Are you tired of feeling frantic? You know that desperate, panicky, uptight feeling that makes it hard to concentrate? Those days when you wake up tired because there are just too many things for one person to fit into one day? We all have busy times, but we were never intended to sustain that kind of breakneck speed long term.
A few weeks ago I felt that edgy tension that settles in your neck. I knew I needed to change my pace or I was headed for burn-out. I was getting enough sleep and exercising at least 5 days a week, but I still found myself handling my daily responsibilities of work and family with frustration and distraction.
One of the biggest changes in our schedule this year is that both kids are staying up later. Michael and I no longer have our 2-3 hours every night to talk and just be together. Realizing that part of my frantic feeling was simply missing that alone time, I asked my parents to take the kids for the weekend and we did a mixed vacation/staycation for Michael’s 40th birthday. We spent one night and two days at the coast and one night and one day at home. It was so relaxing to change our pace—no work, no kids—just us.
Sometimes we can’t get away completely but we still need to change our pace. That happened last week. Work was crazy! I needed to write 3 sermons, 2 blogs and work on the new design for my website. To top it off, my parents are moving and needed help with their garage sale and just for fun we decided to have a birthday party for Michael in the middle of all of that! Add to that my usual schedule of driving to kids around, helping with homework, our weekly get together with our friends from church and something had to give!
Michael looked me in the eye Wednesday night and said, “You know we need to cancel our plans with our friends tomorrow night. It’s just too much.”
“Oh, I don’t want to be a flake!” I said. But, by the next morning I couldn’t deny he was right and we cancelled our plans.
Life is not a performance! You can make the choice today to change your pace, learn to slow down and live life on purpose.
Change Your Pace and Slow Down
My favorite things to do when it’s time to change pace and slow down:
- Take a walk somewhere beautiful—beside a river or under the canopy of towering evergreens.
- Drink a cup of tea in a china tea cup. It tastes better, just trust me!
- Write an encouraging note to a friend.
- Listen to old music while you cook dinner (my favorite is Pandora’s Dinah Washington Radio)
- Cancel your plans, stay in your jammies and don’t answer your door or your phone!
- Go for a bike ride in the rain.
- Take a nap!
We can all handle a busy week or two when we have a goal in mind. Sometimes we even have busy seasons but they don’t need to be frantic and full of fear.
Let Go of your Fear of…
- Missing Out
- Messing Up
- Letting People Down
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
Are you feeling frantic? What are you going to do today to change your pace? Comment below!
Recommended Reading on Changing Your Pace:
- Margin-Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson
- The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa Terkuerst