We all go through seasons of life that suck the energy out of us. If we’re not careful, those seasons can blend together and become a never-ending blur of busyness and exhaustion.
I recently experienced this when several events combined to create the “perfect storm.” Extra speaking engagements, my son’s baseball season, end-of-school activities and field trips, not to mention trying to fit in all my doctor appointments and other work responsibilities before school let out.
As summer break has approached, I’ve realized I need intentional breathing room in my life. This has led to the decision to take these summer months off so I can recharge and enjoy my kiddos. (My daughter starts kindergarten in the fall. They grow up way too fast!)
If you sense you might need breathing room too, these are the signs that indicated I needed to make a change.
1) My physical energy was drained. As my schedule grew out of control, I had a harder time getting enough sleep, which sent me into a cycle of depleted energy. This of course led to lessened motivation to exercise and eat well, which perpetuated the cycle.
If you struggle to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, pay attention to your body’s messages the next day. God designed us with clear signals to indicate when we’re overloaded.
2) I was easily irritated with the people I love most. Because I could barely juggle everything on my schedule, every little thing sent my stress meter climbing. I found myself rushing through my kids’ bedtime, putting them off when they wanted to play a game with me, all those things that I usually would treasure and enjoy.
If your busy calendar keeps you from enjoying time with your closest family and friends, you can either stay busy and disconnected, or you can release some of your responsibilities and enrich relationships with your loved ones.
3) I struggled to connect with God on a deeper level. During my season of busyness, I did five-minute, “fly-by” devotionals, which sustained me for a while. But they weren’t a good long-term solution. As this particular season came to an end, I knew I needed to dive back into the Bible and prayer.
If you find yourself too busy to connect with God through prayer and His Word, you can only run so far on your own strength. Build in time to draw from HIS strength.
4) My husband gave me a reality check. Our spouses are really smart when we listen to them, aren’t they? 🙂 After making it through an extremely busy time, I was encouraged by my husband to stop putting pressure on myself to “do all and be all.” The reminder to slow down and enjoy time as a family gave me the freedom to realize my husband and kids matter most in this season of life.
If a trusted friend or family member raises concerns about your busyness, be sure to listen. They are likely one of the people most impacted by your choices.
Has this list helped you realize you need breathing room? If so, check out my 6 easy steps to figure out what to release from your schedule.
If you’re still scared to let something go, ask yourself this: If I continue on my current path, where will I be in a year, and will I like the person I’ve become?
In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying days filled with swimming lessons, flip-flops, and the sweetness of my kids’ laughter. If you want to stay motivated while I’m away, be sure to follow my Pinterest boards. I plan to check in there from time to time.