Feeling at capacity?
Like a dam is going to burst?
If you spend anytime on social media the “maxed out” mantra is playing over and over.
Let’s face it: these are unprecedented times.
In the past when you were struggling with something, for many of us the struggle was more personal. Chances are you knew someone you could reach out to who wasn’t “in the same boat” and who could lend a hand, or at least an empathetic ear.
But at the moment, with the pandemic, with the social unrest, with the political and cultural polarization we are all in the same boat...
…and it feels like the boat is sinking.
I’m not here to talk you out of that feeling.
I’m here to remind you to breathe.
To take a step back.
Figure out what turns up the volume on your own internal terror and do your best to step away.
If the volume control is firmly fixed to social media, then stop looking at social media.
Ask yourself before you start scrolling “is this going to fill me up or tear me down?”
If it’s going to tear you down, put the phone down and do something else.
You don’t stand at the stove and hold your arm over a hot burner-- you walk away (and hopefully run your arm under cold water!)
This is no different.
If something is hurting you, stop volunteering for the hurt.
Stop rage posting.
Stop ingesting the toxic news.
This isn’t about ignoring the trauma that is out and very real in our world.
This is about saving something of yourself so that you can continue to engage in the world and with the people you care about.
Look for something you can do.
If you notice at the store there are no carts in the corral, help the poor kid earning minimum wage: gather up some carts and bring them in.
If you see garbage on the ground, pick it up and throw it away. (And then go wash your hands, there’s a pandemic going on.)
If you like to bake, make some extra and give it to the neighbor with a nice note.
If you don’t like your neighbor, the note is optional.
If all that is too much, then just breathe.
Make a cup of tea.
Count the colors you can see.
The point is this:
But stop volunteering for what does not fill you up.
Do one little thing.
Take one little action to remind yourself that this is not permanent.
You’re at capacity.
That’s not a character flaw.
Rather than letting the dam burst, take care of yourself.
You’re worth taking care of no matter what anyone has told you otherwise.
The world needs more people like you.