Overwhelm and Three Steps to a Fresh Start

I was done. Everyone needed something from me and I had nothing more to give. I could swear someone was breathing MY air. And, if you were in the vicinity, it was probably you. 

Burdened by the overwhelm of running a business, chasing three children, and trying to hold my marriage together, I had stretched myself too thin. Trying to be everything to everyone created anxiety, tension in my relationships, and possibly depression. 

It was time for a change. Using three questions, I improved my attitude and life. 

1. What and Who are Most Important? Prioritize.

How could I delegate and elevate other people at work? How could I work in my "Zone of Genius" and let others use theirs? How could I be the best wife and Mom - the ONE job only I can do? How do I set aside time for my girlfriends and relationships that bring me joy? What are my priorities? Who are MY best customers that ONLY I can serve? 

2. Who Can do this Task Better than Me? Let Go.

As an entrepreneur, I had to trust my team. I had to get the right people doing the right work that allowed them to shine. While I need to inspect what is expected, I need to get out of my team's way and let them figure out "how". My focus needs to be "who" can get the work done and what resources do they need. How do I let go of people and projects that I care about but no longer fit? Letting go is still a work in progress. Life is a journey and the road is always changing. Can you relate?

3. How do I Create Space and Time? Set Limits.

First, I let go of tasks that no longer served my priorities and/or MY customers: primarily my family, friends, and business.

Secondly, I outsourced tasks that helped make my life easier: weekly meal delivery kits making the proverbial, "What's for dinner?" question, a lot less irritating, plus, my daughter takes pride in following the directions and learning how to cook. Win/Win. In the future, I plan to take my dogs to a "Doggie Daycare" and hire a housekeeping service.

But, the biggest, and most life changing limit I set was on myself.

Being the CEO of a luxury bedding company, Ogallala Comfort, I know the importance of sleep. I had to set limits around MY bedtime routine. My children are to the point that their bedtime is past the one I need to impose on myself. My best sleep comes after a warm bath with sea salts and lavender essential oils. I read a book or listen to Podcast. I write about what I am grateful for and what dreams I have for the future. Reinstating my bedtime routine was my gift to myself AND those around me. When I honor this one limit, the rest of my schedule (and attitude) falls into place. 

Sleep is where your body and mind work overtime on opportunities and challenges. Creating a routine each night signals to your mind that it is time to let the body rest and get to work. While you are peacefully resting, your mind is constantly making connections and moving toward resolutions you never would have dreamed of with the daily distractions around you in your waking hours. 

Not convinced? According to the National Library of Medicine about insomnia and stress, bedtime routines help reduce anxiety which, in turn, helps you sleep better. Humans have tried throughout history to increase productivity by reducing sleep. While it may seem logical, the reverse is true. Optimizing sleep increases creativity, boosts your mood and decreases anxious thoughts that keep you awake at night. 

If the people around you suffer from your "Chronic Crabbiness" due to overwhelm, remember to prioritize, let go, and set limits. A bedtime routine goes a long way to getting you the restorative sleep you need to perform at your best and keep your relationships happy and healthy.