The Power of Pause
There are times when all that we are doing and processing, or even what we are desiring to do and process; becomes too overwhelming.
If you find yourself at this point, right now, I encourage you to just hit PAUSE. That's right, stop and set everything aside for a moment.
Now take the time to:
REST & RESET- This is the part where you literally do NOTHING, except clear your mind of everything that is overwhelming you. Log off, turn off, and checkout for a little bit. Settle into a peaceful atmosphere and just rest and allow your mind, body, and spirit to reset; and regain strength and confidence. For me, this atmosphere consist of prayer and meditation. The Serenity Prayer is one I recite most during times like these (I'll leave it below). Really limit the access of things, thoughts, and people that have been contributing to your overwhelmed state. There have been times when this took several hours, and other times that it took several days.
REFLECT & REASSESS- Now here is where you gain a level of clarity. Simply go over those things and people, one by one, prioritizing those thoughts, feelings, individuals, and task. "What/Who is more important?", "What/Who do you realistically have the capacity (emotionally, mentally, spiritually) to handle right now?", "What/Who is adding to your overall wellness?" , "What/Who is taking away from your overall wellness?",etc. Write things down, if you need to; I'm a hug fan of writing things down. If it's hurting you more than it's helping you, it shouldn't make the cut.
READDRESS- Ok so here is where we execute. One by one we go through our list in order. Tackling it all from a clearer, more confident, and less burdened place. During this process it is ok to say "I can't take on anything new right now". Simply put, "No." I had a friend tell me that "No is a complete sentence", it is perfectly ok to be unapologetic and at peace with your stance. That goes for people, tasks, even our own thoughts. I have literally had to tell myself "Shawnetta we can't entertain that thought right now"or "that opportunity sounds amazing, but right now isn't the time."
These steps can be applied to literally anything! One example, I remember when I first began writing my book I was terrified, but at the same time so motivated by all of the people that I believed my story could help. I quickly realized that telling my story, involved reliving it as well; emotionally and mentally. I discovered areas that I had not yet healed from and also areas that I was yet ashamed of. I became so overwhelmed with emotion, that hurt and embarrassment became so fresh; and the fear was suffocating. It sent me spiraling into depression, because I initially tried to force myself through it; until I couldn't anymore. I was writing from the place of all of that; a place I couldn't help anybody from. I had put the writing away completely. I had to work through every single part of that, using each of the steps mentioned. I came out stronger, better, wiser, healed, whole, less burdened, no longer overwhelmed by those things, and was able to write from that space. Whatever it is that's overwhelming you, or even how many times the "it" may come up, remember to take a productive pause. Trust me, you will be so much better for it.
The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change...
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.