Stop living at the corner of burn-out and overwhelm
There was a commercial in the 80s that depicted a women working an eight-hour day while taking care of the needs of her family at the same time without so much as breaking a sweat as the catchy little song played in the background: “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never no never forget who I am, cause I’m a woman!”
Cut to the real scene from every day life: A woman, or man gets up at 5 a.m., stumbles to the shower, gets ready for work; wakes up the kids and helps them get ready for school; makes breakfast, drives the kids to school, heads to work; works all day; picks up the kids from school or after school program, makes dinner, helps with homework, falls into bed exhausted — only to wake up the next day and do it all over again. Not only does this man or woman forget who they are in the midst of the craziness of life, they can’t even remember why they are doing what they do most days. They are living at the corner of burn-out and overwhelm.
I have had many clients over the years who find themselves mucking through a mid-life crisis because of being stretched so thin they can barely see straight, let alone keep their identity intact. According to Webster, the definition of energy is your capacity for action. When your capacity for action is syphoned into one or two areas of your life, there is not a lot left for the other areas that perhaps align with your core values this holiday season. You may say, I have no choice or I have to work two jobs to pay my bills even though I don’t spend quality time with my family. There is no judgment here; simply an invitation today to observe your capacity for action and patch up any energy leaks in your life.
One of the biggest energy leaks in terms of our capacity for action occurs when we do not close the action loop of behavior and move on to another task. We are actually wired to do one task at a time rather than bottlenecking mentally due to doing too many tasks at the same time. Studies reveal this creates mind fatigue and compromises productivity.
Pause for a moment, Breathe in deeply and release any tension in your body
Today, focus on one positive action step forward:
- Be present to the task at hand, be here now, remove distractions such as texting dings and popups from email, and finish your task before moving onto the next, close your action loop. When you have too many open windows on your mental radar you walk on the cusp of overwhelm and diminished productivity. I will often say out loud when I feel the urge to follow a shiny object in the midst of a task, “Lauren, close the loop” As you practice this technique your ability to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan and still remember who you are will expand. Studies reveal that multitasking, alternating your energy and focus between tasks, actually creates a mental bottlenecking that results in decreased productivity and an increased margin of error…Your capacity for action will increase today as you practice closing your action loops.
Too often throughout the holiday season, our stress increases due to the fact that we put upon ourselves added responsibility to show up a certain way for certain people. Stress is simply the power we give to outside circumstance to define our worth, value and what we believe we are capable of handling successfully.
Slow down this holiday season and simply linger in those moments that support and align with the person you are committed to being in this world. Avoid the temptation to farm out your identity to your to-do list or other people’s to-do list and focus more and the person you desire to be while you do what you do. Do what you do, giving your mental attention to the task at hand and then move on to the next.
Mental fatigue and overwhelm often occur when we mentally muck around our mind worrying about how things will turn out or needing to know why things happened as they did, be here now. Go for the life in front of your face, do your best and then forget about it. This simple mind activity will free up mental space to help you show up for the next task at hand; Chunk life down to the moment unfolding before you. Explore practicing the following four things: Be Present; Act in love; Speak the truth; Detach from Outcome. This is a behavioral gift that will keep on giving.
An essential tip worth your attention if you desire to create a meaningful holiday experience is this: put people before things. Balance, a sense of life satisfaction, occurs as we seek to love more than we do to be loved; give, more than we desire to be given to; listen to understand more than we listen to respond. As you expand generosity and kindness within your words; intonation; thoughts; deeds and actions this season, you will find that a sense of purpose and meaning give birth to a silent, holy night experience within that shines out to the world around you.
Join Lauren Dec. 6, 11 a.m. to noon for Stress Solutions University’s Complimentary Workshop: Topic: Work-Life Balance; Park Meadows Pilates 8600 Park Meadows Dr. #200, Lone Tree CO 80124. RSVP, limited seating: 303-649-2165 or register online