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Do you think “Time out” is only for the toddler throwing a fit? Think again!
I was standing in the middle of my kitchen freaking out in my head.
Running through the list of 20-ish things that I needed to do in 2.5 hours. My stress levels were raising through the roof!
I had dishes in the sink and the dishwasher was full of dirty dishes that I thought were clean. Nope.
I opened the dryer to throw in the clean clothes only to find a missing load of dry towels needing to be folded and put away. The same load I swear I had done 3 days ago.
The garbage was overflowing the can. The counters were full – a common household dumping center that was left to me to either sort and put away or nag until others decided to put their stuff away.
I had work I needed to do (two blog posts, some VA work AND social media work for a client I hadn’t even STARTED YET!) and I had to pick up my son in a few hours.
The cats needed to be fed. The dog needed out.
And I needed a break.
My husband walked in the door and took one look at my wild eyes and asked what was wrong.
I opened my mouth and shut it.
I was so overwhelmed and stressed out I didn’t even know where to start to explain that the house felt out of control. My list felt too long and I was losing control!
I turned on him. It wasn’t pretty and ended with “you promised to help me!”
Fast forward 5 hours
The dishes were washed, the dishwasher emptied. The floors swept and the laundry folded and away. I picked up my son.
Fed the cats, took the dog potty.
I connected with my kids and got my walk in.
Made my appointment and managed half of the online work.
Am I superwoman? No.
Did my husband help? Sure. He did a few things he needed to get done -broken finger and all. But not from my list.
So how did I get it done?
The power of a time out.
After I apologize to my husband for freaking out, I poured a cup of coffee and went to my room. And scrolled facebook.
I took 10 minutes and put myself on time out.
Feet up on the dresser hiding from the mess.
This might seem counterproductive but taking these few minutes helped me calm down enough to refocus what needed to be done and what can wait.
Why You NEED A Time Out
When we put a child who is acting up on time out we do it for a reason. It becomes a pause and allows the child to practice self-calming skills.
We will often choose a spot that removes the child from the stress-inducing situation, yes?
Time out for mom is the same way. We remove ourselves from the situation that is stressing us out to use self-calming skills.
In my case it was my room 😉 Sometimes I go outside and sit under this tree.
Away from whatever is making me feel like I am drowning.
Away from customers if I am at work.
Away from the emails.
Away from the overflowing sinks.
By doing this, I can reconsider and make decisions without the distractions.
The location doesn’t matter as much as removing yourself from the situation enough to calm down and think clearly.
The Defining Question
I was recently talking to a working mom who said when she gets stressed out by the number of things she has to do she asks herself, “At the end of the day, what will I regret not getting done?”
I love this question.♥
It works really well for when you are pulled in two directions at once.
For example. Your mom calls and you are trying to answer an email from a client. Do you take the phone call or answer the email?
For me, the phone call wins. I take the phone call and I go outside. Why? That way I can focus on the phone call and not be distracted by the email.
Using that question as a guideline let me share with you the thought process. I’ll share with you the task and the choice I made.
Hopefully you’ll get some great ideas on how to use a time out to reset and refocus your day!
Task: Write the book review of The Pie Life
I really wanted to write this review. We read it for our Book Club last month. The book is amazing and I don’t even like “self-help” type books.
This book has helped me build confidence in myself, drop the mom guilt (somewhat) of working, manage my time and work on focusing on the task at hand.
I decided the review can wait. The book wasn’t going anywhere.
I hope to get to it soon, feel free to check it out here in the meantime.
Task: Write about homeschooling High School.
There was a hot topic from a question brought up in my online community recently.
Many moms are afraid of homeschooling high school. I just finished homeschooling grade 9 and 10. It was so much fun!
I wanted to share how I used the Cure The Fear e-book in our homeschool.
Not only did it answer all the questions I had — plus a few I didn’t. She shows you how to find the information, what it means, how you can use it to work for you, not against you.
Cure the Fear even offers suggestions on how to find the best curriculum for your child and how to adjust that to your child’s unique needs. It’s pretty awesome.
Did I choose to write it? Nope.
I decided to share the e-book in my Facebook group and put the book on the list for next week.
Another year is in the books. 🙂
Many moms are afraid of homeschooling high school. I just finished homeschooling grade…
If you can’t wait, check it out here!
Task: Do laundry, fold and put it away.
Just being real, I really needed clean underwear. I had put it off all week and now was left with the uncomfortable “only wear if nothing else was clean” wedgie-inducing underwear. Ugh!
Also, I needed towels. I was out because I forgot I had not finished the last load. With teenagers in the house, you want them to have showers. Trust me.
Not having clean towels (or underwear!) was not optional, the decision was easy. Do Laundry.
Task: Wash the dishes.
Again, the dishes were something that needed to be done.
My husband cooks on the weekend (yay!) and he needed clean pots and pans to cook. If I didn’t want to add cooking to the list, the dishes needed to be done.
I did have a quick chat with my kiddo about the value of starting the dishwasher when it was full 😉
Sometimes they need reminders about following through on their chores.
Task: Pick up my son.
This issue was causing the most stress as it was limiting my time. I couldn’t move it and there was no one to go get him.
Since I couldn’t put it off, I decided to make the most of the trip.
My daughter came with me so we could connect, chat and share about our plans for the day.
I took the dog and parked a little ways away from where my son was. We got out and walked. This meant the dog got a walk, I got to walk and hang out with my kids on the way back.
Fresh air. Exercise. Laughter. Win all the way.
As busy moms, we make a million and one decisions every day. Sometimes they lead to great things and sometimes it means we stand in the kitchen wild-eyed and freaking out. Right?
At the end of the day, that 5 minute time out was key in getting what I needed to get done-done!
When you find yourself stressed out and overwhelmed, how do you regain focus in your day?
PS. I shared how I use a planner to refocus when my plans go flying out the window. Finding focus really can help you move forward with purpose and peace. Read: 5 Steps To Save The Day When Your Homeschool Plans Go Flying Out The Window
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