Life’s always been a little “busy” for me. I usually have my hands in a number of pies, bustling from place to place, job to job… but it’s all because I feel soooo passionate about soooo many things. My dreams are BIG, and I used to get so caught up with rushing towards them without thinking about how I was affecting my mind, body, and heart.
In fact, I used to feel really overwhelmed and on HIGH sensory overload with all the balls I was juggling. Some days I didn’t even know where to start with my to-do lists, so I would just rewrite them (in my favourite Sharpie pen that I had to take the drive to go buy) to waste time from actually facing the items that were waiting to be ticked off. Okay, and maybe I’d eat a lot of non-fuelling foods and complain about being “sooooo busy.” Needless to say, my nervous system was NOT happy.
The one moment I realized I had made big strides from drowning my stress sorrows in burgers and bad moods was when I had a series of five days this spring where I probably SHOULD have spiralled from my bazillion commitments but didn’t! Here’s the story.
Let’s set the mood…
Picture this: two speaking events, a yoga workshop, end-of-semester marks due, and the launch of my semi-annual online course ALL smushed together in a couple days.
Want to picture something cooler: smiling the entire few days, feeling confident the work was going to get done, eating super healthfully, and feeling genuinely excited and happy. Oh, and despite popping a truck tire a few hours before my speaking event, I DIDN’T freak out!
HOW THE HECK DID I DO THIS?
Well, I’ve realized that it’s when we become disconnected from ourselves and outputting too much energy (rather than refuelling!) that it all goes to hell in a handbasket (aren’t you loving these clichés—I’m on a roll!). Yep, it’s when I’m so connected to myself that I am able to uphold a positive attitude and make big moves to go after my dreams (and I got a lotta those!) even when it seems like there are shit storms a’brewing.
I’ve got a few presence strategies that help me when things start to get “overwhelming” or “busy.” The most empowering thing you can do it find out what (healthy + empowering thing) calms your nervous system and do that. We’re not talking about going to the comfort foods or drinks or sleeping your stress away. Yes, there are times and places for those things, but MOST of the time if you are seeking a HIGH VIBE, you gotta do things that aren’t numbing. #preach
Here are some of the things I do
1. BREATHE. It’s not unusual now for me to stop whatever I am doing (wherever I am!) and take a few minutes to catch my breath. Sometimes this means excusing myself from whatever setting I am in or sneaking to a bathroom to find some solace. Try the 4-4-4 breath of inhaling for a count of four, holding your breath for four, and exhaling for four. You can also try inhaling for a certain count, and doubling your exhale count.
2. WRITE. When I start to feel that emotions are bubbling up, I get my pen (yes, the Sharpie) and start writing. This is a no-censoring, just-write-how-you-feel kind of exercise. Once it’s all barfed out on to the page, I spend a little extra writing time focusing on how I WANT to feel. This allows me to move into more ease and, while validating the emotions, shifting to better feeling emotions. We choose to stay in the spiral and writing can help move us out of the drama and towards our dreams.
3. MOVE. Okay, so this might sound strange, because I am NOT the most graceful person, but the few days that I was hustling with all my gigs, I took every opportunity to dance. I was twirling from the computer to the bathroom, sashaying at the photocopier, and bobbing my head driving. When we have an abundance of heaviness, we have to move it. My go-to is usually a cry or yoga, but I didn’t have much time to fully embrace those activities and knew my mind would be racing, so I optimized my time and flowed.
I still get the occasional stress moment (cue yesterday when a big bill came in for repairing my truck!), but they don’t last as long as they used to. I attribute that to my commitment to seriously upping my self care game (do you know that I colour code my calendar and make sure the pink “self care” blocks populate every.single.day). I have spent so much time with myself (sans technology or distraction) that I can have conversations with myself (“Okay, what do you need need?” and “how can I help you feel supported?”) so that I can manage my energy and move closer towards my dreams.
Try one of my tricks, or some of your own, to avoid the stress spirals and truly welcome moments where stress could be overwhelming. Amp up your self care game because YOU DESERVE IT. If you need some accountability, share your selfcare with me on instagram or in our closed fb group: busy to balanced babes.