Last week was incredibly busy and stressful.
I was organizing/running an arts festival for a community arts festival and, at the same time, every project I’m part of that had been on hiatus for the summer was suddenly revived.
(Seriously,. Last Tuesday, I had four different groups write me to try and set a meeting between Oct 3 & 5…a time when I already had several things scheduled.)
And this is all my volunteer work so it doesn’t include regular work nor does it include household or family-related stuff.
I was getting overwhelmed and frustrated and I kept feeling those annoying, pointless thoughts creeping up on me.
You know the ones, I mean? They gang up on you when things get stressful – even if that stress was impossible to prevent. They start with ‘You should have…’ and they go downhill from there.
I was trying to just ignore them but that seemed to make them fight harder to be heard.
So, I decided to take a few minutes to review.
Was there any truth in those annoying thoughts?
Maybe a little bit here and there (I wrote those things down to journal about later) but mostly no.
I think my brain was looking for a reason why I was so overwhelmed and figured that I must be the cause.
So, I decided to set some boundaries with those thoughts and try to keep them at bay.
I made the little card below – well, ok, it’s two little cards next to each other- and said it aloud every time I looked at it. And, obviously, the gold star was for my hard work – both my work on the festival and my work to stand up to those thoughts.
And it really helped.*
Since I had decided that I was doing the best I could with the resources I had, the only thing to do was keep at it.
I had to do today’s best, whatever that was, with the resources I had at that moment.
I tried not to think about how things could have gone differently with different preparation or different resources, I focused on what I could do right now.
So, I don’t know about your stress level right now.
I don’t know what you have ahead of you, behind you, or around you.
I don’t know what you are trying to deal with.
I don’t know what your brain is annoying you with.
But what I do know is that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have.
I wish you ease and I wish you self-kindness.
And I offer you this gold star for your hard work – your work on all of the things, your work to focus on today’s best (or today’s okayest!), and your work to find ease and to be kind to yourself.
*I’m sure that having some clear exercise goals that I could see on my wrist-spy without having to choose to track them also helped with my stress levels. Without my wrist spy on the case, I probably would have subconsciously put my exercise aside for the week. However, having this little phrase reminder close at hand helped on a completely different level. I guess the exercise did the heavy lifting and the little card cleaned up whatever stress was left over.