My dear friends,
To state the obvious, there is a lot happening in the world right now. It feels like we are being emotionally pulled in so many directions, and yet, we are still expected to keep it all together. In turbulent times, feelings of overwhelm can rise to the surface, even if we aren’t in the heart of suffering. In deeply troubling times, remember that your feelings are valid. Remember that you are not responsible for solving all the world’s problems. Remember that caring for yourself is crucial. This week, it is my desire to put forth some tips for managing the overwhelm that you might be feeling.
1. Carve out some time for silence and stillness. It is in these moments that we can see and hear clearly. That we can know what’s true for us, that we can understand the actions to take, and that we can cultivate the strength and bravery to take the next step.
2. Cultivate positive self-talk. It is even more important in these moments, to be your own cheerleader. Remind yourself of your capabilities, that you can handle so much, that you already have handled so much, that you are always stronger than you think. In these make or break moments, we tend to flounder when our minds give up on ourselves. Give yourself the leg up, and train your brain to be your best advocate in these times.
3. Remember that you don’t have to have it all together. I keep telling myself that, there is no handbook for handling life. And it’s true. Each new day presents unique obstacles, so why would we ever expect to be perfect and maneuvering through it! It’s okay if you’re a mess, we are all a mess! It’s okay if you mess up, we all will. Trying to be perfect in life is like trying to stay dry in a hurricane. It’s impossible. Release the need to be everything, and focus on one thing, and then the next thing.
4. Make your tasks manageable. In times of uncertainty and change, it always feels like there’s so much to do and not enough time. That frantic energy of scarcity and lack makes us feel worse than we already do. Make a schedule for yourself if that gives you peace of mind. Dole out tasks for each day. Give yourself bite size chunks so that tasks feel easier to swallow. No one is asking for us to be superheroes during this time, they’re just asking for us to be human, and to remember our humanity. We can’t do it all and be it all, all it once. But we can get a lot done when we know ourselves enough to give us the tasks in a manageable way.
5. Be a source of strength for others. Sometimes we get wrapped up in our own dramas and we feel like there’s nothing we can do. One of the biggest sources of energy and strength for me at this time is being of service to those in my personal life and in my community. Reach out to a friend who might be having a hard time and offer an ear. Offer to bring over some groceries to someone who might not have the time to make the stop. Get creative with how you can be helpful. When we reach out to those we care about, we are also reaching back in to care for our souls. I do truly believe that we are all in this together, and so when one of us thrives, we all will thrive. We can be that source of love and happiness for one another.
I want to close by reminding you that there is no map for these uncharted waters. Remember that we are all just doing the best we can with what we’ve been given. Remember to be kind, be patient, and understanding with others. Be compassionate towards those around you, but also for yourself. Remember your strength and resilience, and know that it will take you far.