“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
-Viktor E. Frankl
While this is a joyous time of year with the holidays coming up, it can also be a stressful time with figuring out holiday plans and schedules. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with trying to balance your stepmom role with work and social commitments, you’re not alone! It’s impossible to do everything (and to feel like you’re NOT dropping the ball in some areas), so that’s why it’s important for you to take steps to overcome overload.
What are your stressors?
I’d like for you to take a moment to think about your stressors. When thinking about your life, what is weighing on your heart or mind? What is keeping you up at night? Who or what is draining your energy? Make a quick list.
Focus on what you can control
Now, I’d like you to take a look at that list. Ask yourself: what do I have control over? Circle the things you can control. It’s so important when thinking about all the stressors we have, to focus on the ones we can control. Keep those stressors you can control in mind as we look at tips to overcome overload.
Three Tips to Overcome Overload
1. Make a plan.
Preparation and planning make all the difference! Choose a day of the week and write down everything you have going on throughout the week- family activities, work schedule, social commitments, etc. I look at Sundays as a day to reset, so I like to sit down on Sunday night and plan out my week. After I’m done, I feel better able to tackle the week. It’s also a joyous time because I plan activities that I look forward to each week.
2. Make time for yourself.
This may sounds counterintuitive if you’re looking at your “To Do” list, and you’re thinking, how do I make time for myself? However, researchers have found that people who take time to do things they love will be happier, more fulfilled, and better able to deal with stress and overload. That’s why it’s important to set aside time for things that bring you happiness. If you love to go for a Saturday morning jog, do it. If hiking on the weekend brings you joy and a sense of accomplishment, get out on the trails.
When you are doing things you love, that means you are taking care of yourself. And if you’re operating from a full cup, you’ll have more energy. You’ll be better able to show up for yourself and your family.
3. Set boundaries and learn how to say “no.”
Maybe you feel a sense of obligation and you just can’t say “no.” One saying that really helps me when determining what I want to do is “Every time you say ‘yes,’ you say ‘no’ somewhere else.” I have to tell myself to pause, and be intentional about when I say “yes.” When I set boundaries, I have more energy for the people and things in which I want to invest.
And guess what? Warren Buffet has found that saying “no” actually contributes to a person’s success. Buffett says, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
What would you say “no” to? What would you spend more time doing?
Reach out for help to overcome overload
You have so many people in your life who are there to support you. You just need to ask! Your partner, family, friends, and fellow stepmoms are all there for you. Remember that you and your partner are a team.
If you want more in-depth support on setting healthy boundaries, speaking up, and making changes that will have a lasting effect, commit to doing the work in Stepmom Bootcamp: A 21-Day Challenge. Stepmom Bootcamp has daily challenges that help you transform your stepmom life. In fact, Day 17 is all about accepting things that are outside of your control. If you’re ready to change your life, get your copy here.
About the Author
Elizabeth Mosadis is a Certified Resilience Professional through the Trauma Institute International. She is also a Stepfamily Foundation Certified Coach and an author.