If you get one more calendar invite, whether it’s for a team brainstorm, a field trip chaperone reminder or a hip-hop dance class you promised you’d take (and immediately forgot about), your head might just explode. On top of all your other responsibilities—bills, laundry and carpooling—you’ve said yes to too much, and now you’re feeling the pressure. Here’s what you can do right now to feel less overwhelmed, because you owe yourself that.
1. Back out of plans.
The better the friend, the more likely she is to understand. (You’ll take that hip-hop class someday…maybe…)
2. Put all your bills on autopay.
Set it and forget it. It’s like the Ron Popeil of personal finance.
3. Say no to those elective things you’re just not excited about.
The PTA square dance committee can do-si-do it without you this year. If you’re trying to be all things to all people, you’re probably not your best with the people who matter most.
4. Delegate the little things (because they will pile up and bury you).
Will your dry cleaner pick up and deliver? Can your mom take the kids to the dentist? Can you hire a neighbor’s kid to walk your dog or water your garden? Know what? Maybe you will subscribe to baby wipes on Amazon. Poof! They just appeared. Magic.
5. Pick the laziest/easiest way to practice self-care.
And do it right now. Here’s a list.
6. Rage clean something.
Your fridge, your junk drawer, your bin of single mittens. Toss mercilessly. Repressed fury sees no sentimental value.
7. Set up an automatic email response.
Everyone’s emailing you to do a million and one things. It’s time to manage their expectations. So set your email prompt to read: “Thanks for getting in touch. I’m working on deadline/traveling/on a project and will only be checking email sporadically. If your message is urgent, please resend with URGENT in the subject line. Otherwise, I’ll respond as soon as possible.”
8. Do something tiny.
In his New York Times article “Micro-Progress and the Magic of Just Getting Started,” writer Tim Herrera explains: “Studies have shown that you can trick your brain into increasing dopamine levels by setting and achieving micro goals.” Got a presentation to whip up? Name and save a Word doc. Stressed about creating a will? Send a two-line email to your lawyer requesting an appointment. A journey of a thousand miles—or writing 30 thank-you notes—begins with a single step.
9. Watch this TED Talk.
Called “The Magic of Not Giving a F#@*,” author/speaker Sarah Knight has patented a “mental decluttering” technique she calls “The Not Sorry Method. Step 1: Decide what you don’t give a f#@* about. Step 2: Don’t give a f#@* about those things.”
10. Three words: social media detox.
Let’s face it: All those influencers and their perfect Buddha and unicorn bowls are stressing you out. Unsubscribe. Problem. Solved.