The 4-Word Motto That Helps Me When Life Gets Overwhelming


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If there may be one phrase that may very well be used to sum up the best way I’ve felt for the previous 12 months it might be overwhelmed.

I’m overwhelmed with convention calls and Zoom lecture rooms and homework and children who’re round all of the freaking time and by no means cease speaking. Overwhelmed with the fixed stress of making an attempt to maintain our household wholesome. Overwhelmed with frustration for the earlier administration’s full fuckery. Overwhelmed with the devastation so many individuals are going through. Overwhelmed with the fixed preventing on social media. Overwhelmed with the dishes and laundry and extra dishes and extra laundry. Overwhelmed with exhaustion. Overwhelmed with confusion. Overwhelmed with gratitude.

Sometimes the overwhelm is so heavy that I really feel paralyzed. You know that scene in “Garden State” when Zach Braff, Natalie Portman, and Peter Sarsgaard stand on the crane on the fringe of the infinite abyss and simply scream within the pouring rain? Yeah, that. THAT. Everything else feels not possible.

But at any time when I really feel like this, I attempt to bear in mind one thing I as soon as learn or heard: Do one good factor.

I don’t bear in mind the place I heard it or when. But I preserve coming again to it. Do one good factor.

I discover this recommendation to be so useful throughout actually overwhelming instances – like just about each single day for the previous 12 months – as a result of it doesn’t say what to do. It doesn’t say what to do first. It doesn’t let you know to prioritize good issues or let you know to do what’s most effective or simplest or most strategic. Just do one thing good.

So after I’m racing round within the morning with my thoughts working by way of all of the issues that have to get completed – make espresso, pack lunches, put laundry within the washer, unload the dishwasher, return a gajillion emails, feed the canines – I can really feel my thoughts spinning on which factor to do first. Which chore must be completed first? What is most effective? So a lot to do, a lot to do, a lot, a lot, AGGGGHHHH! I can inform myself to cease: Just do one good factor. Then do another good factor. Then one other. And one other.

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This recommendation helps after I’m overwhelmed with the dumpster hearth that’s the world proper now too. I can fret and fret all day lengthy about what organizations to donate to and the way I can greatest advocate for the issues I care about. And I get caught within the cycle of chastising myself and feeling like none of it’s adequate. Then I bear in mind the recommendation. Stop. Do one good factor. Then one other. And one other. And one other.

Of course, there are occasions when it is smart to pause and take the time to determine an environment friendly and efficient technique. But for many issues, there are a bunch of “right” methods to get to the top outcomes, and getting caught up find probably the most environment friendly, probably the most excellent method of doing issues, simply retains you from doing something. Just do one good factor. Then one other.

The fantastic thing about this recommendation is that it really works for all the pieces from managing the chaos of the morning rigamarole to job stress to creating the world a little bit higher.

I’ll admit this isn’t some mind-blowing, novel recommendation. But it really works. It prevents overwhelm-induced paralysis. It retains me shifting in the suitable course. It is, by its very nature, one good factor.

And typically that’s sufficient.

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