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At times in the past I wondered whether being so stressed out was going to kill me, as my life seemed to career out of control.
I was combining teaching, family and trying to build a new business and feeling that I was making a really crap job of everything! I was feeling totally and utterly overwhelmed and had no idea what to do about it.
Teacher stress, family stress
Why was I feeling like this?
Because I just felt like I was juggling everything - BADLY!
I couldn't remember birthdays, couldn't think more than 1 day ahead of myself, was meeting deadlines at the last minute, throwing beans and toast at the kids (not literally, though tempting sometimes!) had a never ending list of tasks to do and was working till past 9pm most nights, including weekends!
For someone who is normally pretty much in control, this felt horrible!
I felt stuck, but I was too busy and too stressed out to think straight
I tried various methods of improving my situation.
Setting rules around work/relaxation times, writing to-do lists, ripping up to-do-lists, signing up to productivity emails, (then getting stressed out coz they were filling my inbox), forgetting about everything and drinking copious amounts of cider and wine, shouting at the kids and my hubby for being messy (like that was going to make any difference!), meditating (or should I say trying to....?) and various other methods.
While some things worked for a wee while and others pissed me off more, nothing was actually helping me.
I was still stressed out and overwhelmed
My house was also really adding to my stress.
Anyone who came into my house would say it was tidy............on the surface it was!
However, every time I opened a cupboard or drawer I had that crushing feeling that it really needed tidying, which just totally increased my stress levels. Needing something would end up in me spending an hour of my precious time looking for it!
This would only serve to irritate me and then cause me to be far less productive when I did eventually get back to what I was doing. By the time I then remembered what I had been doing another 30 minutes had passed!
I am sure I was not alone, but I felt like it
Everyone else seemed to manage the juggling act.
I knew that my teaching colleagues were struggling with stress at work, but we never really discussed the stresses that having a family added to that.
Anyhow...........I was then introduced to Marie Kondo and the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. My sister-in-law was sure I would love the book.
To begin with I was a bit skeptical - the KonMari method suggests that if items do not "spark joy" then they have no place in your house. That sounded a wee bit too fluffy for me to be honest!
She also suggests that you tidy your house by category, rather than by location - I couldn't see the sense in this either.
However, as I got further through the book her ideas just began to make more and more sense to me and I made a start on my clothes, chucking out anything that didn't bring me joy.
It was pretty easy once I got started and I can honestly say I felt a sense of satisfaction and happiness from having heaved loads of clothes that I really didn't like! I have far, far fewer clothes than I had, but I really like the ones that I have left and will just wear them more often, which is fine by me.
Marie Kondo magic
Part of the magic of the KonMari method is tidying by category, rather than by location, which I just didn't get to begin with.
One day I decided that the bedside cabinet needed tidied, so I put a couple of things in one drawer, a piece of paper in another and some bits in the cupboard - job done! As I was admiring my handiwork, I suddenly realised exactly what she meant - I hadn't tidied anything - I had just moved the problem!
So, from then on I started tidying by category and cannot believe the difference it has made to my life.
She suggests starting with clothes, before moving onto books, CDs, paperwork and various other sections, before finishing with personal items. By doing a few hours a week, in just 4 weeks my house felt far tidier and I honestly felt like a different person.
I cannot believe the difference in such a short space of time.
I felt happier, more focused, more productive and a million miles away from the completely overwhelmed, stressed person that I was.
The book gave me inspiration, enthusiasm and a simple process to follow which made the task of overhauling my household a simple, pleasurable and life-changing experience.
I can honestly say that it was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying that made the difference.
Life-changing, stress reducing
Reflecting on the changes, that are still in place today, makes me really, really proud of my Your Money Sorted courses.
They are doing for many women exactly what Marie Kondo has done for me. The courses give the women a simple process to follow, allowing them to make life-changing steps with confidence and hope.
I cannot believe how much I have gained from changing this one area in my life and how it has completely transformed other areas of my life. Instead of feeling like I was slowly being strangled by overwhelm and feeling stressed out, I feel vibrant, alive and excited about the future.
I now have the headspace and drive to focus on how to get my message out there, so that I can help to change the lives of as many people as Marie Kondo has.
Watch this space.........because, I have so many plans afoot!
I am on a one-woman mission to change the financial lives of as many women as I can, so if you would like some freebie tips and suggestions come and join me over in my Facebook group.