Ever find yourself going through life when, seemingly all of a sudden, you find yourself a little too busy? Stress levels go up, you can't find a common household object, you don't remember what you did just yesterday? You seem annoyed a the smallest of incidents.
Pay attention. These are warning signs. Wake up calls. Your life has become unmanageable and it's time to take stock.
I recently felt this way. I thought, “Yikes. I'm a healer. How did this happen to me?” The truth is it happens to all of us. Turns out since January in addition to my work there have been travel plans, family visits, a continuing ed class, house projects….all neatly posted on my calendar. All things that brought me joy. But I hadn't factored in enough time for me.
It made me think about the wisdom of Eastern medicine and the yin and yang diagram.
This diagram and paradigm makes clear that our active (yang) side must be balanced my our restful (yin) side. After activity there must be rest. We either have a sustainable activity/rest cycle OR we go, go, go until we collapse.
What often happens when we start to feel stress is that we try to do more. We frantically go through our to-do list. It may not be intuitive, but the best thing to do when you are overly busy and overwhelmed is to slow down, take stock, meditate or take a walk for 10 minutes. Get into a relaxed state.
Then take a look at what you need to do. See if you can separate the urgent from everything else. Cross things off your list. Get clear on what is most important to you.
Hyperactivity breeds more hyperactivity. We often convince ourselves that things that can wait until tomorrow or next week or even next year need to be done immediately. We enter a state of constantly putting out fires. And the only way to truly disengage is to step away.
Here are my suggestions to combat stress and exhaustion:
It's no accident that my practice is called "Staying in Balance." Keeping our bodies and our lives in balance is the cornerstone to health.
Bonnie Diamond, Licensed Acupuncturist