Getting enough rest has been on my mind lately. I tend to be a workaholic, always on, always pushing. In light of this need to achieve, I build rest periods into my schedule, write when it is quiet, and take a real lunch break every day. When I am overwhelmed I usually take note and regroup. However, it is the currently overscheduled, overextended and exhausted people pleaser (who used to be me) that I want to address.
This person is one who needs to choose to do less overall and do the most important things with excellence. They also need a firm grasp of the word “No.”
overscheduled, overextended and exhausted
I call it spinning plates. You can’t ever finish most tasks, you just keep spinning the plates precariously perched on the upright sticks. One miss and something will break.
That something that breaks might be you.
This caring exhausted over-achiever is shortchanging themselves and possibly others who depend on them in some legitimate way.
They earnestly go through their day accomplishing what they must and mostly just getting by. Sometimes they are late or look harried and frail. They burst into tears occasionally when they forget something, because they are overscheduled and then have to over apologize.
If this person is you, you aren’t failing. You are overscheduling your life trying to make everyone happy or are being overscheduled and can’t say no. You are overcommitted.
If you are an exhausted people pleaser trying to keep all the plates spinning and missing those things which are deeply important to you, this is for you.
Stop, right now and let something go. Say no to one thing that is not an absolute priority. Trust me, it is okay.
Choose to relieve yourself of one useless duty or compulsion to make someone happy. Of course, I don’t recommend underachieving, but overworking yourself and doing everything halfway will make you miserable.
Overwhelmed is a difficult way to live. If you think you don’t have choice, I am here to tell you that you do.
Choose to let go of the over scheduled, overextended, and exhausted people pleaser inside and try these:
First you need to learn how to say No. Practice your NO phrase. “I understand, but I am overcommitted right now” and the follow up phrase “Thanks for thinking of me, but I have to say No.”
Practice saying no and giving your life more breathing room, more life.
Say no to the things that are not important to you. Then, when you are rested and not overcommitted, say yes to things that add to your life, and fit into your dreams and goals.
Secondly, let the people in your life solve their own problems some. This was the hardest for me.
You don’t have to fix everyone. In fact, it is better if you don’t. Just love them where they are at and help them when you can. They will ask when they truly need help. Otherwise, anything you do for them is a gift and not a judgment.
Thirdly, you are not responsible for everyone. Your full plate begins with your responsibilities and purpose.
You are not responsible for your extended family, your block, your state, your country, the needy, the poor, the homeless. Especially not all at once. A good healthy life by itself is a gift to your community.
Unless you are called to one of these things as your job or ministry, let go of the need to worry and try to help everyone. It is okay to work on your own life and that of your family and home.
When you get an opportunity to help, do it in the way that works in your life and brings you joy.
You can also help any one of these by being your best self and living an improved life.
A calmer happier rested you raising great kids or sharing a great marriage is a blessing to your whole community.
You are paying it forward with a good attitude and joy. People need that.
I do realize that we all go through periods of over working and that at times it is even necessary. But, the real you is not judged by how much work you get done.
Finally, think quality over quantity. Do less, but do it better. It is up to you to say no, let some things go, and get some rest. You will be better in every part of your life if you truly prioritize.
Barefoot and writing,
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