This week has been nothing but overwhelming for me. Today I felt like a constant ball of fire was welled up in my chest. I was constantly on a mission to complete the endless accumulation of daily tasks. As a graduate student I am juggling classes of my own, classes that I help teach, group projects for school, midterms, and even my own thesis preparation. It is only Wednesday and my week has been constant chaos!
I feel like I physically and mentally cannot do it all in one day.
I find myself telling others “I wish there were more hours in the day?” Do you ever say that too? Do you find yourself running the long list of uncompleted tasks in your head over and over again even while doing something simple like walking home from school, or driving home from work? Do you worry that stopping for a quick three minute conversation in passing will put a halt to completing your list of tasks to be completed that day? At times I let these uncontrollable factors become the blame for my pause of productivity. “I should be doing this” or “I should be doing that” plays over and over in my head whenever I’m transitioning between activities or locations.
The best piece of advice that I can offer to you is to just breathe.
When I got home from school today I went into my room, dropped by backpack, and collapsed onto my bed. ‘Wow’ I thought, ‘does this feel nice.’ That very moment was my breath. Laying there still on my bed was a pause away from reality, and an opportunity to reenergize my body.
It is important to breathe and to find a moment of calmness.
Regulation of your breath can alter your mental, physical and emotional well-being.
I quite often forgot to take moments to check back into reality and focus on the tasks at hand. Instead of feeling stressed, anxious, nervous, overwhelmed and thinking “THERE’S NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY!” I actively had to think mind over matter.
Don’t overwhelm yourself.
Life is always about finding that day-to-day balance. There will be days where the balance fluctuates, but always remember to give yourself time to take a breath. Even just 5 minutes alone, with a clear mind. Have you ever seen that YouTube video of the mom with triplets eating candy alone in her pantry? (if not, click here) Well that’s what you need to do. Take a step into your metaphorical pantry and have a moment away from your triplets.
Feel confident in your ability to complete those tasks. Do not get yourself worked up over things that are not within your control. Tip: Scheduling your time is important to getting things done. Personally, I make a list of all the tasks that need to get completed each day, and then I check them off as I go. It makes me feel less overwhelmed and more like I have a gain on life again.
Losing that day-to-day balance, and forgetting to pause is something that comes too easily for us to do at times. The next time you feel overwhelmed, or stressed out, take a 5 minute “pantry” break and remind your mind & body how it’s supposed to feel when in a place of productivity.
Learning how to cope with stress and find balance is all part of living your life to the fullest everyday.