I’ve hit rock bottom a few times within the past 2 weeks. The first time I took the day off. The second time I had a huge melt down, and my husband stepped in to take care of things.
Today, I woke up feeling like the bottom was getting really close again.
Everyone’s rock bottom is different. Everyone’s story is different. I’ve learned through 2 post partum depressions plus dealing with a recovering alcoholic the very early warning signs when I’m almost burned out. I know as an introvert, I get overloaded a lot of faster than extroverts. I also have a very full plate with 5 kids, blogging, and volunteering. I know I put pressure on myself to be responsible, to be flexible. To always step up.
Sigh. While writing this, I got a text from someone asking when we would schedule a leader meeting for my Girl Scout troop. This person didn’t show up to the last 2 meetings and bailed at the last minute as one of my adults for staying overnight. No explanation.
What to Do When You Need to Stop Doing Life
Ignore the Electronics
I am going to ignore the text and any other requests for my time for the next 24 hours. I know I’ll say something uncharitable or snippy in my response. I may be too tired to look clearly at my calendar and come up with a date that doesn’t affect everything else I need to do.
I’m staying off Facebook. When I’m tired, I get sucked into constant status updates from friends on Facebook. The friends that need to talk to me have my cell phone number. They know I’ll respond to them in a heart beat.
The sun is shining today. All my bulbs bloomed over the weekend, and I haven’t enjoyed any of them. I’m going outside with the kids and checking out the flowers. We’re also playing a game.
Talk to People
I would have said talk to friends, though I find talking to strangers can be a boost, too. As a mom working from home, talking to anyone in real life can help me feel better. It’s the basic human connection.
I also talked to my husband yesterday. He turned 50 yesterday and has been struggling a bit with that. We talked about getting older. I talked about my frustration with putting the most important people in my life lower on my list.
Make a List
I haven’t updated my project lists. Everything is swimming in my brain helping me feel overwhelmed. As soon as it’s on paper, I can start prioritizing and delegating. I may not get to the list making today with my busy schedule. I will do my best to spend 15 minutes writing things down.
Ask for Help
We’re going to my sister-in-law’s on Sunday for an Easter Egg Hunt and dinner. I asked my husband to coordinate the menu with my sister-in-law. He will take care of making food for us. I’m going to delegate the stuffing of the Easter eggs to my oldest son.
I asked one of my Girl Scout co-leaders to help me with an issue while I deal with other stuff on my plate. My Dad was in accident last Saturday, and no one knew where he was for 24 hours. That absorbed my time for 2 days; I couldn’t process anything else.
Long-Term Outlook: Look at Simplifying Life
Yes, life happens. My Dad’s accident was an accident. I have no control over parents not showing up for Girl Scout events, or coleaders bailing from their responsibilities at the last minute.
I have control over my Yes. I said Yes to a lot of stuff. I didn’t push my coleaders to meet with me to share responsibilities for the Camporee. I didn’t ask for help every time I needed it. I didn’t build margin into my schedule in case life happened.
My family will always be my priority. Short of plastering that to my forehead, I am going to put physical reminders in strategic places. If I’m so stressed from helping other people that I’m yelling at my kids, something is wrong. My priorities are out of whack. I’m the only one who can keep them straight.