How to keep grounded through the chaos.

This article was originally published on January 17, 2018 on

If you’re anything like me, your holiday season was filled with travel, events, and a completely out of whack schedule. I thought it’d be easy to get back into the swing of things. Boy, was I wrong.

Instead of feeling refreshed and ready for the new season ahead, I’m feeling overwhelmed with a great sense of “wtf am I doing with my life?!” 

I’ve talked to a lot of my friends and everyone sort of seems to feel the same way right now. I think we could all stand to pause, recollect, and shift. Here’s a few simple ways to do just that. 

Clear out your inbox

How many emails do you get a day? Too many is the answer. I’ve adopted an “unsubscribe and delete” practice every time I open my inbox and I encourage you to do the same. As company newsletters get sent to your inbox, unsubscribe from the ones you don’t care about or never open. Similarly, once you’ve responded to a trivial email (arranging a meeting, answering basic question, etc.), delete it. Unless you really need the conversation saved because it contains important info, there’s no reason for the email to be clogging up your inbox. "Unsubscribe and delete,” is your new life motto.

Make yourself a priority

Between work, events, and running errands, it’s easy to get caught up without taking any time for yourself. We’re all guilty of overloading ourselves at some point or another but it’s so important to draw the line and just take some time to, dare I say it, do nothing.

I think 'busy-ness' has become a trend recently. Socially, we’re constantly in fear of missing out (let’s all take a moment to thank Instagram for that), so we often make it a priority to attend every single event we’re invited to even when we don’t necessarily want to go. Professionally, it seems we’ve started bragging about how busy we are, how much work we have to do, how late we stayed up last night working on a project. To all of that, I say: STOP! We need to dial it back and take some good ol’ fashioned me time. Take a look at your schedule and straight up block out time for you. Let that be your new priority, your wellbeing will thank you.

Visualize your life

I’m the co-founder of The Y Society, a social network for young entrepreneurial women in Boston. It’s called The Y Society because we want women to question their Y in everything they do…thinking deeply about what they want, personally and professionally, and the reason they want it. When things get busy like they are now, it’s easy to lose sight of your Y because it gets buried underneath the chaos. It’s time like these, though, that you should sit yourself down (perhaps during your me time referenced above) and visualize your life. Let yourself examine what you want to be doing in the next 3-6 months. Then, look at how you’re currently spending your days and think about what you can change to work towards the way you’re visualizing in the future. Write it all down and keep it somewhere visible so you can check-in with yourself from time to time and see how you’re progressing.  

Have other ways you keep yourself grounded when life gets crazy? Would love to hear your thoughts - connect with me on Twitter and Instagram at @sarahjgaines or shoot me an email at!

sarah gaines