In our adult lives we often think that we have to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Like the statue of Atlas, we feel held down by the weight of the earth, unable to move and distressed at our circumstances. Sometimes this state is brought on ourselves and other times we have no choice. Quite frankly, it often feels like there’s just too much to do, and we feel like we need to do it all at once and get it right. Buy new curtains, walk the dog, call your friend, don’t forget birthdays, go for a run, check all of your multiple email accounts, record your favorite TV shows, make the dinner meal you’ve wanted for weeks: all in the space of one day. We feel inclined to be super-people, able to multitask and complete anything and everything whenever the situation arrives. Though I’m sure I don’t need to tell you just how impossible this all is.
Life is very stressful and we spend a lot of time in life worrying about a lot of the things that I’ve mentioned. We try to set up reminders like post it notes or phone notifications to keep us in the loop, yet still manage to forget to perform certain duties. It all seems very overwhelming and that’s because more often than not it usually is. I’d like to ask a direct question to my readers: do you often feel this way? If the answer is yes, then it’s most likely because you, like myself and many others in this life, try to do too much all at once. We try to fight the storm with a broken umbrella or carry the book-load with a torn backpack. Going out of our way to try and look responsible and in control may seem impressive to those on the outside, but we’re usually suffering on the inside from all the stress and worry. The simple solution really is to just take things at a pace that is convenient for us, instead of trying to run a marathon when the distance is a mere walk away.
Of course this can’t apply to everyone and when you have work and deadlines breathing down your neck, such a luxury as ‘convenience’ doesn’t exist for you. However, even within a tight working environment there is some leeway to perform your duties without feeling like you have no time to catch your breath. A very key piece of advice is to work at one’s own pace and get things done in the order that makes the most sense to you. It may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day but with what little time we have each day, the best we can do is accomplish what’s right in front of us, instead of worrying about the several things we wish we could be doing right at the time. More important issues such as the laundry or taking care of pets might need immediate attention but other less persistent matters such as household decorations can be put off till later. The feeling that everything needs to be done now and today is an odd feeling that a lot of us humans get and it’s actually more destructive than helpful. Sure you might feel satisfied if you finished up everything you wanted to, but it may have come about from a day of doing nothing but stressing yourself out. As you can imagine, this isn’t what you want for your day-to-day life.
At times, we also need something to get us back in the game. Everyone’s different and some people might need some more time than others, but what’s important for everyone is taking steps to help yourself relax and forget about your troubles, albeit for a short while. You just need to take the edge off, remind yourself that you still have enjoyment in your life. Sure there’s a grocery list of tasks you need to check off and that won’t just go away because you’re taking a break, but the break does keep you sane. For some, watching a funny video might do the trick, for others it might be listening to their favorite song. Whatever keeps you going is what’s best for keeping you focused. That way, you can stay focused, doing what you can when you can, instead of worrying about what you need to do or what you can’t do. Some may find it hard to relax when a situation seems unsolvable and even I have had my moments where I couldn’t see the forest for the trees because of a small problem. With that said, I have to remind myself that I’m not perfect or invincible and problems will always come, I just need to keep my mind on what I can do next. This is why I think most people should do the same.
Things aren’t always easy and regardless of our attempts to put some control in a chaotic world, things will continue to be complex. However, just because there’s a mountain of things to do it doesn’t mean we should tackle the mountain head on. Small, controlled steps are the way forward, so that we can turn that mountain climb into a walk in the park.