February is here and many human bodies are releasing a big exhale, because January and the many expectations that come with it have passed. During January there is normally a significant increase in the “new you” and “better you” messages through various mediums. Many people experience this as overwhelming, because with it comes the hidden message of “you lack” or “you have failed”.
This is especially true if you are experiencing a challenging period. During challenging periods, the primary focus is on getting through it (surviving) and very little resources are left for achieving anything else. In a predominantly achieving culture this can be perceived as you not working hard or not doing anything.
If I am describing you, this is a reminder that you are not alone.
Experiencing overwhelm is especially true for people who hold multiple roles. These roles can be spouse, parent, employee, entrepreneur, supervisor, community volunteer, athlete and this list can continue. Note that there is not any mention made of our role towards ourselves. Then add the disasters we experience such as poverty, chronic illness, premature death, violence, racial discrimination, and the many other difficult experiences.
Again, you are not alone. Life is beautiful and life is difficult. Both these realities are true. Learning to live with these realities without being overwhelmed by them is a philosophy and practice worth exploring.
Advice that works for many people is to start small and practice consistency. I.e. choose one small healthy act and repeat this act on a frequent, preferably daily basis.
If you are concerned with your physical health, your small healthy act might be drinking water every morning.
If you have concerns with the way you parent, your small healthy act might be a daily 5-minute check-in with each of your children.
If you want to increase productivity at work, your small healthy act might be to do a daily review every day around 5 to 10 minutes before you go home.
If you long for a deeper connection with yourself, your small healthy act might be 2 – 3 minutes at a set time every day where you sit on your own and do slow breathing.
The focus is on a small act that you can do in most circumstances and that does not require resources that are not readily available. Having a clear time and place further secures your success. The success lies in the repetition of the act. You are creating a pattern of success. You can build on this success by committing to another small act and putting that act on repeat and so you repeat the process.
With one small act on repeat you will not move mountains overnight, but you are starting the process of crumbling the mountain. And you, my friend is so worth every crumble that contributes to your holistic wellness.
Yours in wellness, Geraldine