Let’s face it, some of us have this issue more than others. It could be related to your lifestyle, age, career, family life, or just an occasional bumble in your normal schedule. Sometimes it is a combination of all those things and is just plain hard to shake.
Maybe you’re like me and have a “to-do” list that seems like Mt. Everest x 3 and you feel like you’ll never get through it all. When things seem overwhelming it can be hard to get motivated. Sometimes you accomplish things but no one can tell. If you spend 10 hours on paperwork, who is going to know except you? That lack of visual accomplishment can make one feel as if they have nothing to show for their effort.
How do you prevent feeling overwhelmed? When you want to throw up your hands and turn into a sluggish couch potato, how do you reverse the process? You have to decompress your boggled brain. Give it a break from life’s obligations. Have some fun.
The time you spend decompressing the brain can be anything from a few minutes to a few days. What I have found is that by taking a break I re-energize and am able to accomplish more than I would if I stayed on the straight-and-narrow work path. It is easy to think “I shouldn’t be doing this” or “I should be doing this” because of that massive to-do list. The trick is in the timing.
I work full time as a paralegal. I spend the majority of my workday at the computer writing pleadings, handling correspondence, and listening to people’s problems on the phone. Very rarely is my to-do pile shorter than about 18″ in height, quite often it is more than that. I do not leave the office at lunch; it is a one-person office and while eating I take calls or handle people as they walk in the door. I decompress at lunch by skimming through Facebook and quite often spend time playing a game such as Candy Crush or Tetris Battles while eating. Playing those games releases the brain from thinking. Although the mind is active, it is relaxing. I have found it to be a great way to re-power for the afternoon.
I am a photographer, and for the past three years I haven’t done much in the way of shooting pictures. That is for a combination of reasons including working on cleaning out my parent’s home after they passed, a bad ankle that I finally had surgery on this past fall, and my own husband fighting cancer, a battle he lost 20 months ago. I wasn’t going out and shooting because not only was it was physically painful to walk, but I also felt I have so much to do here at home that I should be here working, not out having fun.
So what did I realize? I had lost my motivation. I was here and getting things done, but not to the degree that I used to several years ago. I lacked motivation and my productivity was down, which compounded my feeling of being overwhelmed. I decided it was time to get out and participate in a few more things this year, attend more festivities and do more photo shooting.
I will admit it was hard. However forcing myself to get out and do things has been beneficial. I am more physically active, which increases metabolism and energy. I discovered I am happier by being once again out and about partaking in different activities. The result is that I am more productive than I was when spending the entire weekend at home. Why? Because I have decompressed my brain so I am more relaxed, my energy level has increased, and therefore I am more productive.
When you are feeling sluggish, overwhelmed, ready to throw in the towel and call it quits take some time to decompress the brain. You’ll be glad you did.