As a working mom of 4, I’m becoming quite the expert on how to survive as a busy parent. But while survival is great, if that’s all I’m trying to is just survive, then I’m selling myself short. The real challenge is to get through each day with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. That, my friends, was the struggle I found myself in not long ago. I felt like my life was so busy that there was little left of my time or energy to spend on anyone else. It wasn’t easy at first, but I learned to be joyful in spite of a crazy busy schedule. I even managed to find a little time for myself!
4 Essential Habits For Finding Joy When Life Is Crazy Busy
1. Resist The Urge To Compare
I often catch myself making the mistake of looking at my life under a microscope, comparing what I’m going through to how my friends and coworkers appear to be living. Besides being a sure-fire way to wallow in discontentment, I’ve learned there is one big reason why you shouldn’t compare your life to someone else’s, and that is because you are not him. Your finances are not his finances. Your talents are not his talents. Each of us have a different skill set which qualifies us for our unique place in life. There is no guarantee that you would be any happier if you were to trade lives with another person anyway. You don’t know what struggles and hardships he may be facing, even though he appears to have it all together. When you start looking at your life in comparison to someone else’s, you’re setting yourself up for discontentment and you are ignoring the truth of how fortunate you really are.
2. Be Laser-Focused
By this I mean stay focused on what is the most important to you. Do you love to exercise but feel like there’s never any time? Take your gym shoes with you in the car so you can get in a quick walk or circuit train while you’re out. Feel like you don’t spend enough time with your family? Make the moments that you are together really count. And don’t be afraid to say no to people once in a while. A good friend or coworker will understand if you miss out on an event or can’t pitch in on every assignment. Read <a href=”http://www.rushedmommy.com/saying/”>this postl</a> for ways to say no and why you should be doing it more often. Your time is valuable, make sure you’re spending it on the things that ultimately contribute to your happiness.
3. Give Thanks
Have you ever known someone who always seems to be happy? The next time you see them, pay close attention to what they do and say because they probably also make it a habit of practicing gratitude. Research has shown that having a positive attitude, being grateful, and choosing to focus on the good things can make you happier. <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/opinion/sunday/choose-to-be-grateful-it-will-make-you-happier.html?_r=0”>This article </a>sums it up all that research better than I could. On a crazy busy day, I challenge you to take a moment to think thankful thoughts. I bet you will be in a better mood before long.
4. Do What You Love
If all you ever do is work and take care of others, you will soon be a miserable wreck. It’s important to balance your energy between work and play. When your personal “cup”, so to speak, is empty, there is nothing left of you to give to others. But when you’re investing in doing the things that you love, the joy inside you swells to overflowing so that you have plenty to share with those around you. I know this may sound impossible when your schedule is crazy but I assure you that with determination it can be done. My husband and I have opposite schedules. He works weekends and goes to school at night while I work weekdays, which leaves us very little time together at home. I wrestled for a while with guilt for wanting time to myself when I barely had any to spend with my family. Then again, I felt on the verge of a burnout at any moment. I managed to squeeze out a few hours a week, either in the early morning or after the kids go to bed, when I could invest in doing the things that bring me back to my center. Doing what you love is what rekindles your spirit, giving you the emotional revival that is necessary in order to be joyful.
Some seasons of life are busier and more hectic than others. During those times of jam-packed schedules, I can feel myself start to fall into the habit of grumbling. Finding joy might mean changing a few behaviors, but these simple shifts can improve your outlook even when everything seems out of balance.
Nikki is a teacher, chocolate enthusiast and wannabe shutterbug living with her husband and 4 children in sunny San Diego, CA. She blogs about life as a working parent with twins in tow at www.rushedmommy.com.
Follow Her on Twitter: @rushedmommy
Photo Credit: Pixabay