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Preserving My Sanity One “No” at a Time

March 20, 2021 No Comments

Looking back over the past year, I would say that I’ve done a good job at managing the ups and downs of pandemic life. It’s important to note that my income remain unchanged and my children have been in daycare most of the time. This certainly made it easier for me to maintain my productivity levels at work, keep the boys fed, start working out consistently and return to blogging.

But, in the background, the hums of isolation and frustration have been going.

And, now, the exhaustion is setting in.

I thought that it was just the aftereffects of time changing. But, this article from Salon called out that it’s more than that. Our bodies have been in a constant state of trauma and change for a year at this point. Unbelievable.

I’m determined to not let this get the best of me. I started journaling to unload my thoughts about the past year and am putting some actions into place to preserve my energy without closing myself off to the world. #Growth

The flip side of an intentional “no” is a purposeful “yes.”

One way that I’ve been managing the overwhelm is by intentionally deciding what I will NOT do each day. Instead of loading up a daily to-list with tons of items, I pick only 3-4 priority actions. Then, I actively say “no” to other things. If folding laundry is not on the list for that day, then it’s not getting done. Doing this stops me from worrying about things that I’ve already identified are not important for the day.

Another thing that I do is assign days of the week to complete specific tasks. I started this a couple of years ago and recommitted to the practice after reading The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi. Here are some of my mental shortcuts:

  • Always pick up Chick-fil-A for lunch after Saturday swim class
  • Fold laundry on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Frozen pancakes or waffles for weekday breakfasts
  • Always schedule takeout at least two days/week, usually Tuesdays and Fridays

Establishing rules like these help free up my decision overload. Someone explained to me that our brains are similar to computers. When there are too many tabs and applications open, the computer system will inevitably slow down. So, the first thing we start doing is closing down things to reduce the overwhelm.

We need to treat our minds the same way!

When you think about your to-dos, what can you say “no” to? What can you push off to a different day?


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