When Life Seems Crazy, Stick to the Basics

I’ve been in a fog, or a funk, or some other kind of situation where I can’t seem to get myself together enough to actually function.

On second thought, maybe that’s just called the first trimester of pregnancy.

In any case, I haven’t been feeling very motivated, creative, or productive. (Though, technically, at the moment I’m both of the latter things, despite not being the former. So take THAT, negative inner-critic.)

When life is like this, it feels interminable.  Like slogging through mud or sitting in Honolulu traffic. (Side note: everyone dreams about going to Hawaii…as someone who lived there for three years let me tell you, it’s one of the most gorgeous places on Earth.  Also, the traffic is the literal worst.)

My only advice for these seasons is to just get through it.  And I do that by sticking to the basics and letting the other things go.


It’s hard.  It feels like a whole lot of energy expended for negligible results.

But as my husband reminded me this morning, minute adjustments in the moment make for seismic shifts in direction down the road.

Here are my Basics.  Nothing profound, but they make a profound difference (especially when I let them go undone.)

Do the Dishes

Dana K. White of the blog and podcast A Slob Comes Clean swears by doing the dishes every day as her number one tip for getting your house under control.

I believe her.

If I don’t load the dishwasher every night and unload it every morning, things go off the rails in one single day.  Both pieces of this habit are crucial.  If I start the day with an empty dishwasher, and load it as I go throughout the day, after-dinner clean-up is a snap.  If I forget to hit start and wake up to a dishwasher full of dirty dishes, or I decide to let the dishes sit there all day…dinner time is overwhelming and clean-up takes forever.

Bonus: having a shorter clean-up time means I have time and energy to do the other things which make my life run more smoothly, like sweeping the floors.

Plan Dinner for the Week

Do I hate doing this in the moment? Yes, yes I do.

Do I regret it every single day if I don’t?  Absolutely.

Are the things on my meal plan lately the epitome of what Kendra Adachi (aka The Lazy Genius) calls Brainless Crowd Pleasers?  You know it.

$4.00 Aldi pizzas.  Pasta with a jar of sauce poured over it.  Costco Lobster Bisque and frozen potstickers.  All on my list in the past three weeks.

Does it still count as meal planning because at 4:30 every day I don’t have to think about what I’m making for dinner? 100%.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

I don’t know if I’d say I’m healthy, wealthy, or wise, but I see a huge difference in my days when I get up with an early alarm, make the bed immediately, and try to start waking up.  It takes me time to become alert and coherent, so I’ve learned that I need to give myself that time.  This wasn’t working so well what with morning sickness and all, but as that’s started to ease (at least in the a.m. hours…) I’m getting back to it.

Of course the key to early waking is getting to bed early the night before.  Not my natural tendency, but more intuitive with pregnancy fatigue and evening-sickness (is this an official thing? Because if it’s not, it should be.)

Early bedtime.  Early wake time.

Not always easy.  Still, always worth it.

Time with Jesus

The most basic of all the basics, yet somehow always the first to slip when life feels out of whack and out of control.

I’ve let this one slide a bit over the past few months, and the loss is evident.

I wouldn’t even say I feel convicted to return to my Bible and prayer, so much as I feel the lack in my daily life.

In times of stress, or transition, or sickness, or whatever else is making me feel off-kilter, the strength and peace I find in the Word is crucial.  Taking my burdens to the Lord in prayer is not just something I should do, it’s a deep and vital need of my heart.

I don’t include this on this list to make you think I’m super spiritual.

I include it because I am weak, and I need Him.

I include it here as a reminder to myself, because it’s all too easy to fall back into the foolhardy habit of leaning on my own understanding and trying to rely on my own strength.

It never works.

Nothing Profound Here

There’s nothing revolutionary here. 

Just the bare minimum to get me through until I’m over this hump, past this season, back to normal…however it comes about.

This won’t be the last fuzzy, foggy season I experience.

But the Basics are always here to keep things chugging along.


What are your Basics?  What things do you need to do to keep yourself moving through a challenging season?

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