Does Life Have to Be This Hard?
Do you ever stop to wonder if life has to be this hard? How we are making our lives harder? If things need to be this difficult? Heavy? Dramatic? I am constantly studying and examining the things we routinely do to see if there’s a hack, a workaround, an easier way. There always is.
Today I bring you four ways that we consistently make our lives harder. Things that we can STOP doing to help us feel calmer and more connected to those around us. In other words, taking things OFF our to do list! How magical does that sound? Listen in to the episode here for the details and support on how to shift out of these behaviors.
How We Make Our Lives Harder
1. We Check The News.
Auto checking or routinely checking the news raises our stress: emotionally, mentally, and physically! Furthermore, it decreases our productivity and immunity. Listen in to the episode if you are thinking it’s your civic duty to listen as I have
Solution: Stop the Auto-Checking
First step is to get your checking in control. Notice when you have the urge to check the news and sit with it (instead of acting on it) similar to how you would a food urge. The news is a business and they are in the business of grabbing your attention. This makes our lives harder as the way we are spending out days is based on how many bings or dings go off on our phone or how alarming the news is. Take back control.
Stop the auto-checking by controlling your urges to feel more in control of your day and frankly your life. After that, you choose when you will check. Schedule a time when you will check – maybe in the morning and the evening (not too close to bed!). Remember when our only opportunity was to get the news at 5 and 11? Nothing has changed in the world other than the fact that the news business has grown and we are supporting that growth. Take back control and stop making your life harder.
2. Our Phone Interrupts Us
Similar to the news industry, phone developers have studied how to interrupt our attention and notifications are a main way. When the beep or buzz goes off, our brain stops what it’s doing and has to make a micro decision as to whether to look at the notification or not.
We have a certain amount of energy each day, I like to imagine that energy as waking up with a cup full of 100 marbles. Each time a bing or buzz goes off on your phone you use a marble. I am extremely protective of my energy and my marbles and choose not to make my life harder by spending them on other people’s
Solution: Turn Off Notifications
Turn them off. If not all of them, at least take back control of which ones you are allowing to interrupt your day and your life. The only notification banners I have that come up on my screen are my texts. I deliberately schedule when I will look at those. Which means that all other notifications are turned off. If you want to make your life easier, choose to limit the ability of others to interrupt your plans.
3. The Day Runs Us
We make our life harder by allowing the day to run us instead of us running our days. As women, we have been conditioned to put our needs last and be the go-to “fixer“. Covid made this even worse as we were in an unprecedented time when we were almost programmed to be reactive. This leads to us feeling frazzled and overwhelmed as we are being led by the day instead of us leading the day. In other words, waiting to see what happens next instead of being the adult in our life and choosing.
Solution: Paper Plan
Start making your life easier today by getting out that paper calendar you purchased back in January or, if you didn’t, get out a pen and paper. Start where you are and take back control of your day, of your life. Seems dramatic to say yet it’s the truth.
We are what we repeatedly do.
If we repeatedly live our days based on others needs and desires, we will undoubtably get to the end of our days wondering who’s life we were living? What about our dreams and desires? This is a result of us not planning our day. Furthermore, this is evidence of patriarchal programming: Us believing we’re not important enough or our needs aren’t important enough to make a plan for. BS.
When women in my groups start planning their days, they immediately feel better and calmer. It’s not that they’re doing anything remarkably different. Rather, it’s that they’re allowing themselves to matter. They’re beginning to believe that their needs matter.
4) We Prioritize Other’s Needs (Before Our Own)
This is the most harmful way we make our lives harder, and sadly, probably also the most common. I have many episodes that specifically address how people pleasing, caring more about what others think than what you think, lack of boundaries, inability to say no when we mean no affect us and so I’m not going into the negative effects here as I won’t be able to do it justice. Leave a comment below if you want links to those specific posts.
Suffice it to say, women have spent years, no decades being praised for caring for others before self, we have been socialized to think self less is a virtue. Which is why we feel disconnected, stressed, emotionally drained and like we have to do it all.
Solution: Have Some Personal Guidelines
Set boundaries. Remember, boundaries are guidelines for how you want to be treated. Begin to play more of an active role in your life by deciding how you want to be treated or interacted with.
A personal guideline can look like saying something to your children like: When my office door is closed, please don’t interrupt me unless you’re bleeding” to something larger like “I would like to have a family meeting about house responsibilities”). Further, saying something like “Mom, I won’t be responding to texts during the work day” is a simple statement that reinforces your needs (an uninterrupted work day or home day) are as important as hers (to text or call about her latest cough or complaint).
How We Make Our Lives Harder
What do you think? Do you do any of these things? How much does your phone impact your day? Do you schedule your day? If you are a man, I’d love to hear if you struggle with the same inner dialog of thinking you’re doing something wrong when you ask for what you want or set boundaries around your time.
I would love to support you as you choose one of these steps to take or one of the solutions to practice. I try to bring focus to the ways we spend our days that are bringing us stress so that we can feel better in our days. The challenge is that we have so normalized feeling stressed and busy that we don’t realize there’s another way. There is another way warriors. I promise. It starts with taking action. Making small shifts in your life. Fear is what stops us. Our brain likes the familiar even if that familiar is stress and overwhelm. Choose to push back a bit this week and get started with one of these solutions this week.
Now more than ever, we need female energy and support. When women start choosing themselves, standing up for themselves, thinking of themselves, everything improves. You aren’t selfish. You’re selfish when you don’t, when you ignore the gifts, dreams and desires that were implanted in you – that are yours and only yours to bring forth into this world. Get started today. You matter to me.
- Susie’s Tool to Slow Down Urges
- When to Not Check Your Email
- Email as a distraction Article
- Private (free) Facebook Group for Warrior Women