I love to overwhelm myself to the point of inactivity. I have so many ideas going on at one time and since I never know where to start, the obvious recourse is to be still. This can be bad and this can be good.
On one hand, staying still just reminds me of everything that I am not doing and compounds my sense of urgency, but on the other it gives me a moment to breathe. If I actually take that moment and step back to look at the big picture, I can see that things are not as bad as I am making them and that all I need to do is tackle one thing at a time.
Monday was one of those overwhelming days. I had lofty goals, but without taking the time to write them down (a must for me), I just circled through them again and again in my head. I stared at the clock and panicked as the minutes ticked by. I don’t know why I didn’t make a to-do list that day, but I know what happens when I don’t–nothing.
I did manage to get some errands done: I worked out in the morning, did last week’s laundry, made a fresh batch of almond butter, and cleaned the stove top with copious amounts of baking soda because the internet told me that it would remove the rings around the burners (partially true). You know, all the essential things that need to get done in order to grow my personal training clientele, get more writing published, a blog post written, and gain some traction on a couple other goals I have.
I texted my friend Tayler pictures of my sunburn. It’s not terrible anymore, but my shoulder still stings. Then I photobombed myself.
When I couldn’t decide what to start on first, I decided to straighten things up. Maybe a little cleaning would help spur me into action. My desk isn’t too bad, but I didn’t like the pile of papers under the notepad designated for my manic scribbles. Or the dust.
I tend to clean when I am uncomfortable. If you ever come to my house and everything is in order, there may be a problem. That is, unless it is your first time to my humble abode, in which case everything will be immaculate so that you can think this is how I normally live (it’s a farce!).
The tidying of my desk did help, but failed the all-or-none law and didn’t depolarize my -70mV threshold. Too nerdy? It wasn’t enough to get me moving. So rather than continue to worry myself I decided to read. I read until dinner, finished one book, then started another. Then I slept. The day went by without any great achievements or huge opportunities.
I think I expect every day to be the most successful day ever. It can be, but I have to reshape my expectations. I am not going to have incredible breakthroughs every single day. I am not going to go from 0 clients to a full schedule in one day. These things take time and it is the baby steps along the way that add up to the successes later on. It’s the unglamorous work of emails and phone calls, marketing myself, and taking action that will help me reach those goals. In retrospect, Monday was a successful day because I learned from it and can write about it.
What I realized is that Monday was my reset. When life gets overwhelming, sometimes you need to be still. Give yourself permission to take it easy if you need to; your gut will tell you if that’s what you need. For me, I needed to sit, do mundane tasks, and read (never stop reading!) in order to bring me back to my senses. That, and sleep. Sleep is a great reboot for what ails you.
Here are some suggestions for “reset activities” when you feel overwhelmed:
- listen to music
- play music
- have a dance party
- spend time on your favorite hobby
- clean (if you’re a weirdo like me)
- call a friend
- text a friend (if talking on the phone fills you with terror)
- take a walk (you may just be able to find a view like this one):
- What does your reset look like?
- Do you make to-do lists?
- What are you doing today?