Or, how I overcame my fear and frustration of a crazy busy life season and found my focus once more.
It’s easy to lose focus, isn’t it? I know I can’t be the only one that gets distracted as easily as Doug from UP who’s dialogue is constantly interrupted with “SQUIRREL!”. Life starts filling up with busy schedules or unexpected surprises and setbacks and I struggle to keep my mind on what’s really important.
Now I know that everyone is different and there are a million google results for “how to refocus yourself”. Your steps to refocus and regroup may look different than mine and I would love to hear about yours in the comments! Today I am sharing five basic things I did these past few weeks that really helped me to regain my focus and peace.
- Realize that busyness/chaos is okay!
Life is busy. There are thousands of things that beg and call for our attention throughout the week. Work, chores, emergencies, responsibilities, family, meetings, errands; the list can go on. Being busy is not a bad thing! Experiencing some chaos in your life is not the end of the world. I think too often we believe the lie that if I just wasn’t so busy, everything would be better or if I didn’t have this chaos going on right now, I wouldn’t be so frustrated. Can we reduce our schedules and organize our lives in such a way that we are less stressed? The answer is probably yes! Learning to prioritize tasks and learning when to say no are both important tools to help us live “easier” lives. However, I know I too often have a negative view of busy seasons in my life, when in reality, it’s how I respond to such seasons that makes the difference- not whether or not I am busy.
2. Keep your goals in mind.
Several long months ago I wrote a series on “How to Be Happy“. In Part 1 (Which you can read here) I included a free Big Picture Goals printable (you can go download it if you want!) that divided my goals into each aspect of life; Spiritual, Personal, Married, Physical. Once I decided what my overarching goals for the year were, I then filled out Part 2’s free printable (you can read that post and download the document here) which broke down the big goals to monthly, weekly, and daily goals. I’m not saying you need to be so specific in goal setting- I’m just a type-A who goes a little overboard- however, I know the benefits of having a few goals in mind for yourself.
I wrote that goal series when we were living in our first apartment; since then we moved into our first house, then another apartment in a different city, and most recently into our new house. Even with all the moves and changes of life, those goals I originally wrote still stand as goals I have for myself. But I lost sight of them in the midst of the busyness. This past week I reread through them once more and realized that my current attitude and actions were not leading me closer to those goals! I knew I had lost my focus and needed to adjust.
3. Remember that this season will pass.
Maybe you are facing an unusual season of life right now, like I have been. Sure, life is busy and a little chaotic as always, but there are some circumstances you haven’t had to face before; you are adjusting to a new job, have entered into a new stage of life, are facing new health challenges, or maybe you’ve lost your old community or support system and are learning how to adjust. It can be scary. Uncertain. Frustrating.
As I mentioned in my last post, my breakthrough moment of changing my focus was realizing that this is just a season of life. It will not be this way forever. Just look back at all the seasons of life you’ve already conquered! You will get through these challenges and realize that it wasn’t so bad after all. I know that in this new season of my life, I am acquiring new information, gaining new skills, relying more on Jesus, and learning how to be more independent and to manage life on my own (when my hubby is away on business). I’ve just been too focused on the negative aspects of the last few months to realize all the benefits and blessings that this new season is bringing! This season will pass soon and I will enter a new season- so I should appreciate the good of this one while I can.
4. Take time to reconnect with yourself, your Savior, and your spouse.
Isn’t it cool how we can have thoughts about our thoughts? Too often in the last few months I have just been thinking, acting, and reacting on autopilot. I wasn’t taking my thoughts captive to Christ; I wasn’t focusing on the positive; I wasn’t challenging myself in any way; in other words, I wasn’t thinking about what I was thinking about. I felt sad for myself, frustrated at the situation, and grumpy that I was “stuck” there. That is, until I stopped and forced myself to analyze the situation and my part in it! When I reconnected with my thought process, I saw that my thoughts, attitudes, and responses needed to change asap! I had been lazy and lost focus of my goals. I was unrealistic in my attitude that I was “stuck”, since I know that this is just a season and I also have power in how I react to the situation!
I also saw my need to reconnect to my Savior. Whenever life gets really busy, its so easy to cut back on these things first, when really, I need to step it up! I needed to prioritize time spent in God’s Word, time set aside in prayer, and simply talking to Him throughout the day. Life is so much easier when I give up the sense of control that I have to Jesus, Who really has it all to begin with.
Once my heart was in a better place, I could see my error in how I have treated my husband throughout this season. Not only is he going through the same life changes I am, but he also has a new role at a new company with high expectations to meet and a new schedule to adjust to. In my selfishness, I had been adding more pressure on him to work long nights on home improvement after long work days, was a major complainer, and was not taking him or his needs into consideration at all. Obviously I don’t want to be a burden to the love of my life! But because I had been operating in autopilot selfishness, I was not achieving my goals of being his encouragement, his safe place, or his help meet. A much needed reconnect without house projects or to-do lists was in order, especially after our nearly two weeks apart. Though our anniversary date night was a good start, I know that I need to be making changes in my actions and perspective so that our home is a good refuge for both of us when life gets hectic. Hopefully this weekend is a good chance for us to relax and reconnect- even in the midst of some more home renovations :).
5. Lean back, laugh, and learn.
Take a deep breath. Actually, take several deep breaths focusing on inhaling and exhaling. Remember not to take yourself too seriously and that every difficulty, every mistake, every challenge is a chance to learn and grow. This season of my life, though busy and challenging, is actually a really amazing one. Looking back over the last few months, God’s faithfulness has been shown time and time again. From the ease in which we sold our house, to how fast we found this new one, to how well my husband has done in his new job, to how many more visits we’ve had with family now that we live closer; these and many more have been showcases of His goodness to us. My own faith has been challenged and grown in several ways already in this season. And as I mentioned earlier, I am learning so many new skills during this season, both handy skills like laying flooring, and life skills like managing the stress and anxiety of being alone at night. God is using this season to grow me and to refocus my attention back to Him.
Though it hasn’t been easy, I feel so much more energy and excitement now that my focus is back on track! I would love to hear how you refocus! Let me know in the comments. Thank you so much for reading my blog!