I got to a point a few years ago where I was so over committed I wanted to cry every time I looked at my calendar.
Yearning for a pause, I just wanted to sit down and veg out... stare at a wall... channel surf... read a magazine. My personal time went to anyone who wanted it and I was exhausted.
I found that I was getting sick often by running myself ragged.
I had to get familiar with setting boundaries.
How could I expect anyone else to respect my time if I didn't? I was doing things to be nice or even accepted but at the end of the day I wasn't being true to myself. My mission in life is to enjoy every miniute of it and being stressed and stretched too thin was just not the way to go. It helped to have been surrounded by people who supported my choice to be happy even if it meant that I needed to dedicate more time to myself and less to them.
Here are my steps to stay smiling and sane:
1) I don't say yes when I mean no
So often I would agree to do something neither my mind, body or soul wanted to do and then I would be mad that I committed. Now, I only agree to take on a new responsibility if I can be 100% present. At the end of the day it helps prevent resentment and exhaustion.
2) I make myself a priority
This is a hard one and it became ever harder once I got married and had a child. It's easy to get so caught up in caring for others that self gets neglected. I must regularly practice placing my own care as high on my list of priorities as those closest to me. If you are the same way, I'm sure you're well aware that if you don't take care of yourself you can't take care of others.
3) I schedule non negotiable down time
We fill up our schedules with our appointments and things to do but I found it important to put myself on my schedule. I may actually block out a day that is just for family time or schedule myself to read a book. This way I'm sure to practice some self love activities.
I hope this post gets you back on track with smiling, staying sane and keeping up your happy.