When I say blanket fort, what do you think of? I think back to the days of my childhood where I spent hours erecting the perfect blanket fort, with chairs lined up perfectly to hold the appropriately matching colored blankets, and the tranquil interior filled with blankets, fluffy pillows, my Nancy Drew books, Etch-a-Sketch, graham crackers, the family cat and everyone with cooties was banned.
Doesn’t that sound lovely … especially during times of feeling overwhelmed??
I often get myself into situations where I feel overwhelmed. It’s totally my doing because I tend to take on way too much (all for the greater good of helping people and pets as I rationalize my 12+ hour work days, often 7 days a week). So here’s what I’ve done lately that made me want to retreat to my childhood fort:
- I made a huge life move from 11 years in Virginia back home to Michigan (with all of the stress of buying a house, selling a house, packing, moving, getting unpacked and set up, while keeping the kitties calm);
- Two days after the move I felt strongly that I needed to sign up for Marie Forleo’s intensive B-School before registration closed, so I dove in to her 8-week course (which I am loving, but the timing was a bit overwhelming);
- Three weeks after the move I signed up for a 6-week Chemistry of Essential Oils class (which I also love);
- I’ve attended two in-person essential oil trainings (with more on the horizon) which were amazing;
- I’ve held 5 workshops and webinars;
- I’ve maintained my animal protection, including travel, work while balancing the set up of Manifested Harmony;
- I have several new classes that I really want to develop;
- I’m enjoying reconnecting with my Michigan tribe and getting back into ballroom dancing;
- And the list goes on and on.
While there is some work that I’m not entirely enamored with these days, everything else I absolutely adore and love which is why I keep piling it on! I am ravenous when it comes to learning and sharing what I’ve learned. But two weeks ago, I hit the blanket fort wall. I looked at my chalk wall board in my office and thought holy crap, how am I going to get through all of this?
Have you been there? I think you have. And what is our natural instinct? We start to shut down and our productivity comes to a grinding halt which makes us feel even worse. And then when we’re not checking off our to-do list because we’re overwhelmed, we then feel even more overwhelmed. Right? #viciouscycle
So what did I do? I crafted my adult version of the blanket fort which contains sparkly fairy lights, my survival kit of Young Living Essential Oils (high frequency oils like Neroli, Rose, Sacred Mountain, Stress Away), crystals (my favorite Brandberg, some Prehnite, and lots of grounding crystals like Black Tourmaline), an inspiring book, my 3 cats weaving in and out, and wine (I put oils in the wine, so that makes it healthy, right?)! And when I come out for a small break, I only watch The Hallmark Channel and The Love Boat which I recently found on Pop TV! Squuuuueeee!!!!!! Why those shows? They are all heart-felt shows/movies that leave you feeling good. I’ve also taken to building fairy houses (check out my creation below)! Taking some ME time – to do nothing that will save the world – is just what I need to re-energize.
Here’s the thing about getting overwhelmed: acknowledge it, let yourself have some downtime, do things that bring you joy, but don’t wallow too long otherwise it’s difficult to crawl back into productivity. Then just add one thing to your list for the day and overhwleovermake sure you get that done. Then the next day, add one more task. By the end of the week you’ve checked off 7 tasks and 30 by the end of the month! And most of all, give yourself permission to be gentle on yourself. Being gentle does not mean being lazy and shirking responsibilities; it means giving yourself time each day to just do something nurturing and kind for yourself.
Let’s chat about this … post me a comment of the 3 things that you do to help you cope with overwhelm and we can all learn better ways to take care of ourselves!
About Allie Phillips: