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How to Get Off the Hamster Wheel of Crazy & Stop Feeling So Rushed

How to Stop Feeling So Rushed

Do you live in such a way that you always feel rushed, no matter what? It’s like you can’t ever get caught up and stay that way for more than a minute.

A few weeks ago, for whatever reason, I woke up in a funk and I just couldn’t get back on my game no matter what.

After some serious looking at my schedule, I realized what I had done: I put more on my schedule then what was realistic. Since I’ve been working on going to bed early and getting up early, I’ve had a lot more breathing room in my schedule. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still have to be realistic.

So this day, I just felt stressed, rushed, and overwhelmed. Like I needed to live life at breakneck speed in order to get everything done that needed to be done.

When I got into that mode a few weeks ago, I knew it wasn’t how I wanted to go through my day. So instead of continuing on the hamster wheel of crazy, these were the four things I did to stop feeling rushed:

1. Re-Assess My Schedule and To-Do’s

It isn’t easy to do this, but I re-assessed my schedule and to-do’s and started marking things off my list. I was feeling rushed, because I put too much on my schedule.

That day, I didn’t have to write multiple blog posts and clean out my inbox completely like I had put on my to-do list. Those were good things, but they weren’t absolutely necessities.

I also had an appointment with the dentist that I was dreading. It was making me feel stressed on top of an already full day, so I re-scheduled it for a day that I didn’t have anything else going on (they were super gracious to allow me to reschedule!).

When you start to feel rushed, evaluate your schedule. What can you cut or move to another day?

Is there something on your to-do list that is causing you to feel extra overwhelmed? I realized it was my dentist appointment that was causing me to feel very stressed (silly, I know, but just keeping it real here). Once I removed it from my day, I wasn’t as overwhelmed.

How to Stop Feeling So Rushed

2. Stop Feeling Obligated to Myself and Others

In all honesty, I had put almost all of the the obligations on myself that day. I don’t know, maybe I thought I was the productivity queen when I had made my to do list or something! I had added a lot of extra things without thinking about the other things that were already on my plate.

Stop feeling so obligated to yourself or to others. Just take that stuff off your task list for the day. It will be okay. Really examine your heart and your to do list and ask, “Am I feeling obligated to myself or others to do anything on this list?”

3. Ask “What Sparks Joy?”

Even though 2016 is supposed to be my Year of Rest, I forgot about that when I was putting together my schedule on that day I felt super overwhelmed. 

Instead of filling up my to-do lists, this year, I am challenging myself to really evaluate what sparks joy in my life. There are definitely going to be some things that I have to do as part of being alive and having a clean and organized home and life. But for everything that’s extra, my barometer for deciding if I should say “yes” to something starts with thinking about my genuine enthusiasm for something.

The more I surround myself with things and projects that truly spark joy, the more encouraged and refreshed I feel.

How to Stop Feeling So Rushed

4. Make Space For My Soul to Breathe

It is so important to take time and let your soul breathe. There are times when I just need to sit and be quiet. I’ve been trying to give myself permission to feel instead of stuff my feelings. To be still instead of feeling like I need to be productive. To take care of myself instead of pushing through when I’m tired.

A question I’ve been asking myself and others is, “What does your soul need right now?” Just being aware of this can make such a difference in the actions and decisions we make.

What do you do when you feel rushed? What helps you break free from living life at breakneck speed?

 

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17 Comments

  • Keslie S. says:

    Crystal, what was the book you mentioned on Periscope the other day…something about making the home…??? I wanted to look for it but forgot the title!

  • J says:

    I do two things. I remind myself that I am not “what I got done,” but rather, I’m just me. Being me is all that is needed.
    The other, is deep belly breathing. This lowers your stress response to “doing everything.”

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you! Funny, this is the second article I’ve read this afternoon that is exactly what I needed to hear today. My family is in a hectic and challenging few months and today the stress got to me and I hit a wall. Unfortunately, I need to push on for a few more weeks so I have to figure out a way to make it through.

    I realized the biggest thing I need to do is re-evaluate my obligations to myself and others in terms of what they actually are vs. how I’m interpreting them. Does that make sense? To be honest, there are quite a few areas in my life where I can afford to slack off for a few weeks to focus on what is truly important. I can’t do everything so it’s time to better prioritize and become more Essentialist. The world is not going to end if we have simpler meals and our house is messier for the next month.

    Thanks again.

  • Cassie says:

    Last year, my theme was simplify. This year my theme is grow. I worked really hard on getting my schedule down to the essential so I could really focus on growing in those areas this year. But I have a tendency to always want to do more so it’s a real challenge. Reading articles like this help me to refocus my energy on what’s important in my life. Thank you!

  • Alisha says:

    This was to be our families year of rest as well. We’ve done great at clearing things off our calendar that take away from our family and our joy. But there was one last thing that I was having a really hard time letting go of. It was a HUGE “Stop Feeling Obligated to Myself and Others” kind of thing but I just couldn’t say no. I felt like I had to do it even though it wasn’t the best thing for myself or my family anymore. I finally gathered up enough courage and stepped down from my position. I still have four weeks left but instead of dreading another full year of meetings and trainings and more meetings I’m looking forward to a year of rest with my family, taking the drudgery out of our homeschooling and enjoying life again. It’s crazy and sad how easily we can let false obligation steal our joy. I don’t want to look back at the end of my childrens’ childhood and remember all the running around and stress, I want to remember days at the park and the great conversations we had over books we had read together and how much fun we had learning together. I really needed to read this today as I was starting to feel like I had let so many people down and that I was a failure but now I remember that I can’t let the most important people in my life down and if that means being a “failure” in other peoples eyes- so be it. I can’t wait for my year of rest to begin!

  • Ashlee says:

    I’m just jealous of the Jeni’s truck!!! I need that here. I miss living in Columbus Ohio mostly because of Jeni’s.

  • I hope that you will continue to make space to breath my sweet friend. Keep up the good work on self reflection and allowing the Lord to speak to you.

  • Aimee says:

    Love this! There is nothing like making room to breathe in your schedule. I have little pockets of time throughout the day that I use to breathe. Finding and doing what brings joy to me now is so important.

  • Wendy Briscoe says:

    Let us not forget, that hormones for us ladies are an issue at times, so I know the week before and of, are really difficult for me. I TRY to go easy on my husband and have chocolate in the house. Today, I got a much needed four hour nap which helped me feel better. Hormones can play an issue to how we think, feel, and behave as well as medications that we may be taking for our health. They all have a piece in the puzzle.

    I have a part time job and I work one day a week, so on Tuesday, and Thursday, I try to get one thing done from start to finish, and then NAP, so that when I go to work on Wed. I am ready for whatever tasks lay ahead, and I know I can rest more the next day. It helps me mentally if not physically.

  • This is what I needed to read today 🙂 my word this year is Simplify and I am in desperate need of simplifying my schedule and to-do list! I needed to read this to remind myself…will work on scaling back and sparking joy this next week for sure…thank you!

  • Wow, so true and so my life! I am relearning this lately, and just how important it is to just breathe! We have to b make time for the things that we enjoy and fill our souls. My prayer is, “Refresh me Lord, so that I can refresh others.” Thanks for the reminder!
    Blessings

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