Peace, joy and everything in between.
I see it happen too often, women overcome by feelings of shame and overwhelm, moms especially. I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t think you did either.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
We weren’t made to constantly feel shameful or overwhelmed or anxious or exhausted. We were made for a life of peace, contentment, joy and excitement. (John 10:10)
Whether it’s someone else shaming you or it’s you doing it to yourself, it’s likely not what you’re doing that’s causing shame, but your mindset that’s allowing the shame.
Identify your barriers.
What exactly is it that’s standing in your way of living your best, most peace filled and joyful life?
For me it was a bad attitude, negative self talk and lack of direction. These things caused stress in my relationships with others and myself. I felt so unworthy, I was never going to be enough for anyone and I felt like I was wasting all my time. Yet I was exhausted. I was tired of working so dang hard and never getting anywhere.
I would make extensive plans and never find the motivation to follow through with them. I was in a constant state of panic and stress because I didn’t know what I was doing. There was always too much that needed done and I felt I would never catch up. This would all snowball into big emotional meltdowns – usually when the time to decide what’s for dinner would roll around.
I began carefully implementing a variety of new habits that would reshape the way I look at myself, my life and my surroundings. I was always told that joy comes from the Lord, but I was never in a place to openly receive that. This isn’t a bible study blog, so I won’t go into detail about how these exercises coincide with His word, but the more I study it, the more I find that it was there all along. Seek truth for yourself.
Proactively seek joy with 3 mindset alignment techniques.
I fixed my attitude, overcame negative self-talk, and established a firm direction by incorporating these three mindset alignment techniques into every day.
1. Gratitude – when we begin to practice gratitude for all we have, we shift our mind to start seeing blessings over burdens. I begin my days by listing out 3-5 things I have truly and deeply grateful for in my life. Reflect on how different your life would be without them, and how they have changed your life for the better.
2. Affirmations – talk kindly to yourself. Do you struggle with self-esteem or negative self-talk? Limiting beliefs about what you’re capable of? Specific and targeted affirmations are a key to cancelling out these thoughts. What you tell your brain repeatedly, it will believe. Choose to tell your brain kind, uplifting and encouraging things about yourself.
3. Intentions – without intention, what are you even doing? The way I see it: time is going to pass, you’re going to use up energy anyway, so why let yourself become exhausted and then get frustrated that you’re not where you meant to be? We have set intentions and goals for our life, and for each day, in order to be on track to being the humans we are meant to be. Even if you ARE where you want to be right now, then be intentional about staying here. Day by day we see little progress, but it adds up overtime.
Mindfulness conquers overwhelm.
When we feel overwhelmed, it’s not usually having too much to do, but not knowing where to start. The pursuit of perfection can leave you paralyzed. The idea that there is only one place to start, that you can’t start in the “wrong” place and still be successful is a big ol’ myth. You can start anywhere, you can start anytime, and you will be successful; the key is to simply start, and keep going. You only fail when you quit and learn nothing from it.
Our anxiety is fear of the future. The future doesn’t really exist, if you want to get philosophical with me, it’s merely a concept. The future you are fearing, the one that’s causing the anxiety and stress, is literally all in your head. Stop worrying about the possibility that things might go wrong, and get used to the idea that things will go right. Who’s in control after all?
Focus on today, focus on the now. This is mindfulness and it’s key to feeling in tune with what’s happening inside you and all around you. Mindfulness, letting go of the fear of what MIGHT happen, is a practice that will lead you to a place of peace and leave you open to experiencing joy.
Productivity for peace.
Mindset isn’t the only way to go about bringing peace into your life. Attitude adjustment is a big part of it, but we also want to simplify the world around us. I’ve rarely met a mom who said she didn’t spend too much time and energy worrying about dinner, cleaning the house and trying to balance time for herself, homemaking, working and quality family time.
Getting intentional and simple with our home routines and setting boundaries with our time is a game changer for balancing your roles of homemaker, mother, and everything else.
1. Set 3 priorities – Limiting your daily goal to accomplishing just 3 tasks helps you to feel satisfied when completing a realistic amount of work. When we bite off more than we can chew, we often feel inadequate or shameful for not finishing all we set out to do. But realistically, we set ourselves up to fail from the beginning. If you’re like me and try to do too much and end up feeling empty when you “fail,” try just doing 3 things today, then remind yourself – out loud – “that is enough.”
2. Block scheduling – Take your 3 priorities for the day and plan your time blocked schedule. Decide early in the day what your day will look like. Keep in mind this isn’t a detailed hour by hour schedule. The idea is to batch your tasks – like all your housework – into one section of the day. I change mine every day to fit my needs for that day, but often it looks something like this:
3-5: time with kids
8: bedtime routines
Notice I have hours missing? That’s so I can have time to breathe, time to adjust, time to catch up and time to relax when needed.
3. Meal planning – My least favorite thing to do is decide what to make for dinner when it’s time to make the dinner. After a full day of working and momming, I don’t want to make this decision and be faced with every variable conflict that might arise – frozen chicken, out of a random staple ingredient, salad went bad…
I need to know ahead of time what I’m making for dinner and be sure I have everything I’m going to need. Planning all the dinners at the beginning of the week has been a life changing experience.
The Everyday Joy Planner.
All of these habits and exercises are important for keeping my mental, physical and spiritual health at it’s best. Keeping track of all these things can feel like a lot, even when using a weekly planner. This is why I not only switched to a daily planner, but I created my own to intentionally incorporate all of these things into each and every day.
But wait, that’s not all!
The Everyday Joy Planner has more bonus sections to it: water tracking, habits and goals, weather tracker, mood tracker, room for reflection, self-care planning and other activities throughout.