April is spelled c-h-a-o-s in our house. Controlled chaos, but chaos none the less.
Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is the non-profit my husband began twelve years ago in our county.
In April, it is in full swing; rehabilitating homes for those in need. Ten projects in all just for this month. Changing the lives of folks who otherwise would have fallen through the cracks.
It is a wonderful kind of busy; but the grass still grows, and other household chores don’t just disappear.
Then we add the seven grandchildren and all of their Spring programs. Since we try to support them in all of their doings, there aren’t many blank spaces left on the calendar.
April is full of preparations for beginnings and endings; school years, graduations, summer sports, and conferences in other towns to plan for the future.
My April, is not unlike your April. The sub titles are just different.
So. How does one keep their thoughts straight, schedules in line, and their brains in tact?
I’m not sure how you handle all of this, but I can try to share a trick or five that I have found helpful.
Make a list
A week before, the night before, or the morning of. Having a list of things that need to be accomplished is most helpful. This will help you keep on track.
Referring to that list, keeps those things from jumbling around in your head, and lets you know when you’re veering off track. It helps to keep your mind quiet.
Use that note taking feature on your phone or other device. When you’re out and about, jot those reminders down so you won’t forget.
NEVER trust yourself when you say “Oh there’s no way I can forget that!”
Best use of your time
Each one of us have a time of day that works best for us. If I make appointments in the morning, then when I get back, it is a real fight to get my thinking turned on.
Do you do better with the thinking things in the morning, and the physical tasks later in the day? Before you eat? After you exercise? At midnight or at daybreak?
There are as many answers to that question as there are people. Find out the answer that best fits you, an stick with it.
It is not weakness to get help. In fact, it will make you stronger.
Each of us is simply better at different things.
Are you good at making that sign you need for your upcoming project, or does it take all of your strength and several days for this task?
Enlist the help of someone who loves doing it. Your strength will be saved, and your project will turn out better than you could have imagined.
Energy, frustration and brain cells saved. Leaving you with what you need for the next task.
Take time for yourself
I call this Quietude, or quiet time. Some call it Me Time. Call it whatever you like, but make time for it.
Quiet time energizes me, and helps my insides to remain calm no matter how busy the days become.
Some ideas for quiet time;
- A soft chair, a clean window and a hot cup of coffee. This is my favorite.
- Low light or natural light, either works
- Soft instrumental music in the back ground.
- Add a book to read, or a journal to write in.
- Sometimes, only the first one. Taking time to just BE.
For some, the thought of all that silence is terrifying. They energize in an entirely different way.
Some ideas for them may be;
- A short walk
- A lively conversation with a friend
- Group sports
- Energetic music
- Can you think of more? (Please share)
You may enjoy either one of these, or you may be somewhere in the middle. You might even be something totally different. (If that’s you, I’d love to know what it is that helps you.)
The point is – Take care of yourself! Take three minutes if that is all you have. Twenty if you’ve got it. More time if you can find it.
It may turn out to be several times a day in smaller increments. Whatever.
Know when to say when
If we allow ourselves to drain, we have nothing left and will only be miserable. We’ll feel guilt for all the things we do not have the energy to do.
If we take care of ourselves, then we can take care of others. We can then do all of our activities with a certain amount of peace inside.
When your mind and body say no more; you may have to make some difficult decisions. Decisions that will protect you later on.
Decide to give yourself time to recharge, whatever that looks like. Decide, and stick with it.
There may be fingers coming underneath that bathroom door – but take that time anyway – You’ll be happy that you did.