May Day, May Day!

When we were children, May Day conjured up images of May baskets full of candy and popcorn left on doorsteps by friends who either rang the doorbell or knocked on the door and ran, expecting us to chase and try to catch them.  As adults, May Day may conjure up different images, such as a ship in trouble with the captain using the radio to seek help before the ship sinks.  When you think of May Day, what images come to mind for you?  Are you excited about the delicious treats coming your way?  Or are you feeling overwhelmed as if your ship is about to sink and you are crying out for help? 

As we quickly approach the month of May, I am looking at the calendar and am realizing how busy we will be all month.  Raising a teenager in the month of May can feel overwhelming when you see multiple activities each day and no open days to just relax.  So how do you get through the month without calling the Coast Guard?  I have a few ideas to help you, not only survive, but to look forward to some treats.

First, don't focus on the whole calendar at once.  Take it "one day at a time" and focus on what is most important each day.  Are there things that you can let go of, things you have been telling yourself you "should" do but really aren't that important?  When you release yourself of this burden of guilt and shame, you are free to enjoy whatever is most important that day.  Think of this as dumping the excess baggage overboard to lighten your load and to keep you from sinking.

Next, make sure you are getting enough sleep.  We tend to think we can get by on very little sleep, but we only do ourselves, our families and our work a disservice when we don't get adequate sleep.  When we run ourselves down, it's like a ship without an engine that relies on the wind (or lack thereof) to blow it to where it wants to be.  Do you really want to be at the mercy of something that is so unpredictable?  Or do you want to be the captain of your ship and take control of it so you can go where you want to go?  Part of being the captain is taking care of the vessel, which includes making sure the engine is oiled and running smoothly so it doesn't break down.

Finally, take time to have fun and replenish yourself!  Each day, schedule some time for yourself, even if it is only 20-30 minutes.  Do something that is just for you and doesn't require that you take care of others or accomplish tasks on your "to do" list.  You may schedule one or more of the following "treats":  a walk, lunch with a friend, reading, gardening or enjoying the outdoors, watching a favorite movie, playing with your pets, kids or grandkids, dancing, yoga, a bubble bath or hot shower, engaging in a hobby or any other ideas you may have.  The possibilities are endless!  Choose something that makes you smile when you think about doing it, then put it into action.  Even the captain of the ship lets his first mate steer so he or she can get a break to replenish before taking the wheel, again.  Without taking time to refresh, the captain may not be able to navigate the waters smoothly and effortlessly.

May Day doesn't have to be a cry for help but can be a time to look forward to filling your May basket with some treats.  Take it one day a time, get plenty of sleep and take some time each day to replenish yourself by relaxing and having some fun.  Dump the excess baggage, take control and take care of your ship so you can navigate your life easily and effortlessly. .

This article was posted in the Coach's Corner of the ASTD Newsletter for May 2014.  You can reach Kolleen through this website, Linked In, Facebook or by calling her at (402) 499-5547.  She offers workshops, small groups and individual life coaching on a variety of topics to help you create the life you dream of but haven't been able to achieve.