Do Less. Accomplish More.
Theresa Polley
May 3, 2021
August 16, 2023
Self Care

I don't know about you, but I used to believe I COULD do it all. Family, work, volunteer, help friends and family in need. I never stopped to ask myself WHY would I want to do it all. When I believed the myth of doing it all, I would run myself into the ground to accomplish everything. Asking for help was cheating. As I TRIED to do it all, there was little time left for myself. I was too exhausted to notice or care. I was miserable. In the myth of doing it all, they conveniently leave out the part about not having time for yourself.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to raise my grandson (who is three now and full of energy) - there is so much joy. But I'm not going to lie, there is also so much exhaustion. I couldn't do it all if I wanted to! I have to ask for help from my friends, family and worst of all, my ex-husband. I’ve realized I can’t do this all by myself. Taking care of an energetic preschooler is a full time job, and I already have a full time job!

As a single mom, I know a thing or two about taking care of myself. I take time for yoga, spend time with friends and perform my nightly self-care ritual that makes me feel good. It’s the best thing I can do for myself. And for Mason.

In order to make self-care a priority, I’ve had to delegate, prioritize and most importantly, make peace with leaving things undone.

When I began to eliminate the non-essentials from my life, things really began to change. While I enjoy cooking for Mason (something the shutdown taught me - homemade just tastes better!), going to the store, cleaning the house and cutting my grass are things I don't enjoy, so I've outsourced. I'd much rather enjoy Mason than worry about things not getting done. I'm slowly but surely finding peace with leaving things undone, things in my not too distant past that would have made me crazy.


  • Find Help – Hire childcare, cleaning or cooking help, if it makes your life easier – do it! The latest research shows that spending money on time saving services is a boost for happiness.
  • Home Delivery – If it’s ready made meals, diapers or shoes that you need, know that you can get most anything in a day. Take advantage of the convenience of delivery to your door.
  • Ask for Help – A dear friend of mine likes to say “You don’t get what you don’t ask for.” Ask for help from your partner, your family, your friends. Gone are the days where the only way to do anything was to do it yourself. It really does take a village.


  • Important Tasks First – Children picked up from school. Bills paid. Groceries bought. Whatever needs to be done to keep your day-to-day routine up and running is a priority. Then if something falls off your radar, it's not the end of the world if it doesn't get done.
  • Work Life – If your boss, coworkers or work environment is sucking the life out of you, it may be time to move on. Maybe a career change even. The job market is doing well, now may be the time to make your move.
  • What Makes You Happy – What experiences bring you joy? Is it time with friends, a bubble bath, a yoga class or walking your dog? Whatever you need to feel nurtured and grounded, make it a priority.
  • Avoid distractions – Constantly checking your phone, obsessively browsing news or social media is only making you feel worse. Stop it. Today.

Make Peace with Leaving Things Undone

  • Your To-Do List – Take a good look at your to do list and evaluate what really needs to be done. If you have tasks that keep getting moved from one to-do list to another, maybe it’s time to admit those chores will never get done. Delete from your list. Notice the relief you feel.
  • Minimize – Get rid of items, obligations and people who don’t serve you. Discover freedom from what is holding you back.
  • Acknowledge – You don’t have to do it all. Really. Do what you can do. Forgive yourself for not doing it all. Allow yourself to ask for help. Watch your life change.

I’ve met many women who say they’d love to take time for themselves, but they just don’t have the time. Honestly, you don’t have time to NOT take time for yourself. I firmly believe we MUST make time for what’s important. Self care is not selfish it is necessary.

Making peace with leaving things undone is a game changer. My hope for you is that you may find  peace and maybe even learn to love the art of leaving things undone. Then watch as your life opens up to you.

This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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