Good grief… will I ever get a break?!

(Well, I got on the internet to look up a recipe for supper and here I am…. writing a blog post.)

So, as you may or may not know, I struggled with not taking on too much as I wrote in my post a few weeks back, and I had vowed to do better this year and not stress myself out.  Well, I lied to all you lovely folks, and some things have come up and I just couldn’t say no to help others.

Why do I keep doing this to myself?  The answer: I love helping people.

I can’t help it.  I always want to find a way to give back and help, even it means stressing myself out to the max.  Apparently, I’m a glutton for punishment.

But, now that I’ve caught up, I’m probably going to do better.  (I guess I can’t make that a promise or resolution this time around.)

I have learned some helpful tips to keep me from getting too overwhelmed though.  Here they are.

  1. Learn to say no.  Seriously.  This isn’t a joke.  Learn how to say no.  It’s okay if we can’t help everyone who needs it.  You can’t very well help someone if you’re completely stressed and useless to them anyway.  And usually, it will end up with you having to back down and embarrass yourself by having to step away as it is.  So, as difficult as it may be, learn how to say no.
  2. Make a list of things you hope to achieve each day.  Don’t make it a large list of unattainable goals.  Start with four or five small goals you wish to achieve.  Once you achieve them, cross them off.  But don’t fret if you don’t do it on that day.  It’s not the end of the world if you have to move one goal to the next day.  I promise you, you will survive.  It took me a while to realize that.  The world doesn’t end just because one email wasn’t answered.
  3. Breathe.  It may seem insignificant.  Okay – well, not really, we have to breathe to live.  What I mean is take a minute to calm yourself when you get overwhelmed.  Set your computer aside, go for a walk or jog.  Brew a cup of coffee or drink some tea.  Read a chapter of a book that isn’t for review or a beta read novel, one that is simply for the fun of reading.  Watch TV or a movie.  Just step away from everything that is “attacking” you and piling up in front of you.
  4. Be happy.  It’s not a sin.  This industry can get so tough to deal with.  You’ll get tossed around, ran over, and spit up, but if you’re where you’re at, writing and such, you want to be here.  Don’t forget that.  You chose this for a reason.  Most people don’t just get up and say – “I’ll write just because I want to.”  You’ve probably had a passion for it for a while.  Because, I know it isn’t for the money.  Just kidding!  But seriously, be happy.  Don’t worry.  (And yes, I did that intentionally.  Because that song is not stuck in my head.)

So, I know these aren’t revelations to make you throw your old habits aside and bow and worship at my feet for bringing such thoughts to the blog.  These are just what I’ve learned to help myself de-stress.  What have you learned?

Keep Calm and Read a Book

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