I Have Nothing Left:
“Moments” is what I call them: The places you travel mentally when you are overloaded physically, emotionally, or spiritually. The kids are busy, finances could be better, friendships are taking a back seat, work is draining, and your relationship is rocky and stable at the same time (depending on the day). LOL! Your spiritual life is not the first thing on your mind because let’s face it… we live in this world and we’re trying to navigate all this STUFF! Then there is YOU. The “you” that was there before the clutter but got buried underneath all the “stuff” of life, leaving you utterly depleted.
Trust me, I get it. I know all too well about being the person who does it all for everyone. Making sure the tasks of life are marked off the “to-do” lists.
What about you though? When is the last time you thought about your sanity? Do you think you can continue going at the rate you have been, and everything will be okay? Do you feel like you’re juggling for everyone else pretty good but you don’t prioritize the things you desire? What have you accomplished for you… for God? Do you have anything left “undone” due to your tendency to take on everything for everyone else and neglect your own sanity?
When you are fueled by nothing, your tank will continue to be empty. If you are empty, you cannot be as effective at parenting, spousing, friending, or anything else…ing. This is real life that we are navigating so this journey is not going to be an overnight adventure however, if you take some practical steps, you can be on your way to living a very fulfilling and mentally healthy life while maintaining your “to-do” lists that really matter!
What’s your “Why”?
Let’s start with your reason. What is your vision? I know…I know, this may sound cliché, but it is SO important for you to know your why! This helps you to be more intentional about what task you accept and also aids in your “No” campaigns. Understand that you can not save the world alone. You can not carry all the weight of saving all the lives of the entire universe. Don’t get me wrong, you are important, but seriously, your brain can only handle so much. Did you know that research has shown that the effect of chronic stress and mental overload can cause memory impairment, shrinks your brain, and can even cause physical damage to your body? The reason it’s important to identify your “why”, is so that you can declutter your brain and reset it to its intended mental capacity. You must be wise in the choices you make and having a vision will help guide those choices.
Do you know what NO means?
The art of using the word “no” in today’s world is a necessity. Saying no is the gateway to God’s Yes. Understanding that there is already a plan for you is the first step to understanding that you cannot accept every task thrown your way. There is a plan for your family, there is a plan for your finances, and there is a plan for every area of your life. Seeking God to formulate that plan, and then executing that plan is vital for your mental stability. When you are considering whether to take on a task, first ask yourself these 4 questions…
- Is it in alignment with God’s will for my life?
- Why am I saying yes? (Am I saying it to please people or am I saying it because I genuinely feel the urge to do it.)
- Does saying yes give me unhealthy anxiety? Healthy anxiety looks like Moses when he was afraid to stutter in his God-given calling. Unhealthy anxiety looks like you are having a panic attack from the fear of how someone else may feel about you if you say no. (Get the difference?)
- Is this decision out of guilt?
Saying yes, should be intentional, not draining. This opens your schedule up to focus on the things that matter like rest, worship, or date night.
Breathe Every Day!
In vocal lessons, I learned that the average person does not breathe properly which causes less oxygen to flow through the brain and causes fatigue and other health-related issues. We absorb the entire day and seldom do we find a moment to just simply breathe. Yes, BREATHING will help you slow it down, and reset. When breathing slowly… in through your nose… out through your mouth, you are able to remember the vision, stand in your “no” and do it all with a relaxed, oxygen-filled brain.
Earlier I mentioned not spending as much time with God because of life’s “stuff”, but I can tell you this, if you never get this part right, you will ALWAYS feel drained. Let me be clear, I did NOT say go to church and do all the religious THINGS all the time. There is a time for that, but I am talking about your RELATIONSHIP. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you share with the one who created you. If you do not place your focus, your faith, and your trust in Jesus, chances are, it will be a long road. Being in a relationship with God does not always mean what you may think. It shouldn’t be another “checklist” you have. It is as important as the breaths you take. If you don’t go to God about all the previously mentioned things, you may be walking in your own strength which is what causes fatigue. You will never be able to carry the weight of all your responsibilities if you don’t place that relationship first because, out of it, we find peace no matter what is happening around us.
We know that we must maintain these lives we’ve built. How do we do that with patience, intentionality, and success while keeping our sanity?
Now that we’ve identified our “why”, learned to say “no”, the importance of a simple breath, and the essentiality of our spiritual relationship with God, it’s time to see how life will look.
Make a few practical upgrades and you are on your way to feeling balanced…all while family, friends, and all your task are being handled. Below are some of the upgrades I’ve made that have substantially changed my life.
- Wake up in the morning before anyone else does and have “me” time. (For me that’s 5 am but you choose the best time for your world.)
- Schedule times to breathe. (Placing these times in the phone as alerts help a lot.)
- Make a “to-do” list with only three tasks at a time. (You don’t want to overwhelm yourself. Baby steps!)
- Create a weekly schedule or reminder list for the kids’ activities. Only commit to what you can handle. (If you have a support system, pre-plan someone else to drop off/pick up for a day.)
- The house will always need cleaning, schedule a cleaning day and maintain it throughout the week. (Don’t stress over the clothes, they will get washed on cleaning day.)
- Date nights can be alone, with the kids, or with your companion. MAKE THEM A PRIORITY!
- Physical activity (Brisk walk or military style… it’s your life, you choose.)
- Write a list of things you want to accomplish in the next 7 days, 14 days, and 30 days. Schedule your tasks around these things so that you can accomplish them without feeling overwhelmed. (This is for YOU!)
- Reward good behavior. (That’s not just for the kids!)
- Think, listen to, and surround yourself with positivity. (If it’s not fruitful… it isn’t for you!)
You may or may not use this exact list but find something that best suits your life’s demands.
You got this! You were built for this! You are set apart!