There are times in life when we feel completely drained. We divvy up our time between work, family responsibilities, paying bills, and running errands. And all the while, there’s that nagging feeling that we’re neglecting ourselves and our goals. It’s easy to become paralyzed by the overwhelming feeling that our lives are spiraling out of control.
Whenever this feeling of being lost overcomes you, there are a few tactics you can use to get back to your center and feel balanced and empowered once again.
1. Write it down
Writing down a “statement of intention” can take many forms – the writing in itself is the therapeutic part. This statement, which you should literally write, in pen or pencil (not in your phone) could be a list of errands, or a paragraph briefly discussing the things you would like to accomplish during that day or week. This statement can then be your own personal GPS device, making it easier to stay focused.
2. Wiggle room
Many people feel pressure to cram as many errands and projects into a single day as possible – but this way of thinking can wind up leaving you overwhelmed and under-performing. Instead, create a little wiggle room for yourself at the beginning or end of the day. This is time for you to breathe, take in your surroundings and charge your batteries.
Try waking up fifteen minutes earlier each day in order to mindfully begin your day over a cup of coffee, meditation, reading, or a cuddle with your partner or kids.
Our capitalist consumer culture is obsessed with creating the illusion that we are constantly in the need of more stuff, and that we have an endless choice of everything – like where to eat, what to buy, who to date, and so on. This delusion of the internet age is neither the truth, nor the natural way to live. We truly CANNOT do everything, be everywhere and have everything, as hard as it is to discredit this “inspiring” message.
In actual fact, abundance of choice causes us anxiety and makes decision making near impossible. A better strategy is to commit to one realistic path, whether in life or in your day-to-day schedule, and stick to it. This reduces the amount of options from which you need to choose and lets you focus.
Do you find that you’re often putting off decisions and keeping all your options open because you’re afraid of missing out on an opportunity? This could leave you feeling confused and off-balance.
Try focusing your energy on making concrete choices and sticking to them, and being adult enough to deal with the consequences.
When we’re feeling lost or overwhelmed or stuck in a negative situation, it often helps to take the focus off of ourselves. The best way to do this is to leave our personal space and start helping others, thinking about their needs instead of ours. This could be anything from a call to Grandma, to volunteering at a local soup kitchen. These actions are spiritually rewarding, re-focusing, and remind us of what really matters.
The simple, primeval release of energy can often sort out negative feelings we’re having. Instead of chaining yourself to your desk at work all day, take a short break and climb a couple of stairs. Alternatively, try taking a brisk walk in the morning or evening. It will give you a chance to unwind, and it’s good for your mental and physical health.
These tips should help you start taking back control of your day-to-day life and get a sense of well-being. You can slowly develop the courage to say no to all the things that scatter your energy and true priorities. Start following these easy steps today. You deserve better.