7 Steps to Creating Life’s Breathing Room

breathing room
Woman breathing holding a coffee mug at home

Exhausted, hurried, angry? Do these words best describe you? You’re moving at such a fast pace, you high-five yourself on the interstate. You’re behind the eight ball at every turn with no end in sight. You’re late to work, late to carpool and you remember in Costco that your kids had early release. Oh for the love. Anyone? No matter the pace, you’re never enough. You’ve said yes to every classroom party, PTA and work project, perhaps out of fear. Fear of missing out, fear of disappointing. Or we play the guilt game. That’s a fun one. Our days feel like a pressure cooker about to explode, where the only thing that will survive are the cockroaches. You are house poor, time poor, emotionally drained. You need breathing room!

Your life is so packed, pushed and condensed, you’ve become a prisoner to your own self. 

Sadly, you’re perfectly normal, but there’s hope. You can create breathing room, that small little glorious space between margin and maximum capacity. That little bubble of peace that gives you room for options, plans Bs, a place to inhale and exhale without rush. That space to sit in your happy place and notice the details of life, the brilliant colors, the light breeze, to actually listen without thinking of what you’ll say next. To feel the warmth of sunshine on your face, to peacefully walk with a friend, without feeling hurried. There are seasons of life that require you to gear up and run the race in a full sprint, like the holidays, graduations, taking care of parents, sending the kids off to college. But when you begin to string together all the events, that’s when the brakes start smoking and your red engine light turns on. If you don’t listen to the still small voice that tells you to slow down, your health will begin to suffer. You don’t want your overworked adrenal glands to be the only inertia that sputters you to the finish line. Let’s put in place some guardrails that keep us from driving off the cliff of life.

7 Ways to Create Margin:

1. Establish Boundaries

2. Learn to Say No

3. Find a Rest Stop: Meditate

4. Prepare the Night Before

5. Schedule Extra Time

6. Save Extra Money

7. Organize, be Efficient

If you drove from the East Coast to the West Coast without a break, what would happen? You would be hungry, mad and out of fuel somewhere around Ohio. It’s time to find a rest stop and re-evaluate your life plan. Establish boundaries. What scenarios are you willing to negotiate and which ones are deal breakers? Learn to say “no.” It’s a complete sentence. Schedule extra time in your calendar for heavy traffic, a night away. Throw a few extra dollars toward an emergency fund or save a couple by not eating out one week. Make lunches and lay out clothes the night before. In doing so, you’re creating margin, peace instead of chaos for you and your family. Let’s turn that Costco run into a peaceful trip with few surprises. You’ve lived the hurried life. Which scenario feels better? Tell us how you create breathing room for your life.


  1. You are so right, Stephanie! Excellent advice, and an important perspective. Our well-being is just as important, and we are worthy of caring for ourselves, too, not just others. Yes Stephanie, let’s say YES to ourselves more. Speaking from personal experience, these strategies do work, Ladies!
    ….Something I love to do that creates breathing room for me is riding in the car ALONE, listening to music that I like – nobody else has to like – and, playing it as loud as I want to!:-D Thank you, Stephanie!

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