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  • The Trick: Heed Tamar Braxton’s Advice and “have several seats.”

    I don’t watch any reality TV these days but I watched the first season of Braxton Family Values. The singer Toni Braxton and her sisters have a reality show and one of her sisters, Tamar, has so many quotables. Whenever she feels like someone is “doing too much,” she suggests they, “Have several seats.”

    It’s become a catchphrase in pop culture but it also applies to how we can avoid or bounce back from burnout.

    So many people are drowning in work, family and volunteer responsibilities. That lifestyle is highly stressful and leaves little time for self-care. You might be able to fit in a pedicure but that doesn’t do anything to help you deal with all of those responsibilities. (Pedicures do make sure your feet are right for the summer!!!)

    Simply put, “taking several a seats” is the fastest way to reduce your stress (and it’s free). You don’t need to learn a new complicated strategy or save up for a retreat to start reducing your stress. You can get started with self-care in the next 24 hours.

    Don’t overcomplicate it. In the next 24 hours you could:

    • Resign from a volunteer activity
    • Say no to one of the crazymakers in your life
    • Get help with household duties (from your family or get a referral for a cleaning company).

    It’s possible.

    Trying to start with a complex plan can leave you stuck or, even worse, more overwhelmed. I’ve seen it happen and I don’t recommend it. Last year I was in Durham co-hosting a workshop and one of the participants shared “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with this self-care plan I made.” That’s when I shared with her that the key was to start with making space. You have to subtract things from your plate and create space for self-care. You can’t try to add a solid self-care routine on top of your schedule that’s already too packed.

    I know from experience. We you don’t voluntarily take that seat, your body will do it for you. It will shut down.

    When I started my self-care journey one of things I realized was that I had way too many obligations to others and no obligations to myself. So I sat down and made a calendar of everything I had to do for the week. My calendar was packed. It was really clear why I was overwhelmed. I realized that I had to take control. I rid my calendar of every single thing that was not absolutely necessary. I should have done this sooner but I was afraid that I would let people down.

    Guess what? The reaction was quite the opposite.

    1. My friend said to me “Wow! You seem to have so much free time.” She was excited that there was more space in my life so that we could spend quality time.
    2. At work I got rid of a few projects and people said that I was much more dependable. I made space for not just a job well done but for a better process for getting there.
    3. With only one volunteer activity on my plate I was able to support the organization in a meaningful way.

    Sounds good? Reply to this email to let me know what you plan on stopping in the next 24 hours.

    Be well,

    Aisha

    p.s I have more tricks you can try in my e-courses. Check them out today.