None of us knows what the future holds, and one thing that this past year has brought into even more focus for me is being in the present moment. Where you have power is NOW. Stop speed dialing through your to-do list and pause. Stop replaying what has already taken place and move forward. The wrangling during the night about conversations you wish had gone differently, the chances you didn't take, the flashback to years ago, none of these are events that can be changed.
The holidays are upon us, which adds yet another layer of responsibilities. Whether it's baking cookies or coordinating a gift for your mom from the family, this time of year has its own pressure. Or perhaps it's navigating the grief of a loved one no longer with you. All of this can have an additional impact this time of year. Speaking to a friend about this recently, we referred to this as "emotional whiplash." You might feel emotions and deep-seated feelings that others won't understand, side by side with the demands of what needs to be done.
Think of driving down a road with potholes at 65 mph. You need to get to your destination! But your car is shaking, you're shaking, suddenly your ability to keep going has gone. We talked about this in our Online Care Circle recently: how easy it is to get caught up in the gotta go mode, and how poor the results can be.
In the mix of overwhelm that can happen in our lives, from the usual to-dos to the unexpected, are you taking time to stop? To B-R-E-A-T-H-E? Be honest with yourself. We all think we can handle a lot, and at times we have to. Try changing up the usual protocol you have done into an energetic shift. Energy is powerful stuff - what you put in you get back multiplied abundantly. Be aware of the negative you send out (or in) because it is likely to produce more.
Murphy's Law warns us: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." That is a mindset that many people carry with them; is that you, too? It's easy enough to do when you've hit your limit of things on your to-do list or experienced a series of negative events. But here's a different perspective I would like you to consider: When things appear to be going wrong, what if they're going right?
These lists can be anything from doing laundry to composing a financial plan for yourself and will elevate the mind chatter and help alleviate missing things. I know some people who create a list with hours/times added to it. Personally, that's a bit restrictive because there are times during my day that I know I need to get a shopping list together and balance my financial record, but my energy level may be drained that day. So, for me, having a general to-do list within a week highlighting deadlines is a more effective solution.
Doing something that fills your spirit up needs to be part of your daily to-do list as well. As necessary as deep breaths and exercise are, so, too is filling your heart with joy. When is the last time you felt truly alive and fulfilled? What activity allowed you to feel that way? I'm guessing it wasn't plugging through from chore to chore but instead an activity that filled your heart. Though you may not be able to skip off to Maui for the day, there is likely something that will give you a lift.
Set your intention throughout the day to pay attention. When events start to rattle you pause, ever so briefly. And pull your attention back into that early morning moment of grounding and peace.
I found myself in one of those crazy days last week where I kept hearing bad news from friends, a busy workday, coupled with a few crazy freeway drivers mixed in with being tired, and I could feel myself getting swallowed into the black hole. I remembered listening to the birds chirping outside my window as I woke that morning and brought back that sense of joy through a few deep, long breathes. Did it make it all go away? No. But it did get me from a tilting position to feel more balanced? Yes.
As a caregiver, you're naturally a nurturing person. Use that trait to your advantage when selecting a side hustle. For example, you might start a child or pet care business. If you’ve got a green thumb, you can always take on some lawn maintenance jobs in your neighbourhood. Lastly, if you have experience with things like coding or graphic design, you can find freelancer jobs that allow you to work from home.