Do you sometimes find that your mind is just too full? Too full of jobs to be done, problems to solve? Things starting to spiral out of control, and yet, if someone asks you what it is that is keeping you so busy, you can’t really think of anything? You’ve completely lost focus on what really matters? You’re not alone! I know exactly how you feel.
Recently I have been somewhat overwhelmed by life, my focus gone. This does happen every now and again and often seems to creep up on me, like the steady climb of a rollercoaster that seems ok and then, just when you’re beginning to relax, whoosh!
My head gets so overwhelmed with what needs to be done that it feels like its closing down, increasing the feelings of panic and anxiety, as I convince myself there is something really important that I’ve forgotten. Horrible!
As I’ve said, this happens from time to time and I’ve developed ways to cope. I write lists, but not long lists that just make me feel overwhelmed, but lists by days of the week, so Monday I will do 3 things, Tuesday 3 things and so on, often broken down into am and pm. Breaking anything down into smaller chunks makes it easy to cope with and therefore is more likely to get done. It also helps to re-priorities what is really important.
I also like to have a really good clear out. There is nothing better to clear the mind and refocus than clearing out the clutter. In the world of paid employment I am a freelance furniture painter, fixer and upcycler. I love getting out the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and turning something really quite ugly into something beautiful. Last year I invested in a workshop for my garden. It was somewhere to work in and also to store items I’d found to do up and sell on. The business has taken a different turn than I first expected, and I spend more time on commission work than I do selling my own items. Commissions need space and the workshop is rather full of my own projects, some finished, some started and some I haven’t even looked at. Those unfinished and unstarted projects were playing on my mind, so I took some photos, posted them online and have sold quite a number of them (probably to other people like me who like a project). The finished items I’ve discounted and will discount again at the end of this week. I’m now ready to take on more commission work which gives a guaranteed income. And not only is my workshop clearer, so is my mind. No more nagging guilt that I should have done something with it all by now. Let someone else have it. Move on.
But sometimes physical clear outs aren’t enough to clear the mind. This is when writing become important to me. I takes me out of the everyday world into a world of my own creation. It can quieten my restless mind like meditation, focusing on one single thing, the word I am writing at that point. When full immersed in my fictional world the words flow onto the screen and I am barely conscious of my fingers on the keys. The act of covering a page of writing in red pen amendments, rethinking and refocusing on what I am trying to say is therapeutic. Of course I can’t spend all my time writing, that would be counterproductive as none of the jobs that are causing my anxiety in the first place would get done. But an hour a day of creativity can work wonders for me. It lightens the load, relaxes the mind and helps bring my life back into focus. Try it.