Living in Cope Mode

I feel like I could use this topic to spin off all kinds of posts ranging from learning to say no to how to tap into your intuition. Maybe I still will. 🙂

I’ve mentioned here and there that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed for at least a good month or so. My problems are all good ones to have — too much work with not enough hours in the day. As much as I wish it weren’t true, there is too much of a good thing.

I gave up one of my teaching jobs at the end of March. While it was a relief to not wake up at 4 am anymore and have complete control over my weekends, it didn’t really free up a ton of time. All it really did was allow me to get slightly more sleep on a Tuesday. I knew it wasn’t a huge thing off my plate, so I didn’t really expect things to change much. And they didn’t.

Do you ever feel like you’re doing too many things and you’re only doing them all adequately? That’s where I am right now. I’ve likened it to doing my work at a C-level when I’m a notoriously A-level performer. Everything is getting done, but it’s at the last minute which leaves me feeling rushed and scattered.

I feel like I’m coping and not living.

The good news is that all of this is fixable. If you had found me in this situation a few years ago, I would have told you that my life was over and there’s nothing that could be done. Past Erin was a bit extreme.

If something in your life isn’t working, fix it. It’s your life, so figure out what you need to do to get it where you want it to be. It’s that simple.

Here are the things I am planning on doing to remedy this situation. Although I’m talking about me, remember that we are all more similar than you think and I bet this resonates with at least one of you right now. If that person is you, consider taking some of these steps yourself.

Do a financial breakdown

One of the reasons why I haven’t given up certain things is because I haven’t really sat down to figure out how much income I’m making on a monthly basis. I know I make enough for survival plus more for savings, but I don’t know exactly how much more. I assume that if I let one of my bigger obligations go, I won’t be making enough money, when in actuality I may already have it covered.

This is made difficult since my income is random and sporadic. I have an approximate amount I make each month, but with variable training weeks and blog/social media projects, it can be hard to track. Having a better idea of where I am financially will make these decisions easier.

Figure out priorities 

When I started working here in Chicago, I did whatever I could. Now that my schedule is busier, I need to take a step back and actually look at everything I do. Am I enjoying it? Am I spending too much time on one job when I’d really like to be increasing another?

My blogging and social media income is increasing and that’s what really brings me the most joy. I currently only have Tuesdays to work at home and get ahead on things while trying to shove it into the other days of the week between clients and classes. Ideally I’d like to set aside another full day at home.

Remove things that make the least or bring the least satisfaction

With a variety of jobs comes a variety of incomes. It makes the most sense to remove the things that take up time but pay me the least. I have a general idea of what those things are, but after a financial breakdown it should be more apparent.

Set further boundaries

I’ve already learned to say no to training clients because it’s evident to me that I can’t physically see all of them. I’ve also tightened my training radius to include areas right around my home which saves on commuting time and therefore allows me to see more people. I’ve stopped working for free as much because I simply don’t have the time to dedicate to everything.

It’s easy to set boundaries when you have to. If you physically can’t do something it’s no problem, but the tricky part comes when you have the potential to do a job or see another client but have to figure out if it’s worth it. This sounds like a post for another day, what do you think?

Ultimately, it’s all good. Some days are more stressful than others, but at the end of them I know I’m the one who is responsible for creating them. If I want less stress, I do the things I need to to lessen it. I will work on lessening the load (or at least restructuring it) and I’ll report back to you guys. Let me know if you have any tips in the comments!

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10 Comments

  1. May 3, 2017 / 5:33 am

    This is exactly how I’m feeling about my race training right now and I’m taking some similar steps to just chill and re-work what’s not working. The struggle is real.
    Allie recently posted…Pressure Is A PrivilegeMy Profile

  2. May 3, 2017 / 5:34 am

    This was good for me to read right now…I’m currently in a transition period where I’m working full time (teacher), building up a blog and taking on more and more yoga teaching jobs..which is all things I wanted, but now I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I, too, also like to do everything A level, but am accepting that maybe right now I’m just gonna need to settle for my B game for a bit until I can re-evaluate finances/life/passion. Thanks writing this down so thoughtfully.

  3. May 3, 2017 / 5:55 am

    I have definitely been feeling the same way as of lately, but right now I need to do all this work, because well I have to pay the bills. The past week or so, I have been busting my butt, but this weekend I need a break. Especially from the computer devices. Right now though, I just take it one day at a time. I write out my to do list and just tackle it. Eventually it will come together…I just have to believe and work hard! xoxo

  4. May 3, 2017 / 7:11 am

    Great points! I think people (including myself) get caught up in their stress and rather than figuring out what you can do to help or fix it, just kind of flounder about feeling worse. Great tips!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…WIAW: 32 Weeks PregnantMy Profile

  5. May 3, 2017 / 8:47 am

    Great tips Erin. It’s easy to feel overwhlemed and not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel but it usually takes that stepping back and looking at your life from an objective perspective to figure it all out. Hope you find the right path for yourself.

  6. May 3, 2017 / 8:53 am

    I know what you mean by this; the beginning of the year i felt the same way. I had a hard time discerning when to say ‘no’ and when to say ‘yes.’ I didn’t want to be selfish, but I was trying to do too much, and not realizing that I didn’t have to do it all.

    I think you’re a really good blogger Erin; I always look to you for good blogging advice, thoughtful posts, delicious pictures of food, and I think it would be cool if you could do that more full time; however I do understand that you do like training some clients.

    I’ll be praying that you’re able to figure out what will help your mental and physical and emotional health the most!
    Emily recently posted…Why I’m Doing a ‘Loose’ Elimination Diet (WIAW)My Profile

  7. May 3, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    I’m really glad you’re basically living in my brain and can write about what I’m thinking about before I get around to it 😉

    I also look at timelines. For example, I’ll be teaching an 8 week online course. It takes up time, but it’s not forever, and it pays well, so to me, it’s worth it to be a touch busier because it’s temporary. I also try to plan ahead so I’m not doing everything at the last minute.
    Ange // Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Barre and Body AcceptanceMy Profile

  8. May 3, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    I’ve definitely been stuck in cope mode – it’s no fun, even though it’s not as bad as “total train wreck” mode 😉
    I hope you figure out how to prioritize and keep doing what you live (and are good at!).
    Catherine @ A Cup of Catherine recently posted…Cinco de Mayo Margarita Round-UpMy Profile

  9. May 8, 2017 / 11:27 am

    Edit, edit, edit! We edit our blog posts, and we have to edit our lives. I love this post, Erin. You will never feel like things are perfect, but making these changes will be great for you! And you know, having “many” little jobs, is WAY tougher than one main job! 🙂
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…Announcing my first ebook: “Fit and Fertile”My Profile

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