Life will show us these moments…
You know what I am talking about.
The days when we feel like our lives are running around us.
When one small thing becomes a little bigger thing and before long, it’s HUGE!
Maybe some of those moments show us something we hadn’t planned for.
Perhaps they hit us all at one time, requiring us to juggle a few more things than we can hold.
You catch yourself wondering, “When did I join the circus?” as you stumble and trip through the minutes thrown together by chance.
Feeling as if you just never should have gotten out of bed today, you may even wonder “why” all of these things are happening to you.
(Admit it, we’ve all said that to ourselves once or twice.)
So what do we do when the chaos seems to be swallowing us up?
Our first reaction might be to run for the hills (or wherever it is we find an escape) and promise to never come back.
At other times we might drown ourselves in something that ends up not being very healthy for us and it becomes our crutch.
The old phrase of “I’m ready to pull my hair out” at times like this never seems very plausible and would hurt.
Some people might turn to prayer to bring peace to their world and mind too.
Do we pretend that days like this never happen?
Is it better to just smile and answer, “Everything is just great!” when we really want to say, “Everything is falling apart!”
Part of being human means allowing our emotions to come to the surface from time to time.
Allowing life’s experiences to affect us.
To show us what a bad day looks like from time to time.
We can’t make those bad moments completely disappear, but we can change how we react to them.
Studies indicate that coloring reduces stress in adults and only recently have “adult coloring books” hit the market. As kids, we didn’t realize the benefits of coloring, but now understand that taping into our left brain allows our creative side to show. When we were little, we wanted our parents to proudly display our newest creation on the fridge. Now, we are happy to keep our pages all together and without much thought, understand the calming presence adding color to a page can be.
You don’t have to be Julia Childs to throw a few ingredients together and put it in the oven for a half and hour or so. Taking a few items that alone aren’t much, but become something quite tasty when mixed together, can be very satisfying. Baking requires our minds to focus on the task at hand (we wouldn’t want to mistake a teaspoon of salt for a tablespoon) and where time is very important (no one likes burnt chocolate chip cookies). When you are done, you have something scrumptious to eat!
Read a book
Whether your favorite genre being something light-hearted and funny with a little mystery thrown in by Janet Evanovich or catching up with the latest at Hogwarts, finding a book to read is an easy escape from life. Books have the capacity to show us different world and allow our imaginations to run the length of any galaxy, complete with characters from different dimensions too. There is a reason we all love the picture of cozying up next to a warm fire with a good book and a soft blanket and at least temporarily, we let go of the frenzy.
Visit the zoo
There is something about animals that makes us feel like a kid again. Ever notice why so many of the videos from “America’s Funniest Videos” features so many animals? Because they are unpredictable, silly, and don’t care who is watching. At our zoo, the most animated creatures are the polar bears who love to swim in their big pool and the gorillas who will just sit and stare at you through their big glass enclosure. Watching such magnificent animals cultivates a sense of curiousness and intrigue, as we walk around learning about their habitats and other attributes. Plus, who doesn’t love going to the nursery with all of the baby animals?
Although I have not done much yoga in my years, I found it very relaxing when I attended a 30 minute session last summer. In addition to stretching my muscles in ways I don’t usually do, it forced me listen to the instructor’s words and slow my breathing. It was dark and near silent. At that moment, everything else seemed to fade away and I found myself more in tune with my own heartbeat and thoughts even though I was a room full of people. Blocking out the moments of craziness allow us to “center our core” and connect with our spiritual self.
Listen to music
Music takes powerful words and ties them together with a harmony that is pleasing to our senses. There is a reason why studies have shown that babies listening to music keeps them calm and those same reasons can apply to us adults too. The melody showers our brains and senses with words of comfort when we might otherwise feel like the world is falling apart. Music is inspiring, gives us hope, and motivates us to power through even the most difficult of moments.
Play a video game
Let’s face it, we need to go back to being a kid now and again. With most of us adults owning a tablet or smart phone, chances are there is a game we can quickly download to take our mind off more pressing matters. Whether that be a quick game of boggle, a strategy game created from some “beach” or a game of solitaire, playing video games gives us problem solving skills we otherwise could not develop. Sometimes, we spend too much time competing against others, that simple games of “Candy Crush” or “Angry Birds” create just a small delay in dealing with bigger problems.
Spend time with a friend
It’s hard to handle all of life’s obstacles alone, but being able to share some of what we have in front of us with someone else can make the same load feel just a little bit lighter. Maybe you sneak off to a movie or go play 18 holes of golf. The best thing a friend can do when we need time away is just to listen and sometimes, just knowing they are there can make the biggest difference ever. Having a drink and dessert on a lazy, sunny Monday afternoon can give you both a reason to step away and you both come away with a moment you otherwise would not have had.
Go for a drive
More often than not, we get in our car to go somewhere. But how many times have you just driven around town, just to drive? When we are driving, we must pay attention to what we are doing and lose focus on where our troubles are now. Sometimes, we may find ourselves in a part of town we haven’t visited in a while or end up watching the ducks at the local park. Enjoy the quietness of the car’s engine and be silent in listening to your own heartbeat. If possible, roll down the windows and stick your hand outside. Feel the wind blowing against your hair as you take moment to watch life unfold before you.
Cry and/or scream
I thought about not including these two, but sometimes, you just have to do one or the other. Maybe even both. Just get it out. Don’t fight it. If you have to cuss, so be it. If you have to crawl into the shower and sob, do that too. Some of us may be embarrassed about wanting to cry about whatever is going on in our lives, but we aren’t doing ourselves any favors by pretending that our feelings don’t matter. Getting loud enough for others to hear may not be something we want the whole world to know either, but once we do one of these, we just feel better. On so many levels.
Let’s be honest
Life is going to bring it’s “A” game and we have to be ready to deal with it.
Some days, we won’t be ready.
It will hit us like a ton of bricks and we will feel like everything we had in order just ran amuck.
Even if we weren’t busy being involved in someone else’s “circus,” eventually “it” comes to our town too.
No amount of planning will always show us a “perfect” world.
On the days our world feels like it is crumbling right under our feet, all we can help for is getting through it.
With the least amount of damage.
However, we can always resort to the one of the above actions in our times of need…
Helping to keep our sanity as we prepare for the next round which we are sure is bound to show up.
Michelle A. Homme 2017 ©