Recently I’ve been living to work, instead of working to live. Not by choice, mind you but by demand. I’m a full-time orchestra teacher and we just finished our busiest season. All of this crazy has left me with little energy or patience when it comes to anything else.
Being overwhelmed is a real thing. It’s also a manageable thing. And personally a lot of it lives right inside my head or as I sometimes lovingly call it, the jungle. But seriously, I realized recently that I can control myself and my overwhelmed-ness way more than I give my self credit.
Here are some things that I held on to while navigating these busy murky waters. I would encourage you to try one. (You’re allowed to be patient with yourself.)
1. Remind yourself that everything changes.
Change can be such a scary thing. It’s new, different, and takes adjusting. Sometimes it’s unwelcome because the times are so good. But when the times are tough, hey!, it’s great to remember that this is temporary. Let yourself hope for the future. You will survive.
2. Schedule in alone time.
My husband’s amazing. After work I was telling him some of my day and let’s just say my eyes may have started secreting what most people call… a lot of tears. (My poor husband.) He listened to all of my stories and problems and what-have-yous and then he told me to take a bath. “Hey sweetheart, you should take a bath and I’ll bring you some coffee.” I thought, “Are you freaking serious? You’re the most amazing man in the world.”
After that hour (yes, hour) in the tub, sitting in silence, drinking my coffee, my priorities were back in their appropriate place and I could finally breathe. I need my alone time.
3. Be more organized and preplanned than usual.
The unknown is always overwhelming. Try siting down and planning out what needs to be done and in what order. Every time I do that, I feel the impossible become possible again.
Busy seasons come and go. They teach us a lot. Lots of things get done. It’s a part of life. Maybe these things will help make those times more bearable.
Question: What healthy habits do you use to cope with life when the going gets overwhelmed?