc. Focus on your areas you are called to “steward your gifts”. I love how she points out that you are not abandoning everything else, but maybe that extra volunteer event or happy hour with co-workers can be prioritized for another week. Maybe it doesn’t mean making it to wine club that night because you wanted to attend an exercise class, or maybe it means skipping that exercise class for one day to spend quality time with friends. Whatever it is you are trying to juggle, too much will cause something to spill. And that something that spills could be the one thing you wanted the most.
So, let me practice what I am preaching. This coming week I plan on prioritizing three things:
- Marriage/Home – I know my husband is entering a busy week on call and rounding in the hospital. This means he also has to work a weekend, and this creates a ten day stretch. I want to focus on helping him around the house, and with Lucy (our adorable puppy) so that he doesn’t feel overwhelmed. We both have committed to honoring one another during our busy times; sometimes that means I’m on for that week and sometimes that means him, either way it’s a team approach.
- Mindful Movement/Exercise – This is the season when I know that if I don’t focus on some sort of movement/exercise, I drop it completely. This makes me feel sluggish, and just overall yucky. I really want to focus on moving, for at least 20 minutes a day, to make myself feel better. There may be a great, hardcore exercise class one day, and then walking the pup may be all I can fit in the next, but I want to make it a priority this week.
- Work Project – I think work can be the hardest to prioritize when we have so much going on. But this coming week I am completing a big project and I really want to focus on being prepared. I’ve learned in my professional career it is okay to say no, or that I can’t get to it this week (within appropriate boundaries), so I want to make sure I prioritize for myself so that this project can be successful. I want to make sure I focus on time management to ensure I meet the goals we’ve set.
What will you focus on this week? It’s our natural tendency to try and juggle everything in life, but eventually something will spill. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed due to over-commitment, focus on what you can do. This makes you happy, and allow you to “steward your gifts”.