Have You Ever Wondered Whether You Were Coming or Going?
A phrase often used when life becomes very busy and very hectic. When we are in these times, it can seem as though we are running in circles.
And yes, if you were literally running in a circle, it would be extremely difficult to determine if you were coming or going.
I am well familiar with this phenomenon as I have experienced it repeatedly in my life. Particularly over the last several months, hence I have missed my blogs the last two weeks. I have in fact really missed writing them.
I remember sometimes throughout my college years at the end of an intense semester, I would come home and catch some kind of bug that would stop me in my tracks for several days. I later became convinced that this was the result of literally running myself down into the ground. Pure exhaustion! My body’s way of telling me to stop, but it never did until the semester ended. Interesting!
As I’ve experienced these times, I have realized that they are just part of the ebbs and flows of life. These periods might look like this:
- Two large projects almost complete, a new big project has come in and it needs immediate attention so that it can get started off on the right foot (if I could just wait until I finish these other two, they are so close). It’s also the end of the school year so every evening, it seems, is filled with a band concert, choral event, awards ceremony or any number of other things that go on at the end of a school year. To make matters worse, two organizations that you volunteer with are in the midst of a huge capital fundraising campaign (or in my case, it’s Arbor Day season). Everything seems to be happening at once. I’m sure you are quite familiar with this kind of drill.
When I find myself in one of these hectic times, I have found 4 things that really help me cope, and not only cope, but to find happiness along the path and through it all.
- Define an ending point. This is critical. If you can’t find one, make one. Schedule a vacation or long weekend get-away. Schedule this well in advance so that you make sure all projects will have a resting point.
- Create a 5-minute fun diversion every day. Some may say meditate and that is fine if you love meditating, but I have found there are many people that find meditating stressful. This is 5 minutes that is all about you.
- Prioritize. Take a few minutes to look at why you are so busy. Is there something that could wait? Sometimes I have something I really want to get done, but if I stop and look at it, I find I could finish it at a later time. In other words, it’s a self-imposed constraint and not necessarily a project deadline. Other self-imposed constraints I have found are dietary constraints or exercise routines. Sometimes these things can in themselves provide us relieve and stress reduction but other times they can become something else on the to-do list and add to the stress level. For short periods of time, it is okay to let these type things to slide.
- Re-affirm to yourself, why you are in this situation. Is it the result of a promotion or potential promotion? i.e. is it somehow going to better your life? If you can’t find that reaffirmation, then maybe it’s time to stop and dig a little deeper.
“Take time to smell the roses – every day!” My twist to an old saying.
“Running on Empty,” by Jackson Brown
Game Exercise/Life Changer:
Learn how to create a 5-minute diversion and practice it daily.
Ideas? Find a nice park bench and enjoy a coffee or tea or maybe a piece of fruit, or better yet, an ice cream. While on the park bench, people-watch or force yourself to think of fun things (dare I say, dream!). You can do the same, walking around the block or in a park. This activity is five minutes doing what you find fun, and yes, there is something for everyone. Having trouble? Let me know, I’m sure I can help.