One of the worst things about being exhausted is that the overwhelm means that you can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. But there is something that can really help feel like you have it more under control, and that is to make a plan of action. Yes, some of it might be out of your ability to change, and some might take a while, but there will be some quick energy gain options and you can make a longer term plan as well.
A plan might not always work, things do change after all. I thought I had my life pretty much sorted; I have a lovely little irish granny who I found in my local Tescos, who helps me with the kids; I’d made a list of things to keep my energy going each week, and all was sunny. But then a pile of things hit in a short time: molars in Little Dimples, Curly Headed Boy turning into a bit of a nightmare (more about that in another post), loss of childcare, husband away for 2 weeks, and no family nearby to pick up a few pieces. So I’m re-adjusting, hence I realised how I normally deal with this sort of problem, and thought I would share …
Identify the Problem and Emotions under it all
First of all you have to work out what the problem is. To do this read embrace the emotions that are rising up and get clear on what the problems are. Some will come from circumstances, and some will come from deeply brewing beliefs about you and the world.
Work out what can you dump
Some of those things can be dumped forever or for a while. Plus when you see the emotional upsets written down, there will be a few that you can easily dump on your own or with the help of a cuppa and a mate.
For example, I realised that my expectations of what I can achieve in the 5 weeks before the end of the school year, especially with my childcare gone for 10 days, was just impossible. So my work To Do’s were stripped and tonnes were dumped or delayed for September.
What can you delegate
Sometimes we take responsibility for doing stuff and worrying about stuff that isn’t ours. What can you give to someone else to do, research or deal with? Even if it doesn’t get done 100% right, does it really matter?
For example; I was taking responsibility too much for the lives and choices of my family. Curly Headed Boy is old enough to be a bit more self-sufficient when it comes to consequences, and the Big Northern Hairy can help out more with sorting out the current problems we’ve got with our son.
What problems need dealing with
List what is left, now lets look at what will give you the biggest energy return.
You will find that the tasks probably have a couple that will take 80% of your time, but only give you 20% of the energy. Put those ones aside for a minute. You do need to make the time to get them off your back, but lets go for the biggest win first.
I also recommend starting with physical fixes first, to give you the energy to tackle the rest! So for me, going to bed early a few times and getting as much sleep as possible, plus a massage took priority.
Then add a to do date (Realistically achievable) to the remainder.
Next week I’m going to give you tips on keeping the exhaustion at bay once your plan is working!