Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
Encouraging words, inspiration, and heart-worthy content.
Travel guides from our favorite destinations.
Outfit inspiration & style guides.
Seasonal decor ideas & inspiration for every room in your home.
LISTEN TO THE BEST DAY PODCAST!
Are you eager to live a life with less overwhelm? A life full of more purpose? Where each day can be spent where you feel like you are actually the one in charge, and not the other way around. If you are in need of more freedom in your life – freedom from the chaos, freedom from the hustle, freedom from every crazy expectation – then this message is for you! Sharing THREE essential steps to feel less overwhelmed, so you can find actual FREEDOM even within the chaos. Ready to feel encouraged, because this is going to be good!
We have officially crossed over the threshold of half an entire year. We have completed, or maybe barely survived, or maybe you thrived, the first half of 2023. For our family, it definitely has been a challenging half, with a lot of feelings and emotions. The challenges of the year so far have really made us think. I find myself asking often, where will we be a year from now? Truthfully, I have been very much caught up in that question. Which has pushed me to try to focus more on the now. To be more present.
A gentle reminder to remain focused in the here and the now. This very moment. Not getting too far ahead, nor looking too far behind, but staying exactly here. We tend to live in a world caught up in the next thing. Our days are structured based on what we need to do, always checking one thing off the list, to quickly move on to the next. However, we are missing out on so much more when we buy into this hustle culture and momentum of I need to do it all. But not just do it all, but be it all.
It is so important to realize that it is okay to slow life down. It is absolutely okay to live quieter. Actually, embrace the stillness. While the month of July can feel like a race to the next thing, the anticipation of a new school year where it feels as if the season of summer that just began is quickly turning into fall thanks to the marketing of every major retailer. However, what I think we all truly need is an intention reset.
Which is exactly what this edition of the July Intentional To Do List is. An intention reset to a slower pace of living. In order to do just that, I am giving you THREE steps to feel less overwhelmed. In order to find freedom in your chaos, so that you can actually enjoy the month of July. By slowing down, actually being present in each moment, and finding a freedom to live beyond your to do list.
To live beyond your own expectations. And to find a freedom from the weight of comparison when so many others will choose to not live the same. I truly believe that this is going to unlock something in your heart and give you permission to think more deeply as you find more freedom, even within the chaos.
There are three essential steps to focus on in order to feel less overwhelmed. Three simple mindset shifts to grasp in order to live each day in a little bit more freedom. Freedom from stress, freedom from overwhelm and freedom to live each day as the best version of you! Sharing with you the three steps and how to actually make them work for you and your life!
The very first step to feel less overwhelmed is to focus on the essentials. Focus on the essentials in order to truly find more freedom as you live this month. What are the essential things that need to get done? What are the basic requirements? Start with your essential needs. Look at your priorities, your obligations, the things that are absolute must within your week. Specifically, what responsibilities do you owe to yourself, your family? Your home, your job, your passions. Focus on the absolute essentials.
What are the essential things that need to get done right now? The things for yourself, your home, your family. For myself, during the summer months, that looks like caring for my son, keeping up with the basic household tasks, preparing meals. Recording a weekly podcast episode. Additionally, making sure I have time to take care of myself. For me, these are my essentials, the things that are essential needs, NOT this crazy list of extras!
Of course I would love to be able to find the time to reorganize my pantry and redecorate the entryway. But that is not what this is about. I’m not focused on all these perfect, idolized, swoon worthy things of what I want to do. Instead, I have to focus on the essentials. When I focus on the essentials, when I focus on the very specific things that have to get done, that’s going to give me more freedom. And when I have more freedom in my thoughts, I feel less overwhelmed.
Focus on the essentials and get rid of the extras. Eliminate the items that are unnecessary. When you can really focus on the essentials and get rid of the extras, you can find more freedom by eliminating the unrealistic expectations. When you get rid of the unrealistic expectations, you are able to think more clearly, breathe more deeply, and truly feel less overwhelmed.
The best way to do this is to physically write down a list of all the things that you have going through your brain. Write it all down. All the different things you feel like you need to do. The things you should do, the things that you want to do, write it all down. Then take a pen and cross off anything off of that list that is not necessary right now. Anything that can wait, just let it go.
Trust yourself in this process, ignore any voice of perfection that tries to override your own voice of reason. When you focus on the essentials, you are taking a step closer to freedom. Freedom from the chaos and freedom from the overwhelm. All of this is absolutely possible for you when you just take a step back, reflect, and focus on those essential items.
The second way to find more freedom in your chaos and feel less overwhelmed is to prioritize slow mornings. This is such an important solution to feeling less overwhelmed, finding ways to incorporate slower mornings in your week. For me personally, this is the most significant difference in my own life from the days where I feel the most capable, compared to the days where I feel like I am the captain of the hot mess express.
As a teacher gearing up to return back to the classroom at the end of July for pre planning, I find even more value and importance in prioritizing slow mornings throughout the month of July. I want to set an intention and a practice of how I will spend my mornings even when the seasons change. That way, even when the schedule becomes busier I can already have established habits, now, that can become solid routines for myself and my family as we head into August.
How do you do this? How do you actually prioritize a slower morning? Because it sounds wonderful. It sounds too good to be true, to be honest. Simply put, a slow morning is essentially giving yourself time to move with more purpose before you have to race out the door to your day. A slow morning is all about having more moments of quiet, more moments of stillness, and more moments of reflection to start your day.
One of the easiest ways to guarantee a slower morning is by waking up earlier. Consequently, in order to wake up a little earlier, you’re going to have to go to bed a little earlier. It is nearly impossible to try and wake up earlier without adjusting the time you are going to bed each night. Wake up a little earlier, by going to bed a little earlier.
Think about your current day. Think about when you’re currently waking up. What would your ideal time to wake up in the morning? At what time would you need to wake up each morning in order to not feel rushed? What would allow you to feel a little bit more in control with the things that you want to do in your day? What time would you need to wake up AND how many minutes is that from the time you are currently waking up?
Is it 15 minutes, 30 minutes, maybe 45 minutes? Take that time, whatever it is, and try to go to bed those exact minutes earlier to make it even easier to wake up. When you know that you are waking up 30 minutes earlier, but also going to bed 30 minutes earlier, this allows you to get up easier and have that additional time in the morning to start your day off the right way and not feel overwhelmed.
It is so important to remember to start small. Please don’t try to bump up your wake-up time significantly right away. Start with 15 or 20 minutes. Start with something that is reasonable. Something that you feel like you can handle. This will make it so much easier to start implementing this change.
Additionally, what are the things that you are doing in the morning that can be done the night before? What tasks can be done prior to your morning, to give you more room to breathe? What are things that you are actually doing in the morning that could be done earlier? Are there things that you’re doing in the morning that could be done the night before?
Think through these things. What is going to allow you to have a little bit more time to breathe in the morning? Is it tidying up the kitchen? Is it figuring out what you’re wearing the next day? Planning out outfits, setting aside clothes that you know you are going to need. Maybe you need to prep snacks or meals.
Don’t focus on crazy expectations here. Simply, go back to step one and settle in on the essentials. Is there anything you can do the night before to help unlock a slower pace for the next day? Sometimes that slower pace is simply having an organized space. A space that is tidy, so that way when you wake up in the morning you have the ability to move through your morning with a little more peace.
Another important step here, to help you incorporate slower mornings is to find and establish quiet time within your morning. Think of how you can find a moment to remove any excess noise. When you wake up, turn off your alarm and put your phone away. Start your day with a focus inward. Whether that’s through prayer or reflection, meditation, movement, or gratitude. Find some time, even if it’s as simple as five minutes, to focus inward.
When you have this inward quiet time in the morning, it will set your heart in the best possible position. To live in more freedom for that day. When you can prioritize slower mornings, you are able to feel less overwhelmed. Escaping the chaos because you’re not feeling rushed, you avoid the feeling of already feeling behind before the day begins. This allows you to set your own pace for the day, no matter what may be on your schedule. You are in a place where you feel like you are in control.
The third and final step to find more freedom in the chaos, to escape the feeling of feeling overwhelmed throughout the month is to build more moments of reset throughout your day. In order to do this, think through your schedule. Think through what a typical day looks like for you. What are you doing? When are the times in your day where you experience a little transition?
In order to feel less overwhelmed, we must focus in on the moment of transition. What exactly is a moment of transition? Well, it’s the moment that things change. For example, if you’re working out of the house, this is pretty simple. It is the moment before you leave to get in your car, to drive to wherever you are going. Similarly, if you are working from home, it’s the moment that you leave a room to go into your office, to start work for the day.
Or, the moment when you stop work before lunch to take a lunch break. Furthermore, the moment when you’re closing down work for the day. Whether that’s, again, in your home or in an office space, either way you are transitioning from one activity, one headspace to another. These are moments of transition.
Personally, for myself right now, being home with my son during summer break, my moments of transition look a little different. More similar to a work from home mom with littles. Specifically, my moments of transition are right before my son wakes up. Or the moment once we get home from running errands or a park playdate. The moment after lunchtime before nap. Additionally, the dinner to bedtime moment is a pretty big transition as well.
A way to unlock more purpose in your day, to feel less overwhelmed, and find more freedom even within the chaos, is to really focus in on these moments of transition. Use these moments as a time to build a moment of reset. If the goal is to feel less overwhelmed, then this is going to help you get there!
It is absolutely possible to feel less overwhelmed and an easy way to do this is by building a moment of reset in your transition moments throughout your day. And to do this, there are FOUR specific things to do. These are quick and actionable, geared to empowering you to move swiftly through the next part of your day! Four things you want to consider when you’re about to move from one task to the next. Four things to consider to help you feel less overwhelmed.
The very first thing to do in your moment of transition is to pause. Take a moment to pause. Stop what you’re doing and be still.
Secondly, look around you. Where are you at? What room are you in? Is there anything that you can quickly clean up? Any trash that can be thrown away? Are there any thoughts that you want to release on paper? Maybe you are working on a task and you have important things left in your head that you want to quickly write down somewhere in order to remember later. Before you leave this stage of your day, is there anything you can do in less than five minutes that will help make your life easier?
Step number three is to breathe. Simply, take a deep breath. And then another. Remind yourself that you are capable, that you are in control.
Finally, move with purpose. Move with purpose to act on those quick five minute things, and then move on to the next stage of your day.
When you can build in these moments of reset throughout your day, it allows you to focus on becoming a little more present. Slowing down your pace of living, and actually work to eliminate stress and the feeling of overwhelm by executing with clarity, knowing exactly what needs to get done, and feeling in control.
When we feel in control, we are less likely to feel overwhelmed. When we know that we are in control of the situation, we don’t have to let stress or anxiety or any other big feeling take place in our hearts. Because we feel confident in where we are and how we are managing the situation we are in.
There you have it, three specific steps to help you find a little more freedom in your chaos, so you can feel less overwhelmed this month. In order for you to focus on living with more purpose, being more present, and finding more moments of stillness. Therefore, make it a priority to
I am so excited for you to just live with more intention and purpose this week and this month Believing that the month of July is going to have everything in store for you that you need. So that you can keep living as the best version of you. Cheering you on, encouraging you, and believing in you every single step of the day!