A Girl Named Leney


What To Do When You're Overwhelmed & Spreading Yourself Too Thin: A 7 Part Guide by A Girl Who Used To Be The Queen Of Doing Too Much

Photo by Meagan Abell

Photo by Meagan Abell

A very dear friend of mine recently asked me:
"What do you do when you feel like you're spreading yourself too thin but have opportunities that are hard to say no to? There's a lot going on which is a good thing, but I'm feeling overwhelmed."

Oh boy did I have thoughts on this subject.
I used to be the queen of doing too much.
Over committing myself, trying to do it all... I worked myself to death (no really, I would literally get sick with how stressed and busy I always was).
And so when I was writing her a little note about it, I realized I had a lot more to say on the matter than would fit in a text. So I decided to make a list. A list I decided to also share with you. Just in case any of you lovely people also need a little prompting or inspiration as to how to get out from under the weight of all of the things you're trying to do all at once. 
Or maybe you're not doing too many things, but you don't feel content and you aren't doing the right things. This list speaks to that as well. 

We are not meant to overwork ourselves, to be stressed, to be always be running around like chickens with their heads cut off. If you're like this, something needs to change.
Ask for help.
Cut something out.
Take time away for yourself.
Put something on the back burner.
Say no. 

I would really love to hear your thoughts on this topic friends.
Let's help encourage one another to cultivate a healthier way of living!


What To Do When You're Overwhelmed & Spreading Yourself Too Thin: A 7 Part Guide by A Girl Who Used To Be The Queen Of Doing Too Much

1. Say no.
Just do it. Start saying no. To everything. Okay maybe not everything, but a lot of things. Because you might need to prune and pull back from more than is initially necessary so you have the clearest head possible to start evaluating your commitments. I've found its easiest to start with as clean and empty a slate as possible and add things back as is needed and called for. 

2. Make a list.
Write down every single thing you are committing your time and energy to activity/job/extracurricular/hobby wise. 

3. Pray over the list.
If praying isn't your thing, just get yourself nice and quiet and really and truly ask yourself what of these listed things you really need to do. Sometimes there are things you may want to do but you don't need to do. We can't do everything we want sometimes. Ask what it is You're supposed to do. What's priority. What's best for right now. What's best for later. What's best for never even. Also, sometimes it can seem like you're doing more than you are or stressed more than you need to be, but once you clearly write it down it can free up your mind and help you focus and discern what it is you need to get done. 

4. Trust your instinct/gut/intuition/discernment.
The more I practice this, the more I almost instantaneously know whether or not I should do something when an opportunity presents itself. Even for things as simple as someone asking me to get coffee. If I said yes to everyone who asked me to get coffee or to hang out or to go to an event, I would literally never be home.
And I love my home.
Having time to myself to recharge and rejuvenate is really essential for me so that I can be fully present in the other areas of my life when it's most important. 

5. When new opportunities come business wise- Again, trust your gut.
And say no to most things. I used to say yes to every interview, every feature, every photo opportunity, every collaboration, every shop, every meet up, every craft show and market... But it very quickly became way way way too much. And I realized that most of them weren't even as great as they promised to be, or were worth all of the time and work I put into them for what I got in return. Granted, you need a season of this perhaps to have some different learning experiences, figure out what it is you want and where you want to go. But once you've figured that out, stop saying yes to everything.
Say yes to things that make you want to get out of bed in the morning because you're so excited to be apart of them. Things that you want to do first before all the other things on your to-do list. Things that align with your vision of who you are, who you want to be, where you want to go.
Above all: Do not be afraid of missing out by saying no.
That's living in fear.
That's not who you are.
Opportunities will always be there.
Put the important things first. 

6. Figure out your important things. 
For me: Family, my own well being (health, mentally and physically which also encompasses my passions, dreams and goals) and my friends. Not always in that order but that's honestly what it comes down to for me. The people in my life. I will always put the important people in my life first and before activities and jobs (within reason of course).
This doesn't always look how you would think though. For instance: A great job opportunity that will cause me to miss a friends event will earn me enough extra money to work less the following week so I can take a day off to help my Dad with something important. Or, by skipping a family event because I need to have some alone time after an extra busy work week, which will allow for me to be present and better able to love and serve them at an important get together next time. You get the idea. Just figure out what the important things are in your life to you. Maybe even what your core values are. That honestly was the most helpful aspect for me in figuring out what it is I needed to do with my time and energy.

7. You do not have to explain yourself to people.
You do not have to go into an in depth explanation for everything and everyone you say no to. First of all, most people don't expect that (or a lot of the time even care). Second of all, the people who love and get you, are going to understand. And if they don't.... that's on them, not you.
As long as Your motives are out of love and doing what's best for you and those important people in your life... you're golden.

Don't over think it.