On nine ballerinas, moving to Calgary and prioritizing my life
By Natasha Files | Twitter: @natashafiles
A few days after settling into my new life amidst the flames and cowboys of Calgary, I found myself slightly overwhelmed. It’s not the fact that I am the main house parent to nine quirky ballerinas, nor that I am in a full-time Masters program that requires countless pages of paper writing. No, I think the pressure is coming from my lack of organization and an inability to conceptualize the coming weeks.
Have you ever had a moment where you felt completely engulfed in confusion, but knew you would eventually work it out? This past week has been like that, where I had seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but running to it was equitable to running through thick air during a nightmare. Well, I finally figured out how to cut that air and reach the light: patience, prioritizing & planning.
I know, so corny, but I find it easier having acronyms or fun sayings to remind myself about healthy coping. Here is how I unpackaged and found my three P’s were most helpful:
1) Patience – I asked myself to identify my specific stressors and divide the factors I can control vs the ones I can’t. After realizing that not everything in my bundle of stress is within my power to change, I acknowledged my need to trust and focus on the process rather than chomp at the bit for an end result.
Reflect: Feeling overwhelmed? Can you make a list of the main contributors to your stress? Within that list, what is in your power to change? Which parts do you need to eliminate? Which parts do you need to hand over to God?
2) Prioritization – this is a big one for me because I get so excited about opportunities to get involved. This week I had to remind myself that I am a full-time mother and a full-time student, so maybe I need to step back from a few responsibilities this season. I highlighted my personal goals (spiritual, physical, relational, financial and educational) and decided what is at the top of my list and what might need to be paused or stopped.
Reflect: What are your current personal goals? How do your current responsibilities line up with these desires? Can anything be shifted or decreased?
3) Planning – Once I recognized the most important commitments for this season, I made a schedule. I ensured I will have enough time to fully embrace my current responsibilities and passions, and reminded myself that stepping back from certain areas does not make me less of a woman.
Reflect: How can you schedule your life so that important commitments and passions do not become overwhelming burdens?
A bittersweet aspect of my current 3 P’s is that some of my favourite activities are being paused or stopped. When I planned, I chose to focus on allowing more room for the most precious commitments of this season and, unfortunately, had strong boundaries with giving those commitments enough space. The end result? Certain passions are currently paused. Despite the heartache of this decision, I have peace and know I am honoring myself and avoiding burn out.
One of the commitments that will soon go on pause is my weekly wellness piece with SheLoves magazine. As mentioned above, I have had to have strong boundaries with myself to avoid burnout in this new season and am no less passionate about SheLoves or wellness because of this decision. I am honoured to have had space to share my experiences and a forum to offer resources in such a supportive community. I will still be following other entries and sharing this site with as many people as possible, and hope to eventually return with a fresh perspective. I so love SheLoves magazine <3
With this, my beautifully powerful SheLoves sisters, I am curious to hear your thoughts:
1) How is your current life situation? Does it need a do-over with the 3 P’s?
2) What is an area where you could benefit from being a little more patient?
3) What areas of your life would you prioritize in this season and how can you plan to ensure they have space?
Natasha Files is Case Manager with a Mental Health and Addictions Team. She has experience working with youth and adults struggling with a variety of life-controlling issues and she specializes in eating disorders. Natasha’s passion for mental wellness began when she personally experienced the impact of a genuinely caring professional. That passion is paired with a love of espresso, only to be overshadowed by her desire to see women set free from life-controlling issues.