How I Reclaimed My Stressful Life

In April 2103, I spoke at a conference in the Portland, Oregon area. They put me up at a lovely guest house in the country. It was a healing and very restful stay. Oh, how I longed for that calm in the midst of June!

In June 2013, the stress really hit me. I had recovered from an accident and from technical challenges that took my websites offline for over seven and a half months. Now everything that had piled up and seemed to press on me. So, I mapped out my responsibilities with circles for each. Then I added the details clustered around each circle. My page looked like fireworks. Nothing on the page was something I felt I could remove. It was summer and it seemed I jumped out of bed and worked all day to catch up on my work!

Overwhelmed and behind, I showed my chart to my best friend. She looked at my cluster chart and compassionately said, "Donna, where are you? I do not see you on this page." Yes, with all my circles there was no circle for me, no filling my bucket, no replenishing, no refreshing. I had entered "crisis mode." I was running from sun up to bedtime and not feeling I was progressing. Victory seemed so far away!

My friend and I sat down and wrote down a plan to reclaim that calm by laying a daily foundation.
–I could not talk to anyone nor share the details of what I was doing with anyone for 90 days. I must apologize for these posts being crowded together. Having to wait 90 days does not give a real sense of what happened. These would have naturally been spaced out over the summer and fall.
–No phone or computer during foundational time.
–Use a timer!
–I started with seven essential foundational habits. 
–I created a menu for the next week, each week.
–I decorated a Composition Book to have a lovely place to record my journey- A Victory Journal
–I created a pocket plan with my new habit rhythm. I used a colored paint chip the size of an index card. This I could put in my pocket to jog my memory until the rhythm was set. New ones were made as I refined my plan. 

On the way home I bought a 60 minute timer. I went went to sleep with great anticipation. In the morning I put my plan into action. These are my essentials! None are over the top.
1. Morning walk
2. Shower
3. Breakfast
4. Laundry
5. Dinner Prep
6. 30 minute timed clean
7. 30 minute personal devotional

I became a Victory Lady, calm and peace was restored that very day!

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Would routines help you feel less stressed?  What do you do to invite calm? 

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