Typically I thrive on being busy, it’s just who I am. I say yes to every event, I go to every birthday party, I never miss an opportunity for a gab sesh with my girls. Then one year ago, that lifestyle finally caught up with me, and I was burnt out. I needed a break from all the “mommin’”. What’s ‘mommin’ you ask? Its the constant busyness of parks, play dates, birthday parties, carnivals, festivals, swim lessons, soccer practice, story times, etc, etc. All activities I usually loved, but suddenly they felt like exhausting, daunting tasks that I wanted to avoid like the plague. I slowly started avoiding play dates and fell off track from our typical schedule. My son was two (slowly crossing over to the terrible side) and I was five months pregnant. I used that as my excuse; he was having a rough day, I didn’t feel well, I had to get the nursery ready.
Fast forward to December 31, as cliche as it sounds, I started to think about how I wanted this next year to play out. A new baby was joining our family and I only had 4 months left to make memories with my firstborn. Like getting the wind knocked out of you it just…hit me, four months. That’s it? I was faced with the realization that I had wasted the last two months holed up inside my house avoiding socialization. I wasn’t going to let these last 4 months pass us by. I knew I needed a plan, something to follow so I could make a fresh start. Something to get me motivated and quite frankly, up off of the couch.
I had to adjust my busy ways, and here’s what I came up with:
1 – Explore NEW places. If you’re stuck in a rut, you’ve got to SWITCH IT UP. Try a new park, go to a different story time, take a new class. One of our recent adventures was to Treasure Coast Children’s Museum, an hour north from our house. Yes, it was far, but adventure we seek, so we packed lunches, packed the car, drove an hour north and three months later my son still talks about it being “the best day ever.”
2 – Make time for yourself AT LEAST 2x a month. I won’t lie to you this is challenging to schedule, but SO IMPORTANT. Even if it’s as simple as a pedicure or drinks with a friend, DO IT! It will recharge you.
3 – Wake up early to exercise and/or read for 20 minutes. Getting out of a rut requires some mental strength. Yesterday, my son reached for a granola bar and whoops, an entire container of rolled oats spilled all over my kitchen floor. Normally, I would’ve flown off the handle just thinking about how much I still had to get done PLUS now clean this new mess. Instead, I quickly cleaned it up and moved right on.
I put off exercising for 10 months after my daughter was born- name every excuse possible, those were mine too. I recently started cycle and weight training classes and it has given me energy that I honestly had forgotten about. Find a workout YOU love, buy some new activewear, and get to it. Your body AND mind will thank you!
Personally, I read from a devotional every morning, but find something that speaks to you, anything that gets you pumped up and feeling positive about your day. I try to have one thing to focus on from my reading every day; be in the moment, appreciate the little things, let go of what you can’t control. This is what you’ll repeat to yourself when you’re sweeping rolled oats up off of the floor at seven in the morning. TRUST ME.
* Don’t implement both of these at once, start with one then add the other.
4 – Say No. After a 3-party weekend, where I had an ugly cry face meltdown in front of a group of strangers, I implemented a new family rule: ONE outing/activity/party per day. I adore all of my friends, but I had to start saying no. If I already rsvp’d to one event then I said no to the other. I know some people will say YOLO and I get it! However, for me, fully investing myself into one activity outweighs needing three days just to recover from a full weekend of outings. Find a balance that works for you and stick with it.