I’m a full-time working mother of 4 daughters – oh, and a writer too.

Life is full, even with my new found ability to say NO to lots of things. I love the fullness my life brings but sometimes the hectic pace can wear on me.

Another school year is here. So are the shadows of former anxiety.  The craziness of this season of life calls for serious reflection and application if I’m going to successfully survive.

These 3 keys help me navigate the fullness that comes with the hats I currently wear.

#1. BALANCE

Try hopping on a tight rope and balancing your way to other side. Life is kinda like that.

I’m prone to constantly tether to one side or the other; hovering over the edge of burnout.  I work hard so I have to remember to throw some play and relationship building into the schedule as well.

Taking time to have fun is important, and skirting the responsibility of folding the laundry to play or just dance with my girls is a must every now and then.

So is the ability to enjoy the precious, memorable moments that spontaneously happen on days where the clouds are thick and life moves so fast, our minds, hearts and emotions are triggered by thousands of stimuli that seek to consume us.

Catching and consuming the beauty of those moments will benefit us in times when laughter is hard to come by.

Weeknights call for order, but weekends will call for the spontaneity of late bedtimes, sleeping in and unplanned adventures with the kids.

Balance is a good and necessary thing that takes practice and lots of hovering to stay on the rope.

#2. REST

According to Dr. Edward Hallowell, psychiatrist and founder of The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health, our brains can get hooked to the adrenaline created when we speed through something. This adrenaline causes us to put more and more on our plates until we’re overbooked and stretched thin- and then we crash.

It is insane to brag about surviving off of 4 hours of sleep, but so many of us do it; waving our superhero capes.

Ain’t nothing super about hustling yourself into an early grave.

Throw out the cape and ask for help. None of us do life alone. We carry each other.

I’m all for hard work but I also serve a God who’s desire for me to rest is so strong He made it a commandment.  There’s a fine line between hustling hard and attempting to do God’s part. With a schedule like mine, the propensity to get overwhelmed at the sheer volume of tasks that need completion and the race to complete them all, creates a nasty habit of trying to do more than God has asked me to.

An incomplete task list holds immense value if the neglect of it means we divert the effort to rejuvenating ourselves by indulging in self-care.

Realize that you have more control over your schedule than you think, and rest.

#3. ORDER

Here’s the deal: If I don’t have a plan I’m all over the place.

When I’m all over the place I forget things. When I forget things, appointments are missed and the kids’ teeth rot. Not really but yeah, something like that.

Organization is important, and remembering commitments is sort of important too if I don’t want to be that unreliable slacker that just kinda shows up and does things whenever…or not.

Take some time to make a game plan. Don’t wait until you get on the court to start playing the game.

Calendars and planners are good. Personal assistants are even better. Chances are, most of us only have the option of good here but you get my point. If it’s not in my iPhone or work calendar, I can forget about it and I do. ALL THE TIME.

Dinner? Pfst! If I don’t plan what we’re eating at the beginning of the week, our menu goes a little something like this: boiled chicken and rice, baked chicken and rice, fried chicken and rice, rice and chicken.

Get my point?

With so much to do and no plan for how to get it done, it’s no wonder some of our lives resemble the warning signs of ADD. Set some time aside to plan and write things down.

Living on the fly with so much to do will leave you running in circles, accomplishing a lot less than you realize.

Don’t get caught in the riptide of going from one task to the next without understanding what sacrifices come with living a life so full. Stop often to evaluate what can be cut, if anything, and strive to keep balance, rest and order at the forefront of your goals.

RELATED ARTICLE: 6 Ways to Worry Less and Live More

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