If there is so much going on in your life that you feel like you are losing control, and you aren’t making good decisions anymore – what can you do to become the master of your life instead of it being the master of you?
The first step is to consider why there is so much activity - is it because you can’t say ‘no’ to requests for help; is it because you might be transitioning from one state to another; or maybe you have suffered a catastrophe not of your own making?
If it is the former, where you are overwhelmed with feeling that you have to provide support to everyone else, but it comes at the expense of your own wellbeing; then consider this: “What is it about your own self-esteem that you feel if you say ‘no’, that people may not like you anymore?” Perhaps you say ‘yes’ to be accepted; to be liked; or maybe to keep a fragile friendship alive…
If you are feeling overwhelmed because you are in the midst of a major transition from one state to another – where everything seems chaotic and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to everything that is happening… Know that this is a perfectly normal state of being!
Often the transition from the known to the unknown is fraught with self-doubt and questions, all alongside feelings of excitement about the new adventure unfolding. Then just as quickly those feelings change to being anxious and fearful that you are leaving a safe place and moving towards – who knows what?? Any transition requires you leave a space of knowing, to a space of not knowing much at all. However, if we have done our homework, thought about the pathway, and carefully considered the what ifs and what could bes – then we probably have done all we can – so now all we can do is relax and enjoy the journey. Because whatever will be, will be…
Sometimes we need to allow the period of confusion and chaos to work through at its own pace – it is only by letting go of the old that we can prepare for the new. So allow a period of not knowing, of not being in control – and understand that it's OK to feel some fear and be unsure. Of course you should not let any personal boundaries be broken – so say no when required; but also relax into that state of unknown, trusting that better times are still to come; but that they need time to unfold in their own time...
If you are thrust into a situation not of your own making – say a disaster has occurred and it affects not just you, but also your community, and maybe even your future livelihood is affected as well. It is during these times that we go into survival mode and need to focus on our more basic needs. The safety of ourselves and our family becomes paramount; and very quickly we need to reprioritise how we spend our time and our resources, so that we are sure we can continue to meet our most immediate needs.
The timeframe for planning very quickly changes to meet the demands of the situation – and it may no longer be practical to have long term plans, the dynamics of the situation may be such that you can only plan for a couple of days or a week ahead. That is perfectly OK, as it allows you to remain flexible to respond to changing needs as they require.
The key is to ask for help when you need it, and to practice self-care; the temptation to do too much and constantly give to other people may eventually lead to exhaustion. Think of this time as a marathon, not a sprint – know that you need to pace yourself and carefully reconsider your commitments – saying no to what is no longer a priority; connecting with support networks that genuinely support your needs and conserving energy so you are able to manage what is yet to come.
If you need help navigating this uncertain time, then give me a call!