I don’t know about you, but life seems crazier, faster and busier than usual these days. Maybe I have taken on too much, but I barely have time to breathe and another week has passed. It is almost February and the Christmas holidays both feel like they were yesterday and like they were an eternity away. What is happening to time? Is it speeding up or happening all at once? I really don’t get it.
All I know is I feel like I am watching a movie that is going in fast forward and I am trying my best to keep up. Is anyone else feeling that way?
And I hear we just entered Mercury retrograde a few days ago. Oh my, hold on, the ride is going to get even bumpier…
I can’t keep up with all the news, but I know a lot of painful things are happening. I’m trying to do my part to help as many people as possible in my particular mission as a transformational life coach and holistic psychotherapist. The reason I suspect I am not the only one feeling the intensity these days is because my psychotherapy and coaching practice is busting at the seams.
I am getting more calls from new clients in one day than I used to get in a week. Many marriages are falling apart and couples are calling me in desperation looking for help. Other folks are calling with anxiety and more anxiety. For the first time in years, I’m looking to hire someone to help me handle all these clients. (If any local therapists are reading this and you have spare time, call me…)
As I noticed my own stress levels rise, I had to pull myself back and use my own tools. Otherwise, I knew I wouldn’t be of help to anyone. So, how do I center myself in an off-kilter world? I’m a work in progress here, but here’s what I’m putting into action right now:
1. Quiet Please
I’m an introvert so in my particular situation, I need peace and quiet to center myself and recharge my batteries. I need some clear time on the weekend with no activity except to rest, be quiet, get basic things done, read, walk in nature and be alone. I like social activity, too, but there has to be some alone time. This may not appeal to an extrovert, so adjust accordingly. Maybe you need multiple social activities to reconnect with yourself. Make time for this.
2. A Daily Centering Ritual
When I start my day with morning meditation, journaling and prayer, it makes a huge difference. I find it is essential that I do this first thing before any electronic devices get turned on or my mind is off and running and I feel less centered for the entire day. Meditation helps me connect with myself, my purpose, and helps me feel more confident that I am doing exactly what I need to do. It helps me stay in the present more and stop the anxious thoughts quicker.
3. Supportive Social Connection
There’s lots of noise and superficial social connection going on these days. Hanging out on social media doesn’t really nourish my soul and help me feel truly seen, heard and supported. The problems many of us are dealing with are complex and need genuine, heart-felt connection with others in which we are able to freely express our true feelings and receive respectful, loving support. If you have a few friends you can do this with, you are blessed. Nurture those connections as if your life depends on it, because it kind of does. If you don’t have those kinds of friends, begin to earnestly seek and develop that. It will greatly enrich your life, decrease your stress, increase your health and longevity.
4. Stay Present
All we have right now is this moment. I speak to lots of anxious people and they are all worried about things in the future they have no control over. The future can be scary. Stop thinking about it so much. Come into the present moment and focus on what is right in front of you right now. Do that. Then do the next thing and the next. Don’t go out in time any further than that. Do you have a cat or dog? They live like this for the most part. Let them teach you how to live in the present moment. You’ll sleep better. Does your cat get insomnia? I doubt it.
I’m going to keep this simple and stop here because information overload and more things to do is just another form of stress. We all know these tools by now, but we may need a gentle reminder to actually put them to practice. Try these simple steps and see if it helps you feel more centered. I hope it does.