“I have too much on my plate.” “I’m being pulled in so many directions.” “I feel so scattered and overwhelmed…”
This is what I hear so often from my friends and clients. Most of them, as the sensitive, empathic people they are, feel responsible for much more than is truly necessary. This includes other people’s emotions, behavior, expectations, over-all well-being, and more. And then there are the daily tasks, workplace duties, volunteer obligations, and various family and friends who are calling for attention.
When we’re pulled in different directions, stretched beyond our limits, we get pushed off center. However, it’s when we’re centered and grounded that we can focus on our priorities. In order to make meaningful progress in life, finding center is paramount. It might feel impossible, but it’s not. It might feel easier to try to handle it all, but it’s not. Getting grounded and centered, is truly the way forward.
Following are some suggestions to help you get grounded and centered when life feels scattered:
Set the stage for the day ahead.
Allow time for yourself in the morning — before your mind fills with the worries of the day, and before you check your phone. If necessary, go to bed earlier so you can rise earlier, without scrimping on sleep. Use this time, even if it’s only 10 or 15 minutes, to meditate, write, take a walk, or do something which helps you connect with yourself. Find a rhythm which feels doable, enjoyable, and centering.
Shift your vision from all that ‘needs’ doing, and towards what’s most important right now.
Acknowledge that you have a lot on your plate, but that you can’t do it all right now. Decide what you can let go of for now. Tune in, and ask yourself what are the 3 (or 2 or 1) most important things for me to accomplish. Sometime before the end of each day, decide upon priorities for the next day. Start you day with a plan.
If you’re struggling to clarify priorities, perhaps you’re assuming that everything is a priority.
Take the time to tune in to see what might be clouding your vision. Ask yourself any of the following: Am I trying to please someone else? Am I trying to prove myself? Why does this matter so much to me. Is this really my responsibility? How will this be beneficial for me? How could this harm me? Is this in alignment with what’s truly important right now? Is this in alignment with my values? Develop a practice to help yourself let go of what obscures your vision. If you need help, contact me.
When you feel overly distracted, or overwhelmed, take a few minutes to ground yourself.
Get into your body, and out of your head. If possible, go outside. Feel the earth under your feet. Breathe deeply to clear your lungs. If you’re inside, exercise your core and lower body muscles. Tap your heels on the floor, march in place, jump up and down, all with the intention of grounding and centering yourself.
Most importantly, remember that when life feels scattered, it’s time to take extra good care of yourself. If you’re a sensitive, empathic person, you might believe you have to put others first. Yet when we consistently put others first, ignoring self-care, we burn out.
It’s amazing what even small pockets of self-care can do to bring us back to center. Self-care can be woven in throughout the day. It’s in the nourishing foods we eat. It’s in the nature walks, the meditations, the naps, the yoga, the good night’s rest, the visits to healing practitioners, and time spent with art, and music. When we feel well cared for, it’s easier to focus on what’s most important, and easier to let go of what’s not.
Wishing You Inner Peace,