Keeping all my plates up in the air

When life gets busy and things seem so far beyond my control I do a mental check, are all my plates still spinning up in the air? I have this image that when things are good I am like an old fashioned circus act where I am spinning plates on a pole, each new task or worry is a new plate. When things are bad I see broken pottery crashing around me and my sticks have stopped spinning. All of you must have your own image or analogy to represent how you are feeling at any given time, but that is ours.

Lately it has been a lot of broken pottery and that lends to a feeling of despair, anxiety and stress, we all want to feel like we have this life thing down. Laundry, cooking, work, kids, getting our kids through the last couple of weeks of school, mental health, physical health, appointments...there are so many checkboxes on our to-do list and sometimes, we just can’t keep up.

“Oh, sweet little boy, beloved little girl, you are so overwhelmed by life sometimes, I know, by the enormity of it all, by the vastness of the possibilities, by the myriad of perspectives available to you….

You are exhausted, sweet one, exhausted from all the trying and the not trying, and you are struggling to trust life again. It's all too much for the poor organism, isn't it? You are exhausted; you long to rest. And that is not a failing of yours, not a horrible mistake, but something wonderful to embrace!” - Jeff Foster
The Way of Rest: Finding The Courage to Hold Everything in Love

We being overwhelmed, anxious and stressed as a bad thing, as a personal failing, but they are amazing reminders to take a moment and evaluate what is going on. It is a like a fire alarm, when one goes off we don’t immediately panic, we look around to see if there is in fact a fire. Maybe the toaster is smoking, or we left a pan on too high, the alarm alerts us that there is an issue to be addressed. Our emotions do the same thing, they alert us to a potential issue. When we start feeling overwhelmed, can we step back and ask ourselves, “what can I do to mitigate these feelings?” This is yet another example of self care, we can’t expect to perform at our peak if we refuse to take care of ourselves when our mind and body are literally screaming for help!

“For some of us, it's been so long since we listened to our bodies, we hardly know how to start understanding what they're trying to tell us, much less how to trust and believe what they're saying. To make matters worse, the more exhausted we are, the noisier the signal is, and the harder it is to hear the message.”
-Emily Nagoski, Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

Steps to take when you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious:
*Take a time out
*Go get a cup of coffee, better yet, take a walk and get a cup of coffee
*Lay your head on your desk for a few minutes
*If you feel like crying, do it, it is very cathartic
*Keep a coloring book and colored pencils around and color, it is very soothing
*Journal, writing down how you are feeling is a wonderful form of self introspection
*Go for a walk, go to a yoga class, run, do something that helps you get out of your own head for awhile

“Being overwhelmed means that your life or work is overpowering you. Regain control by clarifying your intentions, setting realistic expectations and focusing on your next step.” -Daphne Michaels
Mountaintop Prosperity: Move Quickly to New Heights in Life, Work and Money

Just remember, nobody lives a charmed and perfect life, even those people on social media who LOOK like they do, don’t. We all have issues that others may not even begin to have a clue about. It is up to each of us to live our best life and sometimes that means asking for help.

Help can come in the form of:
*Going to your doctor and in true honesty, telling them you are not doing well
*Swallowing your fear and making an appointment with a counselor or therapist
*Calling a friend or a religious leader and asking them to listen and give advice

Each of these are extremely brave acts and you should never see asking for help as a sign of failure. It is actually the bravest thing you can do!

Be brave amazing members, don’t ever suffer in silence, always know you have a place that cares about you deeply.

All the best-SG

Keeping all my plates up in the air


Marlene1105's picture

Thank you for this post. It really made me think!

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