When I started to learn english as the second language during my childhood I was extremely thrilled by the word “overwhelming”. I could imitate the British accent and for some reason I felt that I mastered the language with knowing and pronouncing this one word correctly! All those years this word left a positive image in my head, however, as I grew older things have changed.
I tried my best to balance work, life, exercise, beauty, art, engineering, friends and family and I have been told so many times that I was feeling overwhelmed. The interesting word soon lost its meaning to how I was leading my life with constant anxiety. I tried to be a perfect career woman while being a perfect house wife, friend, daughter, and partner and the perfection killed the joy of my moments in different roles.
I blamed my day job for the misery however, recently after months that I have quit my job to define a new life style and to bring awareness to my body and mind, I experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed once again. This time at least I acknowledged it and thought about its birthplace.
The birthplace I guess is somehow clear for all of us. We try to accomplish so many things at the same time, we push our limits and capacities for completing various tasks. Yes I emphasize on the word “accomplish” because like the word “perfect” it changes our experiences and emotions towards an action. Probably if I had thought a bit and had tried to master one or maximum two of the roles I wanted to be perfect at, and had left the rest to be done not at 100% but simply at 80%, my energy would have been higher and my anxiety would have decreased. So trying to complete different tasks all at the same time is definitely a major reason to freak out but how we want to finish all these little projects can create another level of stress by its own.
I used to sleep 5-6 hours maximum every night in the last couple of years. I always thought that life is too short to spend it on sleeping. I read, I cooked, I spent time with friends and family, I wrote and I simply created moments but I was always tired, always overwhelmed and always powerless. Therefore, none of the results were as good as I expected; Even when the projects were executed flawlessly I didn’t have any energy left to celebrate the victory. Now I know that life is too short to simply overwhelm ourselves and to complete our hobbies, jobs, routines, or adventures with the feeling of constant “mediocrity”. I know we hear the word quite often these days, but as much as we have to avoid a mediocre lifestyle, we have to avoid an amazing lifestyle with mediocre quality due to lack of energy in our minds and bodies! No? If you are functioning at 50% at all times how can you enjoy your unconventional, and original lifestyle that you have created for yourself?
I have realized that without enough energy you don’t have the best version of yourself deciding for you, you don’t have the best version of you talking, thinking, playing, discovering and simply experiencing. Creativity, curiosity, adventure, and change all need a calm platform to happen. They all need a clear mind to be able to observe, to reflect, to decide and to experience the results.
So I try to avoid the word that used to be my friend for so many years and the feeling that used to paralyze me unintentionally. Now instead I try to minimize the number of activities I dedicate my energy to on a daily and weekly basis. My body and mind crashed on me enough to realize that the change is required before any heart rot happens!
What is your recipe to overcome an overwhelming life style?