Listen to episode 11 on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.
When you are in an overwhelming season, it can be hard to know where to even begin. Crazy seasons can come out of nowhere, and often come from things outside of your control. But what we have found is that when you go back to the basics, and gently work on getting back to your life-giving rhythms, that there is always something you can do to relieve some of the pressure.
The steps below aren’t pie-in-the-sky ideas, these are the real steps we have each taken to bring more peace to the chaotic seasons we’ve been through.
How to Get Out of the Crazy
1. Focus on nourishing food and sleep
Nutrition and self-care can be one of the easiest things to go when you get into a crazy season. But these things are also the foundation for being able to build a sustainable and intentional lifestyle. You need nourishing food, sleep and water to be able to reduce your brain fog so you can begin to problem-solve the more chaotic parts of your life.
We know you may only have so much control over how much sleep you’re getting, especially if you’re in a postpartum season or time of dealing with chronic illness. But even if sleep is hard to come by, you can still orient your days towards rest by keeping your expectations on yourself realistic, minimizing time on your phone, asking for help, and ruthlessly simplifying every other area of your life to enable as much rest as possible.
We’ve also found that keeping food on hand that is both easy and nutritious (ingredients for a favorite smoothie recipe or a nourishing on-the-go snack) can enable you to nourish yourself, while also keeping up with the chaos of these types of seasons.
2. Carve out space each day for quiet
There’s no way to begin to take control of the chaos if you can’t get still, get real, and begin to identify what you have control over, what you don’t, and what your biggest pain points are. And we aren’t talking about lengthy strategizing sessions here, we are talking about taking 15 minutes to begin the process of getting your thoughts organized.
Getting quiet time is one of the best ways to help your minds begin to orient towards a more steady pace. When you are in the “go go go” of a chaotic season, your brain is in constant survival mode, and you can live in reactionary mode. Taking some time to be quiet, enables your brains to begin to slow down and identify problems you need to deal with. Quiet is also the spark for creativity, and in chaotic seasons you are going to need some serious creative problem solving power. So get some quiet time each day.
This is most effective when done consistently at the same time each day (whether morning, during the day, or in the evening), but even if you can’t make that consistency happen, just find 15 minutes somewhere in your day.
3. Get all the details out of your head
You have to get out of your head. So much of the stress in crazy seasons can come from what’s going on inside of your brain, and this is actually one area where you can exercise the most amount of control. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and use your planner or a piece of paper to start getting all your thoughts out of your head.
- What parts of this crazy season are in your control?
- What is your biggest pain point?
- What is your personal responsibility in those pain points?
- Where do you need to ask for help?
- Where do you need to release expectations on yourself?
It’s also important to take time to recognize what is going well, and points of gratitude. Taking time to honor these things can help encourage and motivate you to continue to work towards relieving the pressure and taking control of the crazy.
It’s amazing how often a session like this can help you intuitively know what the next-right-step goal is. If you sense that clarity, then lean into that and begin making a short task list on how to address that pain point. If you’re still struggling in this area, give it time. Your biggest pain points will rise to the surface as you continue to do the work of getting still and working through the questions listed above.
4. Take action on the next-right-step before planning more
Once you start getting that quiet planning time, you may get caught up in the possibilities and sense of relief that comes from getting your thoughts out of your brain and stall at that step. The best way to avoid this pitfall is to take action on the next-right-step goal before planning more. This is where that 15 minute timer can be extremely helpful:
- If you tend toward frantic action taking in crazy seasons, use the 15 minute timer to discipline yourself to sit down and make sure the action you are taking is for the most critical tasks before jumping into action.
- If you tend toward procrastination and let perfectionism get in the way of making progress and follow through, then use the 15 minute timer to cap your planning time, knowing that when that timer goes off it is time to take imperfect action on your next-right-step.
5. Sometimes it’s a “get out of survival mode” bootcamp
We are big fans of small, consistent progress. But sometimes survival mode seasons call for more of a “get out of survival mode” bootcamp approach. This means you let go of the rhythms you know serve your family and take a week, or a few weeks, to execute the things that need to change in order to bring back that sense of normalcy.
If your house clutter is the thing you need to deal with to take control of the crazy, focus all your energy on that problem for a week or two, then come back to your planner to figure out what comes next, and what you need to do to get back to your life-giving rhythms.
6. Build a morning rhythm
When you’re starting to feel a little of that pressure lifting because you’re consistently getting your thoughts organized, you’ve tackled some of your bigger pain points, and you’re ready to take that next step towards normalcy, the next right thing you can do is look at your morning rhythm.
Why is building a morning rhythm important? The morning is the foundation for your day. We all know that it is easier to have an intentional afternoon after an intentional morning, than it is to turn around a bad day. A morning rhythm doesn’t mean you have to get up at 5am, and it doesn’t mean you have to have a 12 step process you work through before noon; it is simply asking yourself what you (+ your family) need to set up the day well, and then doing those things consistently.
The next episode in our podcast is dedicated entirely to setting up a good morning and evening rhythm, so stay tuned if you’re wanting an in-depth walkthrough on how to do this.