A few years ago I was physically at capacity.

I was working a part-time job, serving Saturday and Sunday at church and going to university full time. I literally had no time for myself. It got to a stage where all I did was get things done.

It felt like I was a machine without thoughts or emotion, just doing my best to keep my head above water.

I managed to keep this up for two years straight, until eventually, physically, my body just gave up. I was sick and overworked – because of no one else but myself.

A few weeks ago I was faced with a similar scenario, where I was busy all the time. It seemed like there was so much happening that often I didn’t eat or look up or anything – I was just focused on what I needed to do, and on getting it done. It was at that point that I made some key decisions to do things differently because of what happened a few years ago.

1. It’s okay to have a day off

I never really understood this concept because in my mind, this was a waste of a day. I often felt like I was going to miss out on something, or that people would think that I wasn’t committed. But who cares what people think? Having one day to yourself is necessary to find your feet; to have a moment and come back stronger. I’m not saying your chaos will go away, but your attitude towards your chaos will change, which reduces stress in the long term.

2. Don’t be a people pleaser

This is something I have to continually remind myself of. It’s the hardest thing to do, because we want to do well; we want to impress our bosses, work colleagues, and people we serve with at church, but the minute we think we have to live up to other people’s standards is the moment we begin to burn out. It’s great to make people proud, but don’t seek approval.

3. Don’t take life too seriously

One of my biggest downfalls is that I often take things too seriously. But I have become better at being chilled. Hear my heart when I say this: having a sense of urgency is great and needed, but do not let life consume who you are and turn you into a boring person.

Being calm in the chaos isn’t about just going with the flow of life and its problems, but its facing them head on in the healthiest way possible. Don’t take yourself out of the game.

God Speed.