We try to keep a moderate schedule. My oldest son is typically in one or two extracurricular activities that never require more than a couple of hours one or two evenings each week. This spring, however, we agreed to let my son play soccer.
It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but my son also takes Taekwondo and participates in Cub Scouts. Now, in addition to three days a week for soccer practices and games, he has one Taekwondo session and many weeks he has a Cub Scout commitment as well. Throw in a random evening school concert, art show or skit and my son has an overpacked schedule.
It doesn’t take a minimalist to see that my son has way too much on his plate.
My son made it all school year without getting sick. He typically eats healthy, gets plenty of rest and exercises regularly.
We’re about one month into the overcrowded schedule he is juggling. Two nights ago, after his soccer game, my son was complaining about a sore throat and headache. A quick wrist to the forehead revealed a fever brewing. He was up throughout the night with a 102+ degree fever.
The next morning I took him to a MinuteClinic at our local CVS. I was shocked when he tested positive for Influenza A. Not only is it an odd time of year to contract the flu, but my son usually avoids the bugs going around.
I’m positive that being overscheduled lowered my son’s defenses and caused him to come down with the flu.
I let my son sign up for “one more thing,” but now I’m regretting it. He’s been eating more processed foods lately. He’s been getting to bed late most nights. He’s having a hard time getting his school work completed in the evenings. He’s overscheduled.
Are you overcommitted in your life? The answer may be yes if you answer positive to one or more of the below questions:
Do you say “yes” more often than “no thank you.”
Do you feel exhausted by dinner time, but still push yourself to participate in evening commitments?
Are you getting sick too often? Is your body sending you a message to slow down?
Do you make time to get plenty of rest, eat healthy and exercise?
This week I challenge you to review your commitments and decide which of them can be scaled back or eliminated. We can only do so much before the stress of being overcommitted forces us to slow down or stop. Be gentle with yourself and your children. Look for signs of overscheduling in yourself and your family.
If you notice signs of overscheduling, make a change!
There are only two weeks left in my son’s soccer season. Next year, he’ll need to drop an activity if he wants to take on something new. We learned our lesson the hard way. Hopefully you can learn from our experience and avoid the pitfalls — and sickness — an overscheduled life can bring.