“How do you do it all?” I am not sure what she was referring to but I sort of laughed. “Do all of what?” She shrugged her shoulders and just responded with “all that you do.”
The thing I have learned over the last couple of years is not how to manage all of the things. But managing what is important to me. It seriously came down to my sanity.
The reason this question gets asked to anyone is simple. Perception and comparison.
Social media makes everything look great. Even the hard stuff does not look horrible. Our perception of what the lives of other people look like is blurry. We never know the real stuff unless we are in the mess with them. So just because my kitchen is clean and the picture I posted looks nice, it does not mean that my house is clean or anything is perfect or that I am not feeling anxious. My laundry is most probably backed up and my office looks like a paper machine blew up in there and my anxiety is probably flaring up.
When we compare our to-do lists and accomplishments, we think about how much someone else got done and not what we accomplished. For starters our lists probably did not even look the same so we obviously did not accomplish the same things. We do not have the same priorities and our families do not have the same needs. So why are we even comparing anything?
For me, the key to managing way more than I can handle is grace.
Even with grace, I cannot do it all. Currently sitting here typing as I need to unload the dishwasher. But I just do not feel like it. The grass needs to be cut, but it is raining. If none of this gets done, it does not mean that I am a bad homemaker/housewife/mom/etc. It just means that life is busy and full and things have to take turns getting done. This is when I am thankful for a washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher. I feel like I am doing the ultimate multitasking if I have them all going while I do something else.
But seriously, what has helped me is figuring out a rhythm that I can stick with as I work on taking care of things.
- There is a cleaning rhythm and if I stay on top of it, the house stays pretty clean.
- There is a garden rhythm that changes with seasons but it works.
- There is now a kid school rhythm and this year is going to look differently because there are 2 kids. Which means the grace must be more.
- A reading rhythm
- A writing rhythm
- An extracurricular rhythm
The thing with rhythms is that they change. There really is a season for things and it all changes way more frequently than I care for it to happen, but I cannot stop it. My kids are growing, their needs change often. Life keeps moving.
Rhythms are a giant help with my anxiety. I feel more in control but I still have wiggle room and less pressure when things are not perfect.
When it comes to living your best life it is crucial to remember that there are always going to be obstacles along the way that can cause stress and anxiety.
However, there are, of course, a number of solutions out there that can help you to relax and unwind.
For some people, this can involve attending regular therapy sessions to explore negative thought patterns.
However, a few people I know prefer to use natural methods of managing their mental health.
For example, a friend of mine who lives with depression has discovered that using cannabis has boosted her mood.
If you are contemplating using a natural approach to managing your depression or anxiety, provided cannabis is legal where you are, it is advisable to do as much research as you can using websites such as https://cheapweed.ca/ to find a cannabis strain that could work for you.
Ultimately, you are often already managing more than you think you can handle. Now it is just a matter of figuring out systems and rhythms for managing it in a way that works best for you and your family.