We’re all guilty of taking on too much – pressures from work, family commitments, running a home and having a social life can mean we have precious little downtime. If you are feeling the strain that comes with trying to do it all, these five tips can make life feel a bit less fraught.
Whether it’s a work deadline you’re struggling to hit or keeping on top of the housework taking its toll, one way of making life easier is by asking for help. Partners, children, parents, colleagues and friends are great people to ask as they will likely reap the benefits too. If you find it hard letting people know you are struggling, practice what you want to say in advance or, if the written word is your forte, send a text or email. There’s no shame in reaching out when you need support and people are often willing to lend a hand.
Modern society celebrates busyness, but for many people, a fast-paced lifestyle is unsustainable in the long term. Make a list of everything that you feel needs to be done each day, week or month and rank the tasks on it in order of priority. Work through the jobs in that order and know you have taken a methodical approach to managing the load. You may find some of the tasks you thought were vital aren’t that important after all.
It can be tempting to plough on when you have a long list of jobs to tackle but pushing yourself too hard can lead to burnout. Allow yourself time to relax, whether that’s watching your favourite film, having a long soak in the bath or catching up with friends for a glass of wine. You might find yourself more productive as a result.
When you are asked to contribute to a work project or attend a party it’s easy to say yes, even if you are already overloaded. We all find it flattering to be wanted – that’s human nature. However, learning to say no is an important skill and an act of selfcare. If you worry that saying no may come across as rude, prepare polite ways of turning down invitations such as, ‘sadly I can’t,’ or ‘that isn’t possible right now,’ so you have a selection of stock phrases you can use. The more you say no, the easier it will become, and you will be amazed at how freeing it is!
In the same way as taking time to relax, allow yourself treats. The best treats are the ones that also make life easier, such as having a takeaway or eating out (meaning no need to food shop, cook or wash up). Bristol’s urban-tandoor.com is a popular choice, with both eat in and delivery options – ideal for busy people.
If you are feeling the strain of life, be kind to yourself and remember that if you have tried making adjustments and you are still finding things tough, there is support available from your GP.