It is the beginning of September, which means for most school aged children, young adults, and their parents, it is Back To School Time!!! Long ago, when I was an elementary student, I remember the excitement of getting new school supplies, a new lunchbox, and meeting my new teacher. As I got into high-school, back to school meant I was more excited about new school clothes, cheering at Friday night football games, and new friends! Now, as an adult, Back to School brings so much more.
I am a mom of two boys, a 3rd grader and an 8th grader. Buying school supplies, school clothes, and getting kiddos registered for fall sports are a couple tasks to start the school year. Meeting the new teachers, seeing where my children will learn and expand their horizons is a highlight!
I am a teacher. I get excited, as a PE teacher, to see how hard the custodians have worked to clean and wax the old gym floor to a beautiful shiny finish! I have a hard time that first week of school allowing students to walk on it! I love meeting the new 7th graders I will teach, and look forward to seeing my returning students who are now 8th graders. The growth I witness in them after just one year is phenomenal! And I always feel ready to start a new school year!
I am a Varsity cheer coach. I get the honor of once again being at Friday night games, watching my cheerleaders lead the crowds and positively support the football team. In fact, last night was our first game, and watching my team execute perfected stunts and perfectly timed moves to chants, cheers and dances while our football team came away with a victory was exhilarating.
I am a business owner. Yep, you probably know that, since you are reading this blog off the StacieStoneyCoaching website. I teach Zumba classes 4 days a week. And what my true calling is, I get to work with individuals and couples, helping them find their vision of where they want to be in life or who they see themselves as, then get them to where they want to be. (In a nutshell, since coaching really encompasses SO much awesomeness!!!)
Now, on top of all that, I am also a wife, a dog mama, who has friends and family that I like to share time with as well. SO... for me...Back to School time also means a bit of STRESS!!!
I know I am not the only person with a loaded plate, feeling a time crunch. I observe the staff I work with. They ALL are running here and there. I listen to the parents of my students and cheerleaders. They ALL feel as though they don’t have enough time in the day. During this time of the year, it is SO easy to begin to feel overwhelmed. Paul writes in Philippians 4:6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” SO, how exactly can we do that? What can we do to feel less anxious about time constraints?
1. Know, and list, your priorities.
Perhaps you are not sure how to do this. I know that it was hard for me to do this because I feel that everything I do is a priority. And how can I dare say a Zumba class sometimes takes priority over my son’s football practice? But you must do this. Think of it as your first step to creating your to-do list or the beginning of a time management tool. What is important to you, and what can wait?
2. Know, and list, your strengths.
Yes, this is also important because by knowing what your strengths are, you are able to understand how your unique skills are important. Your strengths help to carry you towards your successes, and this allows for a level of awareness when you are planning out your day. By looking over your strengths, you also gain confidence in yourself.
Sure, I realize this is adding ONE MORE THING to your already busy day. However, when you are feeling stressed, exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself to get rid of said stress! When you exercise, you release chemicals called neurotransmitters, endorphin's, and endocannabinoids that make you feel good! And exercise increases body temperature that research has proven to be the best natural way to find calmness.
4. Never fear the Post-It Notes.
Or daily planner. Or Smart Phone calendar. Whatever works for you. And USE THEM! Maybe you use several tools to help you keep track of your time! I never use to. I relied solely on my iPhone. But even then, I did not use is effectively. I didn’t share my calendar with my husband. And my husband is my partner, my support. Which leads me to my next way you can get rid of anxiety about time…
5. Share. Communicate. Ask for help.
We have all heard that old adage, “It takes a village” when referring to raising children, but really your village are the people in your life that love and support you. When we all share with one another our life constraints and ask for help, wow! You’ll find other ways to ease your stresses and even some compassion!
6. And finally, the most important, BE GRATEFUL and THANK GOD.
I often laugh about how busy I am and will say with a shrug, “God isn’t going to give me what I can’t handle!” Now, here is where I need to heed my own advice. It is in those times of feeling stressed, tight with time, and anxious that I need to say, “Dear Lord God, Thank-you for for the blessings you have bestowed into my life. I have a life rich in love, and you have provided me the many opportunities to walk in Your Light. I may not feel strong enough to accomplish all that must be done, but I am in Your Hands. I will not fear failing. I will not be anxious. For you continue to provide excitement in my day. Please help me to learn to plan accordingly, using my strengths to prioritize my day. Help me to share with others, as I know your Grace covers me. Let me be a shining example of all your goodness Lord. Thank-you Jesus. Amen.”
Just writing that for you all, I feel so much calmer. Give one, or all of those suggestions a try, and feel free to contact me for further help, encouragement and coaching.
And have a Happy September!!!