Do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by an ever growing to-do
list?  You know, where you cross one thing off, and add two more?

This can turn into a big problem really fast because that
overwhelm gets you feeling stuck.  Not only don’t you get the
day-to-day things on the list done, but you lose sight of the
thing that matters most – taking care of yourself.  Good self
-care is crucial to preparing for pregnancy, having a pregnancy
full of joy, and being a new mama without feeling like
everything has gotten away from you.  Also, when we don’t find a
way to get the basics taken care of, including that all
important self-care piece, our stress goes through the roof, and
things start to unravel left and right.

Here’s the deal – even if you’re not a systems person, you need
to have some sort of guide to help you accomplish the needs so
you can also make time for the wants.  Without a plan, you’ll
likely find it next to impossible to work, get the laundry and
errands done, clean, feed yourself and your family healthy and
nourishing foods, and find time for the things in life that you
love.  This is an ugly spiral, and I’ve been there, and I’m here
to help you stay on the path to health and happiness, instead of
the spiral of overwhelm and inaction.

Prioritize – Know that you can’t do everything all at once, all
in one day, or even sometimes all in one week.  At the start of
the week, make a list of the top 3 things that need to get
accomplished, and focus your tasks each day on getting those 3
goals met.

Be flexible – Life is going on around us all the time, and
unexpected things happen that require our attention.  Knowing
this, and being okay with this, will help you to move with ease
through whatever comes your way.

Simplify – From cleaning to food to self-care, things can be as
easy or as complicated as you make them, so take this
opportunity to choose that path of simplicity.  You don’t need
to cook an elaborate meal every night of the week, clean the
house from top to bottom every day and carve out hours of you
time each and every day.  Pick some family mealtime favorites
and keep your kitchen stocked with the needed ingredients, pick
one room or cleaning task to focus on each day and rotate
through them, and enjoy the simple things – a cup of tea while
everyone else is sleeping, or your alone time in the shower.

Focus – When the time comes to work on a particular project,
whether it is at work or at home, let all of your focus be there
for whatever amount of time you can give it.  Throw yourself
into it full force, and you will get the best work done.  Turn
off distractions – television, phone, extra windows on your
computer.  Set a timer if you need to, and just let that time be
for one specific thing.  When you are done, you can take a break
or move onto the next thing on your list.

Enjoy – Find ways to bring pleasure to all that you do.  Let’s
face it, sometimes we love what we’re doing, and sometimes we’d
rather be doing anything else.  When you can incorporate some
element that you love, the whole experience gets better.  If the
kitchen isn’t your favorite place but you are determined to cook
more, put on your favorite music, invite over your best friend
(or your best little helper), and be open to experimenting and
having fun!

These tips will help you start to feel the simplicity and joy in
your life no matter what you are doing – taking better care of
yourself and your family through fresh and wholesome foods,
making your space a cleaner and more enjoyable place to live, or
finding time to tune in and make time for you.  Remember that
making the shift to lasting habits isn’t always easy and it
certainly doesn’t come overnight, but it doesn’t need to lead to
overwhelm if you keep it simple.

Where do you find yourself getting stuck and overwhelmed?  I’d
love to hear from you, so please leave a comment here or in the Sacred Becoming Sanctuary.

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