There are times when we feel overwhelmed and like we cannot possible do it all, as the to do list grows and grows and grows. Sometimes it can even be hard to breath. Waking up in the middle of the night, gripped with anxiety that there are not enough hours in the day…So what do we do when we are wracked with all that emotion and that every growing list?
I am not sure I know completely, but lately I have felt very overwhelmed by all of the responsibility. And what seems to quiet my mind when I wake up in the middle of the night, worried that I cannot get it all done, is to accept that I cannot get it all done. And I pray for guidance and wisdom in choosing the priorities, patience and compassion for myself, and grace and stamina general. Because let’s face it, life is hard. And there is no instruction book.
I also find that slowing down a bit helps too. While that may sound counterintuitive when so many things need to get done, and writing deadlines are looming, it actually helps with focus. This is because when our minds are racing with all that has to be done, and we multi-task our way through the day, it is hard to focus and give the attention in the capacity it is needed.
When we accept that we cannot get everything done it automatically reduces the stress. Then it is just a matter of prioritizing what is urgent, and what can wait. We can organize tasks into little piles, so to speak. And then when we look at what needs to be done, it is more manageable. Even if the same of amount os tasks need to be completed, they don’t seem as menacing of they are organized my importance. We have a plan, and know how to approach it. Having a plan of action helps me feel batter and like I have something under control.
First though, we have to find a way to slow down, take a breath and put our minds at ease. Then life is more manageable.
What puts my mind at ease and calms my thoughts is praying, a lot. I have to. My faith is what saves me from 1. going crazy, 2. yelling a lot more and 3. I am pretty sure has saved me from going to jail when I encounter stupid people. And I want to meditate more. To me, meditation is an extended and relaxing form of prayer. I want to feel more in line with my faith, because when I wake up panicked, I feel far from God, even though I know he is close.
We need to feel grounded in something, whether family, faith, friends or a combination of all of them. And when we feel grounded, we can hold on to those roots while we feel overwhelmed. That holding on while letting go and allowing ourselves to not be perfect, to not get everything done, to be a little bit of a mess (or a lot), will ease our discomfort.
So don’t worry about being perfect all the time. I’ll let you in on a little secret: No one ever is. Even those who look like they have it all together all the time – don’t. Not really. And that’s OK. We don’t have to perfect to be a whole. beautiful, wonderful human.