Life can be hectic! Whether you stay at home with your kiddos, work full-time, or have a busy school schedule- we all have a lot to do! Not to mention, the holidays and end of the year are right around the corner. Maintaining your mental and emotional health can be hard during busy times, but there are things you can do stay healthy and whole in hectic seasons!

7 Tips For Staying Healthy

1. Prioritize What Matters Most

As David Allen wrote, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” You have a limited capacity and can only do so much. That’s okay! But you can still accomplish what you to need to when you prioritize what matters to you. Other people’s priorities may look different from yours. Pick a couple of areas to focus on, and maybe put some other areas on hold for a while. What is important to you right now? Is it serving at church, being there for your kids, getting healthy, starting your business, or spending more time with God? Pick three big priorities and set your schedule around those things, rather than letting your schedule pick your priorities for you.

2. Make a Schedule

Part of being good stewards of the life God has given us includes stewarding our time well! If you want to make something a priority in your life, you need to schedule it into your week. If you want to make physical health a priority but don’t put meal prep and workout times on the calendar, how much progress do you think you’ll make? I can tell you the answer from personal experience- not very much!

3. Practice Purposeful Time Management

Okay, so you have your priorities and a schedule now. Surely that’s enough, right? Well, when you are truly in a hectic season of life, sometimes you need a little more than just a schedule of events or activities. You can start incorporating purposeful time management practices into your scheduling. Write down detailed tasks of what you need to do for every day. Be aware of how much time you are spending on meaningless entertainment. Set a time limit for social media or Netflix. Block off your day into 30 minute or one-hour windows. Buy a physical planner or use an app to remind you of what you have to do. When you start being more purposeful with how you spend your time, you will figure out what works for you and what doesn’t!

4. Give Yourself Grace

Alright, so here’s a little secret: you are only human. Even the “perfect” schedule falls apart from time to time. The task that was supposed to take 20 minutes takes 2 hours. Your professor gives you a last-minute assignment, your boss calls, or you get sick- life happens. Sometimes you need to give yourself grace and remember that even when your best laid plans fall through God is still in control. He knows just what you need. You aren’t a failure, and you aren’t incapable. You are an imperfect person in need of grace, and that’s all you are expected to be.

5. Find Time for Self-Care

No matter how busy your schedule is, taking time for self-care is so important to staying healthy in hectic seasons. Now, believe me, I have fallen into this trap before so if you are thinking, “I wish! I just don’t have time for self-care!” You do. I promise you do. In fact, when you take time for self-care you actually avoid wasting time being overwhelmed or having a meltdown later. It’s okay to choose to invest in yourself! Be sure when you are scheduling, you put time on the calendar for taking care of yourself.

6. Take A Sabbath

While this is similar to self-care, Sabbath is a Biblical principle of rest. In fact, it’s one of the Ten Commandments, so it must be pretty important! Your Sabbath should be a day that you rest and reconnect with God. For many people this looks like taking time off on Sunday and going to church. Really though, your Sabbath can be any day of the week. Maybe you work on the weekends or just have a complicated schedule. Just pick a time that you set aside to not take work calls or check your email. Make a time for yourself to rest and lean into God’s presence.

7. Take It Off Your Plate

But what if you are still stressed, overwhelmed, and don’t have time for rest? Maybe you are reading this blog and already have committed to too many things or you are realizing you have been trying to make everything a priority. The answer is obvious, but not easy: DO LESS. Believe me, those two words go against every fiber in my being. But here is the truth, if you want to stay healthy during a busy season, and not be riddled with anxiety and stress, sometimes you have to take some things off your plate. It’s great to serve in church, but maybe in this season you need to be there for your family. Maybe focusing on your school means one less social event during the week. Remember you get to decide what you can handle. If doing everything comes at the expense of your emotional, mental, or spiritual health- you need to let some things go.

God calls us to lives full of peace and joy. You don’t have to walk around in stress and anxiety, always overwhelmed and striving. This idea is so counter cultural, but it’s the truth. So, as you walk into this fall season, if you know life is going to get hectic, start incorporating some of these tips into your routine. Ask the Lord to help you prioritize what He has for this season of your life and invest in the areas He has called you to. You will be amazed at how you can stay healthy and whole even in the most hectic seasons of life.

For more practical advice on how to stay whole and healthy, check out our MercyTalk podcast or read another Mercy Blog!