Yesterday morning was my first day of jumping back into the fall. We just got back from vacation on Sunday and my to do list stretches about a mile long as we get all of the doctors’ appointments in, supplies and clothes bought, and last minute time with friends before school starts next week.
I started off my morning at 4:30am at Starbucks to get much needed work done. It ended up being a really wonderful start to the day. I read my Bible. I got caught up on work email and made great headway on some of the other items in the cue. What an amazing way to start my first day of jumping back in.
Then reality hit. I got home and I got my girls ready quickly so we could get out the door to a doctor’s appointment. As we pulled into the parking lot at the doctor’s office, I realized I forgot to make sure that my youngest had gotten shoes as she got into the car. She hadn’t! And then my 7 year old piped up from the back that she hadn’t brought any shoes either. Nothing like carrying a 4 year old in one arm and a 7 year old in another arm into a 2-story doctor’s office in 100 degree heat. And then I wasn’t feeling real well yesterday and just felt like it was generally on the challenging side of things to be gentle and patient as the day went on. That’s reality! More often than not when we are experiencing a transition like the end of summer or a new job or having guests at our house. Or whatever that change might be. There are some aches and pains.
I realized that instead of jumping back in and hoping for the best, I needed to mindfully plan for it and utilize the resources around me
4 Ways to Help You Jump Back In By Being Mindful:
Start the day with quiet time for yourself:
I honestly don’t consider myself a morning person, but I notice a big difference in my morning when I get out of bed ahead of my kids and have some time to gather my thoughts, read my Bible and pray, and start to formulate a plan for the day versus getting out of bed because I need to help one of my kids that has gotten up. You’ve heard what works for me in having quiet time to myself. What kind of morning quiet time works well for you? A cup of coffee outside, a walk or run, time for prayer and Bible reading, a moment of meditation… The possibilities are individual and endless.
Be patient with yourself and others. Transitions always take a bit of time to get used to and there are often bumps in the road, like kids forgetting their shoes. The good news is staying calm and patient can make a big difference in making jumping back in go smoothly. And I’ll be honest sometimes keeping that calm and patience means taking a few minutes to myself to regroup in a situation that is testing my patience.
One of the challenging things about jumping back in, is that there can be so much to get done. Sometimes all the things that need to get done seem like they are swirling around in your mind. Take the time to put those down on paper, on computer, or on smartphone. Getting what needs to be done down will provide immediate calm, help you see clearly all that needs to be done, and provide a plan of action for how the tasks will get done. When it comes to the infamous “to do list” people speak different languages. Some people are energized by a basic numbered list of tasks. Others like a more visual way of tackling what needs to get done like mind-mapping or diagramming.
Take Advantage of the Support of Others:
Let those around you provide encouragement to you by letting them know what you are going through, so they can provide a word of encouragement or a hug. Then let friends and family know what tasks they can do to help ease burden of the tasks that you have. Last night, after a long day of school prep, a coaching session, and grocery shopping, I took my husband up on the help of bringing in the groceries and putting them away. Sounds simple right, but there have also been times when instead of asking for help, I get a chip on my shoulder that sets me off on the wrong path.
Sometimes jumping back into life feels like something you want to avoid. Face it head on, mindfully plan, and set yourself up for success.