5 Things to Do When You Feel Maxed, Empty, and Pressed

by | Writing | 10 comments

“A bee is never as busy as it seems; it’s just that it can’t buzz any slower.” —Kin Hubbard

image by svklimkin

image by svklimkin

We’re between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Time for commitments has been cut at least by a third to get ready for Christmas.

Earlier today, I was behind in my scheduled tasks. During Thanksgiving week, I was to brainstorm an idea for this blog. I lacked the desire to turn on my idea faucet, much less write a blog post.

image by lisasolonynko

image by lisasolonynko



I felt maxed, empty, and pressed.





What I did paid off so well that I wanted to share this encouragement with you.

Try these to rejuvenate yourself and enjoy the season.

1. List all the pressing tasks you must do and want to do.

I belong to an accountability group, so I make this list every week. The beauties of my list are:

  • My tasks seem less daunting on paper than they do swirling around in my mind.
  • image by jeltovski

    image by jeltovski

    I ask myself: If I were to axe one or two tasks to make the next few weeks easier, which would I choose? Then I lower the hatchet.
  • Once I schedule the remaining tasks, I forget them and concentrate on the current task.


2. Rise 15 minutes or more earlier than normal.

Depending on the time I retire, I rise as much as an hour earlier than normal. On purpose. Today, without interruption in the quiet house, I advanced ahead on a Bible study I teach, freeing up time for other things.

IMG_2498 3. Consult God about your day.

One reason I felt so discombobulated was that during the Thanksgiving week I omitted the special part of my prayer time when I seek God about what I’m to do. Today, I went to my knees. God gave me an idea for another blog post for a blog I’m a regular on. Also, I asked my accountability group to pray that I hear God as I seek Him. Now I expect things to go better.

4. Ask for help.

You may feel disconcerted because you don’t ask.

This morning a member of my writers’ group said she had no time to make the meeting we scheduled for December. The gathering sounded festive when we scheduled it. Now, it seemed rash. I asked others if they felt like this woman. Unsurprisingly, the meeting is cancelled!

I asked my husband to take care of a few tasks during the season and help me with others. He agreed. Cheerfully. 

Ask! Amazingly, tasks will disappear from your schedule.

5. Do one thing that will help in some way.

I still needed an idea for today’s draft. Because craft books and magazines supply ideas, I read an article in Writer’s Digest. Instead of a blog idea, I received sizzling ideas for my story. I became excited and invigorated. That’s when I wanted to share with you ways to escape the doldrums or the fire. Voila! A blog idea too.

While I did these things, everything contributed to my well-being. Now I’m revitalized, filled, and more relaxed.

Try these five ideas to escape from the holiday fire or doldrums. Click to tweet.

What has helped you make busy times manageable and less intimidating?

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  1. Inspirations By Katheryn

    Thanks. I seldom feel maxed. But, when I do, I either put on soft music in the background, or I do the opposite and have everything completely quiet. I never feel empty, but I know there are people who do. How sad for them.

  2. Zoe M. McCarthy

    Ooh, Katheryn, I was thinking more of empty of ideas or strength. Yes, it would be sad if anyone felt empty. Thanks for bringing that up and the soft music idea. I’m more for quiet.

  3. pamelasthibodeaux

    Great post Zoe!
    When I feel this way I usually take a break, meditate/pray or focus on what HAS to be done NOW..then the other things seem to fall into place or get done later.
    Good luck with your new ideas!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Pam, taking a break and praying and getting back working with God does help. Thanks for adding that.

  4. clampos

    Today I felt so pressed that I was flatter than a piece of paper. You blog helped to put things into perspective. I follow your blog and enjoy the encouragement it brings.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Clampos, I love your imagery. That’s pressed all right. Thank you, for encouraging me with your kind words. I pray you receive peace and rejuvenation.

  5. marilyn leach

    Love this simple common-sense approach to getting a good focus on priorities. In my prayer group this morning, we were asking the Lord to help us with this issue. Wow! Timely! For me, putting on a Gregorian chant CD while I work can bring a fresh breeze into whatever I’m doing. I’m listening to one designed for Advent this very morning! Cheers

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Marilyn, I knew there was a reason I sensed I should push other posts later to squeeze this one in. Sounds like God was orchestrating a few things today.

  6. Jane Foard Thompson

    I arrived home after two weeks in the hospital/rehab following surgery for a broken hip, facing unfinished tasks from mold remediation. Most of my time between now and Christmas will be healing and physical therapy. I began to feel hopeless, with writer goals for 2015 that will remain unfinished, and no Advent wreath or manger scene or Christmas decorating, and I can’t even walk without a walker or sit for very long. You reminded me to take what is swirling around in my head and get it on paper, ax what i cannot do, and follow the Lord with the rest. Thank you, Zoe. Once again your practical faithfulness has come to my aide.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Jane, I’m so sorry you broke your hip. You’ve had a very trying year. I pray 2016 is without such struggles!

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