“I don’t have enough hours in the day!”

“I just wish we had a weekend once in a while that wasn’t fully booked.”

“I’d love to arrange to see my best friend  but at the moment I don’t have a free weekend for the next month or so.”

It will come as no surprise to you, that many of my clients initially book coaching with me as they feel overwhelmed and that their time is not their own. I would probably be a very wealthy woman if I had been paid a pound for every time someone told me they didn’t have enough hours in the day. It can be a combination of things – people genuinely busy, making the most of their time outside work, people struggling to say no to friends and family and often to their detriment, children of certain ages committing to various sports or activities at the weekend leaving Mum & Dad feeling like a taxi service – these things all fill up our “spare time.”

This last year, our diaries have been the opposite. No plans. Any plans we’ve tentatively made having to be re-made often leaving us feeling very depressed and with little to look forward to. How we’ve longed to be able to do even the little things, the coffee with a friend, lunch out, Sunday lunch with the family, meeting up with a group of friends, just having a pint in a beer garden, let alone planning a holiday or going to a significant event!

Now we have been told that with any luck we can start planning, yes, it’s a slow burn, yes we are all slightly on tenterhooks as to what can happen when, BUT, we can see the light at the end of that tunnel and that feels good!

So my title for this blog “the joy of over committing” is very real and I just wanted to flag something up for all those that are planning and that is JUST BE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU PLAN!

I too will be making some plans, I can’t wait to do lots of things with friends and with family or even on my own, to have some plans in the diary feels joyous. HOWEVER…..be careful about over committing at this stage in the year. We are tentatively coming out of lockdown, there will be all sorts of hurdles to jump over one of which will be remembering how to manage our time. We’ve had lots of it. We’ve forgotten what it feels like to fill the diary and then feel anxious as we don’t know how we’re going to fit everything in.

Several clients I’ve spoken to this week have admitted that already their children’s summer holidays are pretty booked up. A friend of mine told me that although she’d love to come and stay, she only has one weekend over the summer that is still available. Don’t get me wrong, I am delighted to have stuff to look forward to but remember that we have had a whole year of a different, slower pace of life. I suspect that children will reach the end of their summer term and be wrung out and will need time to just be. Do you want to go back to that place where when someone calls you to see if you fancy a coffee you’re actually thinking “I’d love to BUT where can I fit that in this weekend, I don’t want to let them down but I don’t know how I can physically mange it?”

You will need to adjust to. You will need time to build your stamina up again,  to being active again, managing your diary again. It will feel great but has the potential to be exhausting if you are not aware of it.

What did you learn from lockdown (maybe refer to the first one here as this last one has just been survival of the fittest)? You liked the more gentle pace of life, you liked having space to just be, you liked having time to do stuff………..you liked not feeling overly committed & overwhelmed.

So, go and plan as much as you like, be excited about potential days out, visits with friends and family. Enjoy that feeling of having things to look forward too. Fill up that diary with loveliness but also keep in mind that as with everything in life we need balance so maybe it’s a question of keeping one weekend a month completely free with no plans? Maybe it’s about creating fluid plans that can change without that feeling of huge disappointment? Maybe it’s about creating space in your week that allows you to “just be” – just be at home, just be out for a walk on your own, just read a book for half an hour, whatever your just be needs to be?

Being mindful of our space, of our children’s need to adjust and flourish, being mindful of life post lockdown will give us the balance we need following a year of imbalance, a year of tremendous stress and anxiety.

Happy planning!