Everyone says they are busy these days. Life has a way of taking over our best intentions to slow down and savor the moments. Busyness looks different for everyone. Some people thrive on filling their days with enjoyable activities outside the home. Other people prefer to stay home and enjoy life within the quiet (or chaos) of their own four walls.
There is a limit on the number of activities a person can squeeze into their schedule though. At some point, all of us will feel weighed down by busyness if we aren’t intentional about heading it off. Let’s take a look at some ways to break the busyness cycle.
Change Your Mindset
Breaking the busy cycle starts with changing your thinking about what you and your family really need. Schedules fill up with things we perceive are necessary for our well-being.
The truth is that your children don’t really need a lot of activities. What they need is knowledge of the Lord, loving parents to guide them through life, food to eat, clothes to wear and a roof over their heads at night.
As a mom, you need a lot of the same things. You need time with the Lord, fellowship with others, food to eat, clothes to wear, sleep (as much as you can squeeze into motherhood) and rest. Sweet mom, you really do need rest. You need time to relax and refresh and enjoy life. Perhaps rest is reading a good book, chatting with a close friend, getting exercise or shopping at the mall.
But what you don’t need is a whole lot of busyness. Busyness adds stress. Rest leaves you refreshed. If you are feeling the strain of busyness right now then take some time to change your mindset about what you and your family really need.
Add In White Space
If you want to head off busyness then you have to be intentional about adding in white space to your calendar. White space just means that you leave times and days wide open. No agenda. No scheduled activities. Just a blank space to provide time to slow down, savor the moments and relax.
Some personalities require more white space than others. I need several days to be free of activity to break the busy feeling. You may only need a few hours a day. Don’t compare your schedule to others. Determine how much white space your family needs to break the busyness cycle. And be okay with it.
White space might look different for you than your friend. Some people need white space on the calendar to stay home. Others need white space to allow for impulsive outings. The important thing is that you have white space on your calendar not what you actually do during that time.
Group Kids’ Activities
Your schedule can fill up quickly with activities, especially if you have more than one child. Try grouping as many activities together so you aren’t stretched thin. Can all your kids take a class together? How about meeting up with friends for a toddler play date at the same time your older child has sports practice?
It can help to put a limit on how many activities each child can participate in at a given time. You could also let one child choose an activity that everyone joins in on then the next time around another child gets to pick. Get creative and see how many activities you can group together.
Just Say No
Okay, busy moms. Let’s face the fact that a lot of our busyness is because we feel like we need to say yes. Yes to children’s request to play sports. Yes to play dates. Yes to volunteering. Yes to fulfilling a need.
It feels good to say yes until we have to squeeze that additional commitment into our packed schedule. Sometimes we just need to say “no”. When we say no to more activities we are really saying yes to less busyness and stress. We are choosing to enjoy each moment of life instead of letting it slip right by us.
What can you say no to in your schedule?
Turn Off Social Media
Social media can be wonderful if it has a healthy place in your life. It can also consume your time and busy your mind. Total up the number of minutes (or hours) you spend on social media. You might be surprised at how busy your life feels because time was lost on Facebook or Instagram.
Even when you are suppose to be resting, your mind can be racing as it jumps from one social media post to another. You get lost on rabbit trails and never really finish a complete thought about a topic before you are bombarded with a new one. It can be exhausting on your mind and add to the sense of busyness in your life.
It might be helpful to designate a few times throughout the day to pop in on social media sites. Set a timer so you don’t get lost in the social media world. The rest of the day can be free of social media distractions. See if turning off social media helps decrease your feeling of busyness. At the very least, you’ll have more time to get things done and spend with your kids.
What things do you do to break the busyness cycle?
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