If you listen to the podcasts many of you may have heard that my life — although sometimes less adventurous than our other members — is crazy busy. Alexander even likes to make jokes about how I don’t know how to relax or know what a non-busy lifestyle looks like. I won’t say that my life is lacking things to do what with my volunteer work at local organizations, pursuit of higher education, my actual job (depending on the month), volunteer research assistant work at my undergraduate university for two different projects, maintaining a social life, maintaining a healthy relationship (let’s be honest, relationships take work!), normal week to week errands like grocery shopping, and whatever else is on my plate that week. When I look at that list of things it seems like a way more hectic schedule than I feel like I have, and there are a lot of reasons why I can handle the personal load I have.
I meticulously update my planner.
For me, a planner is a paper and ink experience. My google calendar is usually left alone and rarely updated because I prefer the experience of physically writing in items and checking off finished things.
I do use a fancy planner, but you don’t need to. I know people who use a notebook and simply keep a tally on what needs to be done. That works for them.
I am 100% honest with those close to me about my how busy I am.
And I don’t shrug it off when it’s a bit too much or having a negative impact on me. I don’t let my life get taken while silently suffering or maybe even taking it out inadvertently on those close to me. I try to be honest about when my schedule is a bit too much instead of forcing everything to happen and keep the ‘always together’ appearance that I apparently have (I don’t agree, but that’s a whole other topic).
Example: What I don’t do. – oh, naaaah. _Some activity that week_ is totally awesome and I’m perfect!” all the while thinking… “And it isn’t making me lose my mind because I now am unsure when I will be able to pick up groceries” in a clearly sarcastic manner.
Instead of claiming that I’m fine I’ll mention how I’m a bit stressed out due to overscheduling a bit that week. Often I’ll mix errands and social events, like inviting friends with me to go grocery shopping or even buying all of my week’s groceries with my boyfriend when we are at the store to pick up a couple of items for our date night dinners. This may sound a little silly to call up a friend and say “Hey! Want to go grocery shopping with me?” But for me this works because not only do I get to spend time with my friends (something I try to do regularly), but sometimes running an errand with them turns into us making dinner together and decompressing while we each work on something productive.
Another thing that I do regularly is I schedule self-care time.
Self-care for me usually means low-key activities with friends, bubble baths, videogames, reading for fun, and cooking.
These self-care activities are really cathartic and assist in letting me juice up my personal battery. For me, these are non-negotiable parts of my week and therefore they’re written into my planner so that I don’t forget to take care of myself.
A lot of the time when I am doing self-care I either turn off my phone or put it on vibrate mode and put it away from me. I can hear the vibrations most of the time, since I live in a small studio, but it takes some of the pressure off needing to respond at the moment.
These are the little things that I do to stay sane with my ‘crazy schedule’ and for me, it works very well! This may not work for everyone, but for me it makes a busy busy schedule feel a lot more manageable.