Mindset Reframe: How to Manage Overwhelm in Busy Seasons
Parenting & Family,  Simplify & Slow Down

Mindset Reframe: How to Manage Overwhelm in Busy Seasons

No matter what season of life I’m in, it’s always busy. I’m never not busy. Right now with three young kids, I’m juggling three jobs, celebrating the 6 month anniversary of this blog (woot woot!), writing another book, and preparing for our annual dance recital this week!  

I like being busy. But busy on my terms. Yesterday I realized it was 11:00 am and I hadn’t sat down or stopped moving since breakfast at 7:00 am. I’ve got things to do!

But I do get overwhelmed frequently and find that mindset is one of the biggest things that helps. Mindset can make or break your day.

What is mindset?

Your mindset is your personal set of beliefs or attitudes that influences how you think, feel, or behave. Mindset comes from your culture, education, and all the experiences you’ve ever had. Mindsets can be changed, but it takes practice.  

What is a mindset reframe? 

A mindset reframe is a way to notice negative or unhelpful thoughts and reframe or spin them in a more positive light. 

How to reframe? 

Reframing takes a lot of practice, but the more you do it the more natural it will become. 

First, get inside your head. Hear yourself saying things either aloud or in your mind. Notice the negative thoughts or words that repeat most frequently and write them down. 

Focus on your semantics.  

Are you thinking or speaking in extremes (never, always, exhausted, hilarious, boiling, love, hate)? What other, less extreme words could you use instead?

Instead of “Oh my God it’s boiling in here!” Dial it down to, “It feels warm in here.”  

Instead of “I absolutely hate traffic.” Try, “Traffic frustrates me.” 

Instead of “I have a thousand things to do today.” Switch it to, “I have a long to-do list today.” 

We often exaggerate or speak in extremes as a way of emphasizing or joking, but these extremes can affect our mindset simply by taking us out of the true picture. 

Be a problem-solver.  

Instead of just spouting out complaints or negativity, find the problem. If it’s a big problem, make the problem smaller.  

“Oh my God it’s boiling in here!” 

Rephrase: “It feels warm in here” 

Problem-solve: This less extreme phrase can prompt you to realize you have an extra layer on, you can turn the overhead fan on, you can open some windows, or you can get yourself some cold water. You have options.  

“I absolutely hate traffic.”

Rephrase: “Traffic frustrates me” 

Problem-solve: I should figure out my options before I get stuck in it. Should I leave 10 minutes earlier or should I take a different route and avoid it altogether?  

“I have a thousand things to do today”

Rephrase: “I have a long to-do list today” 

Problem-solve: I need to pinpoint my priorities and start with the top 3 things I need to accomplish today.

Concentrate on gratitude

Focusing on things we are grateful for throughout the day can help keep us in a softer, more accepting light once our busyness stressors start.  

Write down three things you are grateful for every morning. Notice things throughout the day and stop to focus on them for 10 seconds, keeping these thoughts close to the surface and around every corner.  

Gratitude phrases to help you reset.  

Trying to change your mindset in the moment takes a lot of practice, but one way to get there is to notice your repeating phrases and alter them slightly.  

Instead of “I have to” use “I get to”

I have to go grocery shopping.

Rephrase: I get to go grocery shopping. 

Gratitude: I am fortunate enough to be able to put food on the table for my family.

Instead of “busy” use “full” or abundant”

I have a busy weekend.

Rephrase: I have a full weekend/I have an abundant weekend. 

Gratitude: I am grateful to have so many people in my life to celebrate.

If you want to learn more about the power of gratitude and affirmations, check out How to Slow Down with a 5-Finger Affirmation Practice. 

Mindset Reframe: How to Manage Overwhelm in busy seasons

For more gratitude phrases, turn to Oprah’s 50 Best Gratitude Quotes!

Rethink when you speak

Sometimes we catch ourselves in a conversation (either with others or just within ourselves) that turns sour. Maybe it went wrong somewhere and you can’t pinpoint it.  

Before speaking or diving into that inner monologue, ask yourself: 

Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?  

This checklist is accredited to Socrates but has been seen in many different versions. It all boils down to the same idea.  

Is what you are about to say or think true? Can it be proven or is it exaggerated or suspect?  

Is what you are about to say or think kind? Can it hurt someone? Can it hurt you?  

And lastly, is what you’re about to say necessary? Does it need to be said, or is it frivolous, irrelative, or nonessential? Sometimes not speaking is better than speaking.   

What not to do: 

Catastrophize

Don’t focus on the worst possible outcome. Nothing good ever comes from it. Stay positive.

Personalize 

Don’t take everything personally or blame yourself for everything. It’s not always your fault.

Filter 

Don’t only focus on the negative parts of something instead of the whole picture. The whole picture can tell a much different story.  

Other ways to reduce overwhelm in a busy season 

Do something for yourself every day.  

What makes you feel most like yourself? Or what do you most look forward to at the end of a long day, week, or month? Reading? Crafting? Relaxing in a bath? Taking a walk? Do it. Every day, do something just for you. Burnout happens much faster when we feel like we’re not taken care of. 

Fill your space with beautiful things.

Don’t underestimate visual power. A messy kitchen can kill a mood. A cluttered space can contribute to overwhelm.

But, a happy plant can make you happy. A precious collection displayed proudly can put a smile on your face. A sun catcher at the window can make rainbows around the room that bring magic into your space and heart.  

Include music. 

Music is a tool I often forget about. Sometimes I forget that music can be used to manipulate your mindset. Mood music abounds for whatever you want to feel at that moment. Utilize this!

Some ways we use music to uplift us: 

Morning dance parties: If my kids are especially clingy or bursting at the seams with energy, I have a morning dance party playlist I put on for them. They can dance it out in the living room while I finish my morning tasks to an upbeat soundtrack filled with their favorite danceable songs. 

Transitions: Sometimes getting out the door with kids is really, really hard. I mean, REALLY HARD. There can be screaming, crying, negotiating, items lost in the abyss right when they are needed, unexpected bathroom trips after everyone is buckled in, you name it. It’s stressful. 

So I created a few playlists that I can pop on once we’re in the car to help change the mood.  

I have a “driving to camp” playlist full of happy, bouncy songs that me and the kids love, from all genres. This helps reset their mood AND my mood (very important).  

I have a “Happy Days” playlist with oldie pop songs and a playlist full of folk songs for calming the kids down. Sometimes we do Breakfast with the Beatles and sometimes we have afternoons full of Kids Bop.  

All this to say, music can set a mood or help RESET a mood.  

Cut yourself some slack.

Lastly, don’t try to do it all. If you know you have a busy week coming up, plan some super simple weeknight dinners or takeout. Say “no” to extra obligations without remorse. Check out How to Simplify in 10 Minutes or Less for even more ideas. Use the time saved to do something for yourself.  

Mindset Reframe: How to manage overwhelm in busy seasons

Manage overwhelm in busy seasons

Here’s a quick refresher on how to curb the overwhelm in busy seasons: 

  • Mindset reframe 
  • Concentrate on gratitude
  • Rethink when you speak
  • Do something for yourself every day
  • Fill your space with beautiful things
  • Include music

Most importantly! 

Remember, busy seasons are just that. They are SEASONS of life. Seasons come and go. If you’re in a constant state of busyness and are actively looking to change that, check out my posts all about Simplifying & Slowing Down.

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I’d love to hear from you! Let me know if you’ve tried reframing your mindset or anything similar to help with your busy seasons of life!  

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