Baby steps

In the past year or so, I've noticed that it's becoming easier and easier for me to feel overwhelmed. I've always been an anxious person (it's just my personality), but the panic attack I suffered the night before we closed on our house last August served as a major catalyst for general, everyday anxiety and the constant need to escape to a deserted island.

With spring finally making its grand entrance (Geeze, took ya long enough), Clayton and I have made list after mental list of projects we'd like (and/or NEED) to accomplish in or around our house. As I mentioned earlier this week, our yard is a hot mess that is in desperate need of some TLC (and our lawn mower is busted). Plus we still have two rooms to paint, the paint in our bathroom started peeling off in chunks, we need to re-caulk both bathtubs, we need to replace a piece of our kitchen floor, and our house just needs a good, thorough scrubbing after a long, dreary winter.

Throw in a job that has extremely high rates of compassion fatigue (meaning that I work in a "helping" profession that largely consists of listening to the personal problems of multiple people every single day.), and I'm just ready to emotionally shut down. The other day I told Clayton that my team and I should get honorary Psychology degrees for all of the therapy we conduct in our offices.

So I've been feeling overwhelmed. There's never enough time for anything anymore and when I do have a few stolen moments to work on personal projects, I'm so drained from the day, I just want to sleep or stare blankly at the television.

Since I don't want stress or anxiety to get the best of me, I'm trying my darnedest to take small, purposeful steps each evening and on the weekends to slowly work towards all of these tasks. It's taking much longer than I originally intended to get things done, but by just giving myself one or two small goals like "weed the flower boxes" or "buy toilet paper" or "organize the hall closet", I'm feeling less pressured and more accomplished. (I also give myself easy goals like, "Drink a big a$$ glass of wine and eat Sour Patch Kids". No problems there.)

Last night I told myself I'd hang our wedding frames up in our hallway. Even if I did absolutely nothing else that evening, all I had to do was hang those darn picture frames. And I did. And it made the space much more homey and inviting. And I went to bed feeling like I successfully checked an item off of my to-do list. And it fueled my desire to tackle another small task today ...

... Which is to return a pair of too-tight dress pants to the mall because linen capris are manufactured by Satan.

How do you set goals for yourself?


  1. In as small baby steps as I can make them. Sometimes making sure everyone is fed is good enough!


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