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Too much to do, too little time

Hi, my name is Kara and I am the owner of Olimene Counseling Services, Inc. I run a counseling practice, raise children, try to have a healthy marriage and keep in touch with friends and family. I hate quotes like, “I wish there was more than 24 hours in a day,” “If I only had more time, I could get things done,” and “If I were better organized then I could get my to-do list done.”

How about these phrases? “Maybe if I get up earlier, I can get stuff done before the kids get up?” How about when significant others say, “You say you have no time, but I see you watching TV at night?” Or my favorite, “Why does _______ (insert that annoying lady you see at the grocery store) seem like she has it all together and I am always running around like a chicken with my head cut off?”

All of us busy women out there are in search of finding the perfect organizational skill or the most proficient way to manage our schedule. Is there really one out there??? Is there a perfect answer that someone somewhere knows that will make us all feel more organized, smarter and less stressed???

Those women we all see in the grocery store or on school field trips who look like they have it all together? Come on, you all know who I am talking about. They have their hair perfect, their make-up is lovely, they appear calm and relaxed and they speak to their children softly and sweetly. Ugh, when I see these women, I am usually with no make-up on, hair in a messy bun and with two different socks on. I see them and I get back into my car and feel like I want to cry or I make a pledge that things will be different. I tell myself things like, “tomorrow I am going to get up earlier so I can clean the kitchen before the kids get up,” or “I will respond to all my emails before I go to bed.” This usually last for two days before I feel like I am rushing around with too much to do AGAIN.

How do we handle this? The internal anxiety we are all feel by being overwhelmed, over stressed and too much on our plate? There is no easy answer, there is no perfect answer--- I am sorry to break it to you ladies!!! Below are a few my ideas on how to manage this anxiety in your personal life…on your own terms.

  1. What is going to help you fall asleep at night? When you get into bed, are you going to be relaxed? This is a personal question. It’s important to figure out what daily tasks are the priorities. What needs to get done, versus what can wait to till the next day? This is a different answer for everyone. Some of us might need to get the laundry done and folded every day or else we won’t be settled. Some of us may need to go over our children’s homework to ensure everything is correct. Some may need to complete all emails and professional correspondence before we go to bed. Which one fits you? What is the priority for you?

  2. Support system. Who are you in contact with that gets it? Like REALLY gets it? It’s so important to have someone or a few people who you can feel comfortable calling and barfing all over. We all need someone who we can call can vent about all of our stresses who won’t judge us. If we don’t have someone we can “loose it on,” where does all this anxiety and stress go? It goes to racing thoughts, anxiety and self-doubt. We all need to find our person and use our person to destress

  3. Expectations. Let’s take a look our expectations for ourselves. Truly honestly--- are the expectations and goals that you set for yourself reasonable? Can you actually meet the daily expectations or daily goals? Is it reasonable to grocery shop, pick up the kids from school, complete your professional tasks on time, take your spouse out on a date, make dinner, take your children to the after-school sports, call your best friend and your mom, and spend four hours a day at the office all in one day? It’s time to be honest with ourselves. We are expecting to complete more tasks each day than what is reasonably appropriate. We set ourselves up to fail, rather than set ourselves up to succeed. I challenge everyone to reset our daily goals and expectations and make them achievable. How great would it be if we could go to bed feeling productive and satisfied rather than anxious and overwhelmed?

Let’s make 2017 the year of strong confident women. How we each structure our day and what we do to be productive is individualistic. I promise you, the put together woman you just saw at Target is not as together as you think. She is anxious and stressed as well, she just shows it shows it differently. Let’s all work on making healthy stress reducing changes in our day. We don’t need another hour in the day, we need to be satisfied and proud of what we do in our own 24 hours.

Should you need extra support in managing anxiety or depressive symptoms, please reach out to my highly skilled team. We have a thriving mental health practice in Bolingbrook, IL. We have several skilled clinicians who are trained in women’s issues, anxiety and depression.

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