Life Can Be Complicated, But it Doesn’t Have to Be

Ever wake up and just feel like putting your head under the covers and going back to sleep? Me too. Every day at the moment.

I don’t know about you but I’m finding life overwhelming. For so many reasons.

The most annoying thing about this current blip in my normally positive demeanour is that I know it doesn’t have to be like this. It doesn’t have to feel so complicated and overwhelming. I can have and normally do have a far calmer approach to the curse of having too much to do!

I keep wondering why I feel so overwhelmed and actually have realised that working out why is not actually helping! Who’d have thunk?

It’s likely connected to the various health stuff I have going on plus the fact that I am about to make a significant life change, well two or three actually.

What I need to do is stop mulling over all the why’s and wherefores and breathe. Well that’s the first thing. The other things I can do are listed below so you can all try some of the things I do (and am now doing) to help you deal with the seemingly complicated stuff in your life.

1. Breathe

I know I’ve already said this, but it really does help. We rush through life, barely noticing our body holding us up and through it all, and hardly allowing ourselves to breathe. Breathing is important for several reasons, not least that it provides our bodies with oxygen. But from a mental health perspective, breathing is a link between our body and mind. When we take a long slow breath in, we provide our minds with space and that brings with it tranquillity. Conversely if we ignore our breathing, we are ignoring our minds. Quick short breaths make us agitated and anxious. Take one minute now and breathe deeply. Feel your body relax and your mind unfurl. Keep going while you read this post.

2. Take one minute at a time, one thing at a time

Someone I used to work with would always compare massive projects to an elephant, and the best way to tackle it was piece by piece. (I always wondered whether he had actually ever tackled an elephant, nevermind piece by piece but anyway!) The point here is that when we become overwhelmed it is because we face everything all at once. The lifestyle changes (one, two AND three), the zillion ideas, the wedding preparation, the MA, the job, the house, the family, friends… all of it at once is overwhelming.

But are you EVER going to actually have to do it all at the same time at any point? Realistically will you have to buy the new dishwasher and get it installed, clean the house, go to the interview/get married/ move/ write the book/start up the new business, whatever it is all in the same period of time? No. You’re not. You only have to do one thing at a time. And Its ok if you just tackle one piece of one thing at a time. Time is good like that. It goes in a sequence, one minute after the other, so you only actually have to deal with whatever is in the minute facing you right now (or after you have read this). Making lists helps with this immensely

3. Write lots of lists

I have lists of lists. I find the act of writing the lists more useful than the lists themselves and to be honest I often forget to go back to the list and mark things as done. When I do, its fab because I feel like I have achieved loads!

Lists help organise the mind and remove the worry about forgetting that critical thing you have thought of but are bound to forget unless you ruminate over it again and again! (I do this constantly!).

4. Put things on hold

Not everything needs to be dealt with right now. Even if something is coming up but it can wait, park it in your mind. I have a few things that need doing, but none of them can be done until after other things are done, like moving house AFTER getting married. There is no point in me worrying about moving house right now, and yet I am. So I need to park it somewhere.  And so do you.  Probably on a list.

5. Start small and work your way up

This goes hand in hand with taking everything one minute, one piece at a time. Start small. Do one little bit of something that is looming over you. Just by starting you have reduced the loominess of it. (Yes I know that’s not a word, but it sounds right).

Be more positive!

This is a big one! It is so hard not to fall into the drama of your own overwhelmedness. It gets attention, you feel acknowledge and perhaps even a little better and understood. But has that solved all that stuff that is looming? Probably not. All the things to do are still there. All you have done is glorified your busyness and verified your choice to be overwhelmed and in a funk.   As I have already said in a previous post we should be celebrating doing less and glorifying simplicity. Let go of the need for sympathy. Accept you are where you are and then tackle that mindset of yours. Speak kindly to yourself but don’t take that whinging anymore.

The reason everything seems complicated and overwhelming is because that’s what you keep telling yourself (read that as what I keep telling myself!). Our experience of life is 100% created by our thoughts.  What would happen if you change the message?

“I have plenty of time to achieve all that I want to achieve.”

That feels so much better!

Life doesn’t have to be complicated, unless we make it complicated.  Hopefully the above tips will help you (and me) get over it.

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