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
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?