Lately, when someone asks me "How are you?", I don't really know what to say. Saying "I'm fine" is a giant lie, but chances are that pouring my reality all over that poor innocent person would be like dumping a gallon of water on someone's head when they just asked for a drink. The reality is that things have felt like they are falling apart, and my focus has been on simply keeping my life together.
Honestly, I feel a little guilty just saying that, because my life really isn't falling apart at all. I actually have a very blessed life. But there's a lot of stuff on our plate at the moment. Leo has some serious job stress. If you've read my last post, When Love Gets Messy, you know that we recently had to say good-bye to someone very important in our life. I have my own job pressures. The current political situation is a nightmare. Beyond that, many people in my friends and family circle are dealing with some big stuff, and when you put it all together, it's a bit overwhelming. Has that ever happened to you? Doesn't it seem like life just hits you ( or your loved ones) with a whole bunch of stuff all at one time? So what do you do when it feels like there's too much stuff coming at you, and you can't quite deal with it all?
I don't know that I have this figured out yet, but I'm learning. Here's what I have found to be helpful, and hopefully it will be of use to you, too:
1. Get back to basics. When my head and heart are tied up with emotions, I can't take on a lot of other things, too. My head can only hold so many thoughts at one time, and if most of my thoughts are preoccupied with concerns or strong feelings, I can't also handle big to-do lists. So I push off whatever I can. Instead of dealing with stuff that's unimportant, I put my focus on the things that are high priorities, like time with family and friends.
2. Do those things that recharge you. Lately, given the choice between cleaning the bathroom and taking a walk, I've been going for the walk. I head to this little spot, where there's an actual babbling brook. I sit down on the grass, and I soak up the peace. I'm also doing yoga and meditation. I'm journaling, and intentionally finding time for photography. I'm reading Anna Karenina, and realizing that I might have a secret love for Russian literature. These things remind me that there's more to life than working and dealing with crap.
3. Declutter. It sounds contradictory, given what I just wrote about ignoring my to-do list, but sometimes doing a little nesting is exactly what I need to feel calmer internally. I truly believe that your outside environment reflects your inner state of mind, and vice versa. If you have a lot going on in your head, try tidying up your surroundings. It's amazing how it can create a tidier feeling inside as well.
4. Sleep. I know. It's easier said than done. But seriously, dealing with life's struggles takes it out of you, and extra sleep really makes a difference. Everything is a little easier when you are rested. And besides, I don't need much of a reason to snuggle under a blanket in sweatpants.
If you have tips for getting through tough spots in life, leave a comment or email me. We can learn from each other.
It's nice to meet you! Welcome to my blog. My name is Amy, and my husband and I have three lively kids. We are so happy to share our journey with you. Come along as we learn to embrace the messiness of life, and maybe chase a dream or two along the way.